Pickleball Drills to Help Level Up Your Game in 2024

What if we tell you that pickleball is much more than a sport? It’s a game of precision, strategy and skill. Whether you are a beginner who’s trying to get hold of the basics or an advanced player who wants his game to be perfect, the right pickleball drills can make a huge difference. It can help you turn the weaker part of your strategy into a stronger one. 

This article will help you master the concept of the best drills, and the best part? It doesn’t matter if you are a beginner, an intermediate player or an advanced one, this guide will suit everyone’s need. And if you think that it’s a boring concept to learn, we are to show you how to have fun while learning the basics of pickleball game

What is a Pickleball Drill? 

Simply put, pickleball drill is an exercise performed to polish one’s skills and It could be one skill or a set of skills that a player wants to work on. Pickleball drill is the secret sauce for leveling up your game. It’s not your regular hit and miss practice. It’s a targeted exercise to fine tune specific skills. 

Imagine it as your personalized playbook, helping you smash those weak spots and transform them into strengths. Whether you’re a newbie or a seasoned player, these drills are a must for you, making the journey to pickleball greatness both fun and rewarding. 

Best Pickleball Drills for Beginners

Best pickleball Drill

Paddle up

Paddle up is one of the easiest beginner pickleball drills. 

  • Transform your game by practicing the fundamental skills with the Paddle Up drill. 
  • Bounce the ball off your paddle without letting it touch the ground, adding a twist by varying bounce heights and movement.

Selfie ball bounce

  • Take the Paddle Up drill a step further with the Selfie Ball Bounce. 
  • Master your control by bouncing the ball off the paddle, letting it hit the ground, and then scooping it up into the air. 
  • supplement your training with pickleball lessons for accelerated improvement.

Best Pickleball Drills for Intermediate Players

As you progress in your game, you will slowly and steadily start noticing that mastering specific pickleball skills and drills may require more time than others. The pickleball drills mentioned below center around mastering two vital elements of your gameplay, the third shot drop and refining your dink direction.

Triangle dinking

  • Ditch predictability with the Triangle Dinking drill. 
  • Set up markers in a triangle around you and your opponent, then aim for each marker in sequence—left, middle, right. 
  • Enhance your backhand and forehand shots while enjoying the game.

Third shot drop

  • As the saying goes, “Whoever controls the net, controls the game.” 
  • Perfect your third shot drop with this drill, seamlessly transitioning to a favorable position for a dinking rally. 
  • Focus on muscle memory and weight control for a game-changing skill.

Best Advanced Pickleball Drills

Advanced Pickleball Drills

As you get better at pickleball, the pickleball practice drills get fancier and more specific. These two super-advanced drills are for players who are really good and have a lot of energy.

Hit and run

  • Get your blood flowing with the Hit and Run drill. 
  • Practice accurate drives and footwork by hitting the ball down the sideline, then racing across the court to return shots. 
  • Ideal for players with high skill levels and stamina.

Dink and lob

  • Master the offensive pickleball lob with the Dink and Lob drill. 
  • Place markers near your opponent’s baseline, engage in a dinking rally, and surprise them with well-placed lobs. 
  • Elevate your strategic gameplay with this advanced technique.

Partner Play: Pickleball Drills for Two Players

“Train together, gain together,” as a wise pickleball enthusiast once said, and we totally agree. These drills are meant to be done with a buddy, so you both get the most out of the workout.

Pickleball volley

  • Enter the ‘Volley Battle‘ with your partner, hitting the ball back and forth across the net without letting it touch the ground. 
  • Challenge your volleying skills and add variety by alternating volleys left and right.

Bert and Erne

  • Take your game to the next level with advanced shots. 
  • Execute the ‘Erne’ by positioning yourself outside the court and taking advantage of a rules loophole. 
  • The ‘Bert’ adds a twist by hitting the ball on your teammate’s side. Surprise your opponents with these game-changing shots.

