Rosemary from Brick, NJ asks: “I have only been playing a few months but addicted and although I have improved, I want to be much better. How can I practice eye to ball coordination. I am playing the net now, but in a long volley, with quick shots back & forth I am always the one to make a mistake.”

Hello Rosemary, welcome to this great sport and we always love those “addicts”. hehe…  Great question with lots of possible answers for you. You didn’t mention your age, but we know that as we grow older we do lose time on our reflexes and speed which there is no magic cure for.…yet 🙂  Regardless, here are a few drills and ideas to help your pickleball hand-eye coordination:

eye ball

  • One popular drill is the Hot Hands Drill that I shared on the April 1 post.
  • A more basic and effective task would be as simple as bouncing the ball on your paddle with your palm up.  Bounce it repeatedly off the paddle. Repeat with your palm down. Repeat with other hand. Once you master that then try the same thing and rotate your paddle face so each hit is on a different side of the paddle (wrist up, wrist down).
  • If you are over the age of 45 I highly recommend a current eye exam. Now that may sound funny but it is true that our vision—especially women’s—can really start to change; even in a 6 month period. I know this from personal experience.  So check to make sure your vision is the best it can be.
  • Another possibility may be that you’re not slow or have poor hand-eye coordination at all; is it possible that your paddle isn’t in a correct ready position. This can be as problematic as poor coordination. Watch some of the top players in your area to check out their position and stroke technique when volleying.

Whether it’s table tennis, tennis, pickleball, squash or racquetball each of these racket sports improve hand-eye coordination; since you have to react to your opponent’s movement as well as track the ball. If you have no partner, you can hit the ball against a wall.  Heck even playing catch with someone can help.  Have some fun!