How to Get the Engine Running (Proper Warmup)

Engine Running

I have typically approached sport with the philosophy – “You don’t warm Up a Ferrari”.

Obviously this is absolutely moronic, so we will walk you through a quick five minute warm up session that can get you the variety you need to make sure your 2nd match takes place on the winner’s court.


I think we all see this and fall into the trap – let’s just dink straight away. Right back to each other, right over the net. This isn’t how we actually play the game as only a small percentage of shots are actually this approach.

So what is a better way:

  • Forehand Cross Court
  • Backhand Cross Court

Try to hit cross court to simulate more realistic game situations. Focus on ready position, bending your legs and keeping a stiff wrist. Play it to different depths, try to take some out of the air if they are hit deep. Spend time on each side for forehand and backhand to get both warmed up so you can settle into your first point.

Bonus points for taking a couple tries at setting up or be set up for an around the post (ATP) attempt. If your partner can send it wide give you a chance to drive a low liner to the corner around the post. Very rarely do we practice this so take advantage of it during warm up so you have composure during a match.


Take time to hit at least 10 drops each. Mix between backhand and forehand to get the feel of the game and maybe try some different speeds from your companion. Being comfortable with the speed of play and the wind is critical for that first game when it comes to drops.

Serves & Return of Serve

This is almost always overlooked and super simple to get some quick repetitions in. You can even do this straight ahead to just get a feeling of the motion. Most importantly it gets you warmed up for the speed of the game since every point starts with a serve and return of serve. Don’t give away free points from the beginning just because you haven’t hit a few balls.


How to get ready in 5 minutes for a couple hour pickleball session to make it more enjoyable from the beginning.

  • Cross Court Dink – Forehand
  • Cross Court Dink – Backhand
  • Cross Court Dink to ATP (1 or 2 attempts)
  • Drops
  • Serve & Return of Serve

How do you warm up? Let us know what we are missing out on?

One thought on “How to Get the Engine Running (Proper Warmup)

  1. Good tips! Dont forget to STRETCH, STRETCH,STRETCH before playing… And do mini-stretches between games when your muscles are warmed up

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