I know everyone is itching to get back on the courts and play pickleball! (Even though I’ve been enjoying my extra time with the kiddos, I’ve been missing time with my local pickleball buddies, too!)
We’ll get through this! And when we do, pickleball will be there for us, like an old friend!
For the time that we are stuck at home, this month’s newsletter is how to easily build a simple practice net (with the bonus of doubling as a training tool!).
Tools That You Will Need
That’s the only tool that you will need! (Okay, that’s technically the only tool that you need – you’ll probably also need a tape measure and a marker!)
Some one-inch diameter PVC pipe, a bunch of connectors; specifically:
- 3 sections of pipe cut to 31 inches long
- 2 sections of pipe cut to 24 inches long
- 4 sections of pipe cut to 8 inches long
- 2 sections of pipe cut to 12 inches long
- 2 elbow connectors
- 4 3×1 elbow connectors
- 6 caps
Here’s a pic of all the different parts:
All these materials should be available at your hardware store (to stay safe, you may want to check if they have curbside pickup if you feel uncomfortable going into the store!). The pipe will probably come in 10 foot lengths (hence the need for the hacksaw).
Assembly is really easy! Insert the 12 inch sections into both sides of the 3×1 elbows – this is your base. Into the last hole, insert the 31 inch length of pipe, and top that with the elbow. Into that elbow, insert the 24 inch section of pipe for both sides, and connect them together with the 3×1 elbow.
And you’re done! When finished, it should look something like this:
Now Get to Dinking!
Your brand new practice net should be somewhere between 34 and 35 inches high. If you have a basement, garage, or a driveway, you can tape off some Kitchen lines and practice your dinking!
As I’m sure you noticed, assembly (and disassembly for that matter!) is pretty quick! At some courts, there may be extra space for you to set it up so you and another player can practice dinking until it’s time to play! (This may also be the case at tournaments where practice courts may be nonexistent!)
You can also set up this little practice court near a fence to try some drills that I mentioned in my most recent podcast!
Don’t Be Afraid of the Scarecrow!
After you put together your net, you may be asking, “Prem, what about these extra pieces?” Those are there to convert your net into what Randy refers to as the scarecrow.
You add those pieces to the center 3×1 connector so it looks like this:
The scarecrow is for when you’re on the court practicing your drop shot. My recommendation for a good drop shot is for the ball’s apex to be about five to six feet above your Kitchen line.
Place the scarecrow right on top of your Kitchen line, and when practicing your drop, try to just clear the top of the scarecrow (which is between five and six feet high) so that the ball drops into your opponents’ Kitchen!
Want some netting? Drape a couple of towels over it (makes a fine towel rack if you bring it with you to the courts!) Plus if you take the scarecrow with you to the courts and set it over to the side, you can turn it into a windsock with the aforementioned towels!
Hope this helps pass the time while we’re all safe and stuck at home!
And When We Do Finally Get Back on the Courts…