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Pickleball Drills: Learning The Easy Way & Working Your Way Towards Countless Victories

woman hitting pickleball ball

Last Updated: May 14, 2024

Knowing the various pickleball drills to enhance your skills can spell so much difference in taking your gameplay to the next level. Furthermore, these drills are essential for every player to know to beat their opponents more effectively.


Before you grab that paddle for another heated match, let's discover more ways to improve your winning skills with more practice. Then, finally, let's take your opponents down and send them home once and for all, shall we?

Improving Pickleball Skills More Effectively

Moving forward to improve your skill sets will take a lot of practice and consistency on the court. Whether you're learning pickleball drills for beginners or pros, the way to truly master these skills is your dedication to practicing them and the right mindset.

Here are several of the basic drills and skills you need to enhance further for a sure win on your next tournament:

Dinking Drills

backhand dinking drill

To effectively master your pickleball dink drills, you need to learn how to maintain your position, maximize the use of your forehand, and create powerful patterns.

Remember that dinking is any pickleball player's primary skill because it prepares us for an attack.

You will have two ways to practice your dinking skills. The first way is by striking the ball gently and allow the ball to drop to the ground after passing the net. With your opponent standing across you, start hitting the ball back and forth for at least five minutes.

It's a way of practicing invincible dinks, hard for your adversary to attack. The second way is playing at full speed to put your fast hands to the test. If you're looking for pickleball drills to do alone, dinking is your best choice. You can learn this motion with only your ball.

Volley Drills

Learning an efficient volley technique is vital to winning a pickleball game. Those interested in various pickleball drills for beginners should know that about the volley strategy.

It requires playing defensively to maintain the point until you win it.

The volley strategy would make you cover, defend, and hit the weaker opponent, but before that, you should know that this drill comes in different parts.

The Serve/Return Of Serve

Gauging the feel of the ball on your paddle is the first step in performing a good serve. Both your serve and its return should have a deep landing in the court. So, for this reason, practicing pickleball serving drills with more control than power is necessary to have more consistency.

Getting To The Net

The serving team needs to hit the third shot drop. This shot typically lands in the kitchen and hitting it will give you or your team the chance to get to the net.

Be mindful, though, that the third shot could also be a hard shot or "lob." Lobbing could be tricky depending on how skillful you hit the shot that lands in the kitchen. Relatively, it might seem challenging as pickleball drills for beginners, but it's nothing that consistent practicing can't fix.

Fast Play

This drill would require you to hit the ball before it touches the ground. It is a foolproof strategy that can throw your opponent off balance and give you more control in the game's pacing. To do this, smash hard either toward an opening or at a player.

Hitting a hard pickleball volley but missing to overcome your opponent's reaction time would make you lose the point at least 60% of the time. Thus, have more patience and wait for the perfect chance for a high ball hit.

Groundstroke Drill

old woman playing pickleball

When doing the groundstroke drill, you need to keep trying for longer rallies and place the ball deep into your adversary's court. Some would say that this is part of advanced pickleball drills, but it is not.

The groundstroke is a strategy suitable for all players regardless of skill level.

All you need to do is to strike the ball back from its origin. Make no mistake, though, it may seem like a simple drill, but this is an excellent way to practice your forehand and backhand skills.

Lobbing Or Overhead Drills

Knowing how to hit a lob well is essential to practicing overhead drills. Returning a groundstroke is the first step in developing the skill for an overhead smash.

One should alternately practice lobbing while the other returns the overhead hits and vice versa.

Pickleball Drills For Advanced Players

We earlier covered the different drills suitable for beginners and any skill level. Now, we would highlight advanced pickleball drills for expert-level; here are some of them:

The Two-Touch Drill

It creates mastery of critical ball control, especially suitable for advanced players. The two-touch method is among the pickleball drills to do alone without requiring support from anyone. You can even do it against a wall.

This drill aims to enhance a player's mobility and flexibility to develop excellent control of the paddle.

In this drill, you should tap the ball back to yourself without letting it touch the court. Do it as long as possible, and it will help you achieve more control in your paddles.

The Side-Burn Drill

The way to do the side-burn drill is by having a player strike a ball while in motion.

Simultaneously, the other player should work on changing the ball's direction while in a stationary position.

You would then have to hit it and send the ball back repeatedly. Hence, it is necessary to have robust shoulders and a precise shot to execute this drill successfully.

The Hit And Run Drill

It is among the advanced pickleball drills that require players to have remarkable mobility and speed. The hit and run is a fast-paced drill that keeps both players running while continuously hitting the ball. Being on a constant movement is the key to optimal results.

Pretty hard, you might think, and I would have to agree, but hey, it works so well in improving speed and your reaction time. It only means that the hard work is all worth it, considering the skill you will develop in return.

The Vicious Hooks

This drill, unlike the first few ones, will require you less mobility. However, you need to use a strengthened arm and generate reinforced swings for a better chance at an excellent shot.

Performing the vicious hooks drill would have two players pace back and forth to keep a long rally going on the court. The goal is to return the ball in a different direction from where you received it.

Let's say, for instance, you received a down-line hit. Then you should return the ball with a cross-court or any other stroke aside from how you received it. You should stay in your place, moving only your legs for balance or precision in every shot.

The Side-Swipe Drill

I won't sugarcoat it, but this most likely is the drill that can get you strenuously worked up compared with all the pickleball drills we discussed.

This strategy will require a lot of concentration to enhance your sideways movement and your defense eventually.

During the drill, you have the options to either send the ball down the line or cross-court as you move. Whichever of these two you opt to do, the players on the opposing side of the court should resort to the opposite of what you did. Continue until everyone gets their turn.

One of the advantages of the side-swipe drill is the increased speed. It also promotes court awareness and placement accuracy while allowing you to stay fit by burning calories.

Frequently Asked Questions

How Important Are Pickleball Drills?

Pickleball drills are essential because it's one of the fundamentals in becoming an outstanding athlete. They help you identify your weaknesses on the court so you can work them out accordingly. Regularly working on these drills is the best way to improve your gameplay.

Here are five great pickleball drills you can do in 30 minutes:

Can you practice pickleball by yourself?

There are times when you can't get to an actual court, or you don't have anyone available to practice with you. The good news is there are several pickleball drills you can do by yourself. You can practice your pickleball serve, lobs, and overheads with a wall drill.

You can also practice your legwork and stance as you hold onto your paddle. Visualize balls coming at you from different directions; then, you start moving your legs correspondingly. Further, you can also get yourself the best pickleball machine so you can practice alone.

Final Thoughts

In summary, we only covered several of the most common pickleball drills today, but I'm sure there's still a lot more for you to learn. Doing these drills could be tiresome and boring since they require repetitive movements, and I understand that so well.

However, the best way to go about these drills is to keep them fun and exciting. Remember that the most efficient strategy to get better at anything is through consistent practice. Hopefully, all these drills will offer you new techniques to level up your game.

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