Whether you’re new to pickleball or have been on the court for a while, there are always things you can do to improve your game. Pickleball drills are one great way to do that. You can do several of these drills on your own or with a partner Spend as little or as much time as you want to get your game to where you want it to be.
Besides pickleball drills, there are also some accessories that you can try to move your game to the next level. We have all the information you need to improve your pickleball game.
Let’s get started!
What is Pickleball?
Did you know pickleball is America’s fastest-growing sport? It includes elements of tennis, badminton, and ping-pong all rolled into one. It can be played both indoors and outdoors.
Benefits of Doing Drills to Improve Your Game
While playing the game itself can certainly improve your pickleball skills, drills are especially important because they are designed to isolate and work on a particular skill or set of skills that a player wants to improve.
The Art of Repetition
With drills, there are many repetitions of the same stroke or several strokes. This helps to improve muscle memory that is required to enhance a particular skill.
Learn the Basics
By doing drills, players can master the basics and then go back to improve other aspects of the game. Beginners can practice basic skills before moving on from simple drills to more advanced drills.
Position Your Body
Pickleball drills are also very helpful because they teach your body how to position itself to produce the best results. The position of your feet at each stroke can help to determine how successful your shot will be. As you repeat the drill, it will lead to improved reaction time on the court.
By repeating pickleball drills, you’ll increase your strength and also improve your cardiovascular health.
Different Types of Pickleball Drills
There are different types of pickleball drills for every skill level to help you improve your game. From solo drills to wall drills, mix and match these drills to improve your game.
Drop Shot Drills
Third shot drop drill
The third shot drop drill is one that you can do with a partner. It helps to build muscle memory and is often referred to as the most important shot in the game.
To do this drill, stand at the back of the court and have your partner stand at the non-volley zone. Your partner feeds you balls and you return them by hitting the ball with a pendulum swing. This helps your ball rise high and over the net into the opponent’s non-volley zone line. With constant practice, you can improve this shot and see your game improve.
Solo Pickleball Drills for Improved Accuracy and Technique
While some pickleball drills require a partner, there are plenty of solo pickleball drills that are among the best pickleball drills. Here are some to try:
Hit Your Target
You only need a wall and some tape for this great drill. Take some tape and make a square on the wall that’s about 36 inches off the ground. You can decide how big of a square you want.
Next, step back about seven feet and practice hitting the ball into the square. Every time the ball returns, let it bounce once before hitting it again. You want to hit your target as many times in a row as possible. Challenge yourself and try it from different angles and distances.
Selfie Ball Bounce
This is an easy drill for beginner pickleball players. Hold your paddle horizontally to the ground and bounce the ball off your paddle. Then, let the ball bounce off the ground. Keep your knees bent and your body as square as you can. Repeat the pattern. You want to have enough control of the ball to keep your knees bent and your body square while the ball is within easy reach of the paddle.
To make the drill more challenging for intermediate players, you can keep your feet in one place.
Volley accuracy drill
This drill can help all players have better paddle control and get the ball to where they want it to go more often.
Use tape to mark a square on the wall. Stand just outside the kitchen line and see how many times you can hit the target. At first, it may be hard. But, as you continue, you’ll see your accuracy improve. As it does, you can take your shot from different angles and move your target.
Using Only Half the Court to Practice Hits and Returns
Half-court dinking drill
Do you want to improve your dink shot? If so, this half-court dinking drill can help. The drill focuses only on the dink shot so you don’t have to worry about your serve, return, or third-shot drop skills.
One player stands on one side of the net and the other on the other side of the net. Both players stand just by the non-volley line.
The drill begins with one player dinking the ball over the net to the other. This back-and-forth drill can be done with up to four players on the court at once, two on each side of the net.
Forehand and backhand dinks
This pickleball drill requires both players to stand at the non-volley zone on their side of the net to practice their pickleball shots. While one player is practicing their forehand shots, the other practices their backhand shots. The player practicing their forehand shot will hit the ball to the other player’s backhand.
How to Structure an Effective Pickleball Drill Session
Start with Warm-Up Activities
Any pickleball drill should start with a warm-up to avoid injury. This can include:
- Jogging around the court
- Side Steps
- Arm Circles
- Torso Twists
Doing these activities before hitting the pickleball court will get your muscles warmed up before you start to play pickleball.
Set Up Specific Goals or Challenges to Improve Your Skillset
Beginner players are going to have different goals than advanced players. Decide what you want to improve on in your game. Once you do, set goals for how you want to see your game advance. You may start off as a beginner on one skill and quickly move to an intermediate level.
Mix Up Your Routines and Incorporate Variety Into Your Sessions
While you want to repeat drills to see improvement, you also want to have variety in your practice sessions. This can include incorporating solo pickleball drills and ones that you will do with a partner. You can work on your forehand shot as well as your backhand shot.
Look for routines that will also improve your eye-hand coordination which will ultimately improve your game.
Other Equipment To Improve Your Game
Besides choosing the best pickleball drills to improve your game, you can also invest in some equipment to help.
The pickleball rebounder is great for beginner players and advanced players alike. It can help with a variety of drills, serves, volleys, and groundstrokes.
Pickleball Tutor Ball Machine
This is a great piece of equipment if you want to practice your pickleball skills without a partner. The Pickleball Tutor Ball Machine throws balls at different speeds and angles so you can improve your shots. The machine also allows you to adjust the rebound angle so you can practice your dink shot.
Pickleball Sweet Spot Trainer
Do you tend to hit the ball off-center? If so, The Sweet Spot Trainer can improve your striking skills and your shot by letting you know when your shot is not centered.
The Space Aid is a piece of equipment that helps pickleball players avoid hitting the ball too close to their bodies with their elbows too bent. You can use this with another player or while using a backboard or ball machine.
Shop North State For All Your Pickleball Equipment Needs
North State Resurfacing is your source for all of your pickleball equipment needs. We not only carry pickleball equipment that can be used in drills, but also racquets, shoes, and clothing. Call us today at (919) 365-7500 or drop us a message online to let us know how we can help you!