While drills might seem like a boring thing, they are actually not. In fact, they can be really fun and will teach you a lot of tricks about the game you didn’t know earlier. In the best, drills make you warm up and help you get loosened for the actual game.
To help you improve your game drastically, let’s talk about some of the best pickleball drills that you need to practice. We’ll cover this topic for both beginner and advanced level players so that everyone can benefit from it. Mastering those drills will make you a pro in no time.
Beginner Pickleball Drills
If you are just starting out on pickleball and want to get better at the game, going right for the advanced drills isn’t the best choice to make. Rather, spend a bit of time on the beginner stuff before you move on to the advanced drills, and that will help to build a really good foundation. Let’s check out some of the most amazing pickleball drills for beginners down below.
One Person Drills
You don’t get to practice with a companion all the time, but that should not be an excuse not to practice either. You can warm up your skills and even get better at the game of pickleball by yourself as well. Let’s check out some of the drills that you can perform all by yourself that boost your skill level by a lot.
Take your pickleball and paddle and start bouncing the ball on the paddle up in the air to build up some control over the ball. Try to start slow and keep the ball low on the paddle as it’ll help you keep the ball on it rather than popping off of it. Then you can build up some distance and go for higher and higher bounces, and to make it even more challenging, you can switch the paddle face for every shot.
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You can do a similar thing on a wall to spice up things a little bit. Also, it’s a great idea to mix forehand and backhand shots to build better flexibility. Remember, the best way to grow your skills would be to practice variations of these exercises. That’ll break the pattern and allow for faster muscle memory development. This drill is also perfect for warming up before a match.
Two Person Drills
Assuming that you’ve got a friend to practice with, there are tons of fantastic drills that you can practice to get better at the game of pickleball. You should always try to get a companion to practice with as you can only do so much by yourself.
The most basic drill to do with two members on the court would be Diagonal kitchen volley, cross-court dinks. It’s simple, but it delivers fast results. Try to get as many reps as possible with this drill.
Then, move on to straight across the net drills. In this drill, you’d have to volley the ball back and forth without doing too much movement.
Finally, try out the groundstroke to the kitchen line drills, to sum up, the beginner two-person drills. For that drill, you’d need one player to stand back on the baseline hitting hard groundstrokes at the person standing at the kitchen line. Now, be sure to switch the position to give the other player a chance to practice as well.
Pickleball Wall Drills
Wall drills are super beneficial for pickleball players, and with no companion needed to perform, it’s undoubtedly amazing to practice as well. Let’s check out how to do a couple of pickleball wall drills down below in great detail.
A great thing about wall drills is that you can simply make your place to practice in your basement or garage. If you don’t have access to such a dedicated space, a piece of plywood will do the trick as well.
Now, to make the court properly, you have to get the horizontal line taped for around 36 feet above the floor from the wall. The net width should lay somewhere between 6 to 8 feet, which should allow for a good space for you to practice your drills.
For the kitchen line, 7 feet is the estimated distance that you should tape the line from the wall. Finally, mark a line to 12, 18, and 22 feet from the wall, and that should take care of the basics.
Tape a Target on the Court
As you’d be throwing the pickleball on the court, it’s a great idea to put something there to keep the ball in place once you hit the target. It’s to build precision in the shot, and also the ball won’t roll out as well. Use the tape to mark out a line that’s five feet from the wall, and that sums up building the court.
Want to develop a more aggressive attack style in the game of pickleball? These dinks will help to make your opponent bend down, which will lead to an easy victory.
For your first drill, try to do 10 in a row forehead dinks from the kitchen line. Try to hit the line between the 5 feet to 7 feet as it can help to get the super close up shots that dink near the feet area of your opponent. Also, practice a few backhand dinks as well to securely integrate this amazing drill.
Now it’s time to practice the alternate forehand and backhand dinks, which are simply drinking on the opposite side that you previously did. For instance, if you are left-handed, you have to dink in the right court, and that is commonly known as cross court dinks as well.
Smaller Target Dink Drills
This drill will help to build extreme precision in your dinks, and that’s a bit more advanced drill for complete beginners. Make sure to get comfortable with the previous drill before you move on to this drill as it’ll make this one easier.
