by Catherine Parenteau

Fast hands are a valuable asset to dominating the net in pickleball. Quick reflexes and efficient paddle movement allow you to react faster to your opponent’s shots, put away volleys, and control the fast-paced exchanges at the net.

Here’s a drill by Catherine Parenteau (Video Guide Below) that you can incorporate into your practice routine to develop quicker hands:

The Drill:

  • Positioning: Stand with your partner near the kitchen line, close enough for your heels to almost touch. While this positioning wouldn’t be easily practical during a game (due to the non-volley zone rule), it allows for close-quarters volleys that emphasize quick hand movement.
  • Volleys: Groundstrokes emphasize full-body mechanics for power, practicing volleys can be a great way to isolate and refine your hand and wrist action. Since volleys involve reacting to balls already in the air, they require less arm swing compared to groundstrokes. This keeps the focus on hand and wrist action, not full arm swings.
  • Start Slow: Begin by gently volleying the ball back and forth. Emphasize getting your paddle back into a ready position after each shot. This initial focus on control builds a foundation for faster volleys later.
  • Increase the Pace: Once comfortable, gradually pick up the speed of your volleys. Here’s where the magic happens – your reflexes will kick in, and your hands will start reacting faster to meet the incoming ball.

Key Points:

  • Compact Swings: Keep your paddle movements tight and controlled. Avoid overly large swings, which slow down your recovery and limit your ability to react to the next shot.
  • Ready Position is Key: Ingrain the habit of returning your paddle to a central, ready position after every volley. This allows for quicker response to the next ball, minimizing reaction time.
  • Anticipation: As you progress, try to anticipate your partner’s shots. This allows you to start preparing your hand movement before the ball even arrives, further enhancing your reaction speed.


  • Faster Volleys: This drill directly translates to quicker volleys during gameplay, giving you the edge at the net.
  • Improved Hand-Eye Coordination: The rapid back-and-forth action hones your hand-eye coordination, allowing you to track the ball more effectively.
  • Enhanced Reflexes: The drill trains your reflexes to react faster to incoming shots, making you a more responsive player overall.

Remember: Consistency is key. Regularly incorporating this drill into your practice routine will progressively develop faster hands and elevate your pickleball game!