These 5 Pickleball Drills Will Change Your Game Forever (Ultimate Pickleball Drill List)

Written by Adam (HV)

February 17, 2023

pickleball drill

Drilling in pickleball is one of the best ways to take your game to the next level, but if you don’t know the right pickleball drills or if those drills are boring, why bother? Today we’re going to look at pickleball drills that can change your game forever.

Watch the full video here.

Why Should You Care About Pickleball Drills?

My goals for most pickleball drill sessions are to get repetitions, to use sound mechanics, and to get comfortable with challenging shots so that I can learn how to stay calm under pressure during game time. And that’s what these pickleball drills are designed to do: help you during game time.

In this sequence, we will work on the full range of shots and I’ve also added gamified variations or extra challenges to keep things interesting. 

Pickleball Drill 1: DDP (Dink, Dink, Play)

The first pickleball drill is a fun way to work on hitting unattackable dinks and staying patient. You will start with two cooperative dinks and then the point is live. Start out across the court from your opponent and play to 7 by rally scoring. After someone gets to 7, you can switch to the odd side for backhand dinks and then switch again to forehand. If you’d like to add an extra challenge, you can take away points for unforced errors.

Pickleball Drill 2: Cooperative Volleys

This is a good pickleball drill for conditioning your hand speed and learning how to see fast balls come off of your opponent’s paddle. This helps you with blocks, resets, and counters. This is a cooperative drill, so you’re trying to keep the ball in the air and speed it up over time. If you would like to add an extra challenge, you can both step into the kitchen.

Pickleball Drill 3: Dink, Dink, Speed-Up / Reset

This is a cooperative pickleball drill with a ton of applications for real games. On one side, you have a person speeding up the ball, and on the other side, someone is resetting or countering the ball. It starts with one dink, then a second dink that is cooperative and high, then an attack, and then a reset.

With this pickleball drill, the attacker is working on speed ups from high bounces, and the other person is working on reading the shot off the paddle and resetting the fastball or countering.

A gamified version of this pickleball drill is called cat and mouse. Basically you both hit cooperative dinks until someone speeds up the ball. From there you either choose to let the ball go, counter, or reset. This is also a good way to practice hitting bait balls and working on your counter attacks. 

A fun way to gamify this drill is where you both hit cooperative dinks until someone chooses to speed up the ball. From there, you can choose to either let the ball go out, reset, or counter attack.

Pickleball Drill 4: Beat the Feet

This pickleball drill is incredibly helpful if you’re having trouble with the transition zone. One person stands a few feet from the baseline while the other person attacks down at your feet from the non volley zone. The reset player is trying to hit unattackable shots into the kitchen.

A gamified version of this pickleball drill is playing out the point. The person in the transition zone is trying to make their way up into the kitchen to play out the point while the person at the net is trying to keep you back. The first shot is cooperative, then you play out the point. Player a is trying to get to 7 points while player b tries to score 11 points.

Pickleball Drill 5: Serve, Return, Drop, Defend

This is another pickleball drill that has a ton of application for games. This is basically a way to work on the first 5-7 shots of a point, but the focus is on deep serves, deep returns, unattackable drops, and the 4th shot. 

If you would like to gamify this, put a marker about 3 feet from the baseline. For every serve and return past the marker gets a point, and a point is scored for an unattackable 3rd or if you take the 3rd out of the air. You can keep score like a game of cornhole from there.

    Pickleball Drill Recap 

    These pickleball drills are meant to help you with the important shots you will use in games, but they’re also meant to be fun so you can come back to them over and over.

    What are your favorite drills? Let me know in the comments.

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