Want to know what Pickleball drills will give you the winning advantage?
If you are just starting to play pickleball, chances are that you will want to perfect your skills with some Pickleball drills. P
Like any game, the more you practice the better you get and the more you enjoy playing. This builds memory – in our brains and in our muscles. Your muscles remember how hard or soft to hit the ball when you try for a particular shot. This muscle memory is what gives you control.
Now that you’re familiar with the basic rules of the game, practicing different Pickleball drills is the perfect way for you to establish control with your shots.
This article will highlight some of the best Pickleball drills that are ideal for beginner or advanced players who want to improve their game.
When you are playing Pickleball, the most important aspect of your game is to win points. So, one of the best drills to start with is the dink shot.
The dink shot is a soft play that sees the ball land just over the net, possibly making your opponent run to return the shot. The strategy with this shot is that as you are hitting cross court, your opponent will need to return the ball with an upward swing. It will put the ball at the perfect height for you to hit it ball deep to the baseline.
Alternatively, the dink can be played when. you cross court. That is, if you are standing on the right hand side and you hit the ball softly over the net but to the left hand side of the court. As your opponent runs to the opposite direction or left hand side to return, the rest of the court is left open for the winning shot.
As you are hitting cross court, make sure to hit the ball softly to make it over the net. Cross court dinks will require control but once you master it…the points will come flooding your way.
You can do this pickleball drill on your driveway or sidewalk. All you need is a line to stand behind and an object – like a chair – around the same height as the middle of the net. That is 34 inches. (Maybe have a wall on the other side so you’re not chasing the ball down the street every time!) Just practice soft, sweeping shots in an upward motion until you can place the ball close to where you want it.
Third shot drops and returns
The third shot drop is like an extended dink.
For this shot, you need to be standing at the baseline and your opponent at the kitchen line. When you hit the ball softly that it just lands over the net, you have time to also travel to the kitchen line and create your strategy.
Once you arrive at the kitchen line, your opponent should hit with an upward swing and this will position the ball that you can then go long to the baseline or down the side of the court.
The third shot drop is a useful drill to improve your shots. The best way to practice this pickleball drill is against a wall, standing about 25 feet away and you should land the ball so it bounces just before it hits the wall.
As we mentioned the concept of building muscle memory with drills, reflex training allows you to achieve just that.
It is an amazing way to play against bangers and strategists. Pickleball can be an extremely quick-paced sport so your reflexes need to be top-notch. This is one of those factors that you just can’t compromise on. So, you should do drills that focus on reflex training during your practice sessions.
Hitting the ball repeatedly against a wall helps with reflex training. Vary the distance to the wall to practice long and close, soft shots.
Running side to side across the court can also be practiced running sideways along your driveway or sidewalk.
Finally, and this is a funny one, my family use to catch coins from their bent elbow! Raise your hand to your ear and keep your elbow pointing straight out and parallel to the ground. Place a quarter on the end, at your elbow. Quickly flick your hand down to catch the coin as it falls. We use to have competitions to see how many quarters we could stack and catch.
It is a good pickleball drill for reflex training!
Back and forths
This is a very basic drill that is common in every racquet sport, including tennis and badminton.
In this, you can polish your movement and fine motor skills on the court.
Basically, you and your opponent stand at either end of the court and hit the ball back and forth to each other. No fancy shots or making each other run. Just back and forth.
You can also try this by yourself using a wall. This drill is to understand the strength needed to hit the ball to the baseline and get that muscle memory activated.
A kitchen run is not for pizza and soda!
If there’s one area of the pickleball court that you need to master, it is the kitchen.
This is where you can control the game and all the points lie.
So, you need to practice drills that are associated with the various kitchen rules. Dink shots, third shot drops, jumping for lob shots. You need to have quick reflexes and understand how each shot is placed around the kitchen.
Skinny singles is played with 2 players but instead of using the entire court, the game is focused on just one side of the game. Find out more details about skinny singles by clicking here.
Last on the list is the sweet spot drill, which helps you improve your hand-eye coordination.
For practicing this drill, you need to start by holding your pickleball paddle parallel to the ground and then drop the ball on top of it. While you hit the ball gently in the air, you need to find the sweet spot in the paddle that allows you to exercise maximum control. This is the most efficient spot on the paddle to return shots.
It has less impact on your hand, elbow and shoulder and gives you the greatest control of the ball.
When it comes to Pickleball drills, there are a lot of different ways you can practice. Both beginner or advanced players can benefit from these pickleball drills.
From common strategies like your hitting skill to creating muscle memory, drills can refine a lot of your movement and allow you to master your game.
They will quickly turn a frustrating game into one of skill and control.