For this drill, you’ll need to place a small plastic cup on the court and try to hit it with your dink. Take rapid shots and go for 10 shots, and see if you can hit the cup with all the dinks. Mix the previous drills to get the best result with this amazing drill.
Want to develop speed in hands, have fast reaction speed while having control over your shots? The volley drills are perfect to help you develop exactly that. The key to making the drills effective is challenging yourself to push your limit every time with how much time elapses before the ball hits the court. Try doing forehand, backhand, and alternate each one from the 5 feet line and 7 feet kitchen line.
2-Touch Volley Drills
To get better at the game of pickleball it’s super important to develop good paddle control and touch, which helps to add more flexibility and mobility to your hands. To do the 2-touch volleys, you need to do volleys, which means the ball should not touch the court and tap it back to yourself. That is one count. Try to do as much as you can, and it’ll improve immense control of your paddles.
Pickleball drills for advanced players
Now that you’ve gone through some of the basic drills, was that too easy for you? Then probably you need to take the difficulty level and increase it by a notch. With pickleball drills, you always want to challenge yourself and your skills. And the following advanced sets of drills will help you do that.
The sideburn drills allow a player to both move and hit the ball at the same time. The companion, in this case, gets to challenge his ball direction changing skills while he stands still and hits the ball.
You might think that it’s super easy to move and hit the ball at the same time, but you should not assume that so quickly. It requires strong shoulders and a precis shot to send the ball to the opponent on the move.
To do the drill, ask your companion to hit the ball and change the direction of the court each time he hits it. And you’d have to hit it and send it back to him over and over.
The Hit and Run
If you and your companion player are up for a challenge, this is the perfect drill for you two. It takes great mobility and speed to complete these drills. It requires both of you to keep running while hitting the ball continuously, and you can tell that it’s hard. But it develops great speed and reaction time super fast.
Start with a somewhat moderate speed, and hit the ball in the opposite courtside every time for both players. These cross-court shots will force both of you to move fast to be able to hit the ball. Speed up eventually to get the best benefit of this intense drill.
The Vicious Hooks
This drill is nothing like the previous drills as it doesn’t require that much movement. But this does require arm strength and powerful swings, which greatly improves the shot. It’s recommended to do this drill with at least 3 to 4 players for the best results. Another great thing about this drill is that you don’t have to be a super-advanced player to perform this drill.
Now, start volleying the ball back and forth among the players so that there’s always a long rally going on the court. You should not move from your place, yet, you should only move your legs or change your body shape for balance and precision in each shot. Also, you are allowed to hit any shots except a down the line stroke.
The Flip Side
This drill is super fun to perform and requires a total of three players where the skill level doesn’t really matter that much. Also, it doesn’t require too much mobility or movement, and that lets you rest after performing the first and second drill. The flip side drill helps to develop your arm muscles and swings, resulting in better shots.
To do this drill, 2 of the players need to stand on one side of the court while you are positioned on the other side. Their job would be to send balls in your side quickly and continuously, and you have to use your strokes to hit the ball. Once you are done, you can switch positions so that everybody gets a chance to practice this drill.
The Side Swipe
The final drill that we’ll talk about is one of the most important ones that you need to focus on as it develops your sideways movement. That’s like the least developed area for most players, and by mastering this, you can gain an unfair level of advantage over your opponents.
Now, you can either send the ball down the line or cross-court while moving as these are both variations of this drill. Whatever you do, the other two members on the opposite side of the court would have to do the opposite to that. Repeat the process until everybody gets a chance to practice before you call it a day.
These were some of the pickleball drills that you should spend some time on mastering. For some people, it may take a lot of time at first to learn. But once you get a hang of it, you’ll greatly improve your game of pickleball by a ton.
Remember, consistency is the key to success when it comes to learning the drills quickly. You should aim for practicing every day even for a small period rather than practicing 2 hours a day once a week. Also, you’d want to challenge yourself every day to keep growing, and you’ll be surprised by your progress, and that’s a guarantee.