Pickleball Solo Drills

Pickleball Solo Drills

As a pickleball enthusiast, it’s not always a breeze to find a practice partner. That’s why it is handy to have some drills you can do solo. These two will keep you busy with productive practice for hours.

Shadow swing

  • Perfect your form and control with the Shadow Swing drill. 
  • Swing the paddle in the air, imitating forehand and backhand shots. 
  • Boost your muscle memory and enhance swinging form, especially when practiced in front of a mirror.

Serving accuracy

  • Hone your serving skills with Serving Accuracy drills. 
  • Set up targets on the opposite side of the net and repeatedly aim at each one. 
  • Consistency is the key to improving accuracy and giving your serves a reliable edge.

Wall Workouts: Pickleball Wall Drills

These next two drills are awesome for when you can’t hit the court, for whatever reason. Just grab a flat wall, and you are good to go. You can even do these inside your house, as long as the neighbors aren’t around!

Hit the target

  • Utilize a flat wall for the Hit the Target drill. 
  • Mark a spot with masking tape and practice hitting it from different angles and distances. 
  • Improve accuracy, shot weight, and ball control with this straightforward yet effective drill.

Drive and move

  • Enhance your fitness, footwork, and shot accuracy with the Drive and Move wall drill. 
  • Stand back, drive the ball against the wall, and move quickly to predict the rebound. 
  • Repeat for a challenging workout, even if you can’t make it to the court.

Embracing Technology: Pickleball Machine Drills

Pickleball Machine Drills

We’re all aware that AI is moving at lightning speed, so it is smart to be pals with the machines, isn’t it? Why not invite them to join your pickleball game? These trusty companions won’t ever get tired or bored, giving you hours of valuable practice.

Third shot drive

  • Let AI be your practice partner with the Third Shot Drive machine drill. 
  • Simulate the return of the serve and practice a fast, powerful drive. 
  • Focus on keeping the drives low to the net and perfecting your topspin.

Dink into the kitchen

  • Program your pickleball machine to hit dinks to your position on the non-volley zone line. 
  • Master consistency by getting the ball to land consistently in the kitchen, just on the other side of the net. 
  • Ideal for refining shot weight.

Planning an Effective Drilling Session 

Planning a top-notch drilling session? Keep things on point by asking yourself these questions:

  • What parts of your game need a little extra love?
  • Are you flying solo or practicing with a buddy?
  • Can you snag a court or a pickleball machine for your session?
  • How much time can you squeeze in for each session?
  • How often can you slot in a drilling session?

And most importantly, spice up your drills to keep the fun alive!

Final Word

Being engaged in regular pickleball practice drills are your ticket to eliminating weaknesses and enhancing your overall performance on the court. Whether you’re a beginner or an advanced player, these drills will contribute to winning games and boosting your skill rating. So, grab your paddle, hit the courts, and let the best pickleball drills be your secret weapon to becoming a pickleball pro. With regular practice, you will not only conquer your weaknesses but also enjoy the thrill of continuous improvement. Trust us, this way you will get a step closer to mastering this dynamic sport in no time. 

FAQs

What do pickleball drills involve?

Pickleball drills consist of targeted exercises aimed at enhancing specific aspects of your game.

What exercises are effective for pickleball training?

Effective pickleball exercises focus on improving hand-eye coordination, reaction time, and ball control.

How can I enhance my pickleball skills?

To enhance your pickleball skills, engage in regular gameplay and integrate pickleball drills to address specific areas of improvement.

What are the most common mistakes players make in pickleball?

Common mistakes in pickleball, especially for beginners, include taking eyes off the ball, violating the non-volley zone rule, gripping the paddle too tightly, not letting shots go out, and prematurely smashing balls.

What is the key skill in pickleball?

Pickleball demands a diverse skill set, but crucial skills to develop include balance, footwork, stance, reactions, reflexes, and control.

Pickleball Sporting
Logo