Best Pickleball Drills to Use for Practice

What is the importance of drills in your pickleball journey? It is essential to drill the same shot repeatedly to train muscle memory. As you prepare your muscle memory, you will feel more confident and be able to concentrate on other things.

Matches can be intense, so thinking about your shots is the last thing you want to do. Your subconscious mind and muscle memory must take care of this. Drills play an essential role in this process. It gets better with practice.

Why Do You Need Pickleball Drills?

The goal of pickleball drills is to isolate and improve a specific skill or set of skills a player wishes to develop. A vital component of a routine is that it allows for many repetitions of the same stroke or small group of strokes in a condensed period which is necessary to develop the essential muscle memory required to engrain the skill as a new habit that becomes automatic.

You may want to practice Pickleball drills if you are starting out playing Pickleball. You get better at any game by practicing more, and you have more fun playing it. Memory is built in both the brain and the muscles. When you attempt a particular shot, your muscles remember how hard or soft you hit the ball. Control comes from muscle memory. After learning the basics of drills for Pickleball, you can use drills to improve your control over your shots.

Pickleball Drills for Beginners

Pickleball drills for beginners are designed for 2.5-level players. Or a player who has no idea about it but already has a relatively solid understanding of the rules but is looking to take their drills for pickleball to another level. The guide will cover all basic stroke fundamentals and a basic match-play strategy.

Throwing and Catching a Ball

One of the simplest and most effective hand-eye coordination drills is to throw and catch a ball. Start by standing a few feet away from a wall or another person. Throw the ball back and forth, gradually increasing the distance between you and the wall or person. As you become more comfortable, try throwing the ball harder and catching it with one hand.

Practice Your Pickleball Serve

Finally, one of the best ways to stay focused during a game is to practice your Pickleball serves. This will help you develop a better service and become much more accurate in your ball placement.

A great way to practice your serves is by setting up a basket or container and hitting your Pickleball. Admittedly it’s better if you have a bunch of Pickleball to practice with. Please start with the basket at 30ft and move it around as you like.

Shooting Hoops

Shooting hoops is another fun way to improve hand-eye coordination. Start by shooting from close range, such as from inside the paint area near the basket. Once comfortable doing this, move back to the free-throw line and shoot. As you become more proficient, try shooting from further away, such as from behind the three-point line.

Pickleball Drills for Intermediate Players

The pickleball tips for intermediate players that I recommend to any player are hitting your opponent’s backhand and hitting at their feet when at the net. While these intermediate-level tips have won me more games, there are many tips for intermediate players that you can implement immediately.

Pickleball Drills for Intermediate Players

No serve or return of serve should ever hit the net

Ask any advanced player who plays competitively; they only get one serve or return of serve that is allowed to fall dead in the net. Intermediate players don’t make beginner-level mistakes like blasting a serve or returning of serve into the net. Intermediate players do not tolerate unforced errors.

So whether you’re serving or returning the serve, the ball should never hit the net or fly out of bounds. These first two shots should be automatic and always be in play.  

Your serve and return of serve should ALWAYS be deep

You keep your opponent from getting to the net for as long as possible by hitting deep. As a server, pushing the return team back as deep as possible is a crucial strategy. All intermediate players do it. The same can be said for the return of service. As the return team, you’ve got the advantage to get to the no-volley zone line first, so use it.  

By hitting a deep baseline hugging return of serve, you make it harder for the serving team to get to the kitchen line. The longer it takes for the serving team to reach the net, the longer the return team has a significant advantage. Intermediate players always hit the first two shots deep! Are you looking for an excellent paddle for intermediate players? Here are my favorites for this year.

Focus and know the score

This may sound elementary or even ridiculous, but by knowing the score, you automatically know what’s at stake and your circumstance during the match. By knowing exactly whose serve it is and what the score is, you’re displaying the proper level of in-game attentiveness all intermediate and pro-level players expect. 

Recreational players tend to forget who served last and who’s leading. For recreational play, that’s fine. It’s a light-hearted tone where fun is the main objective. However, when you’re playing with intermediate players, the level of competition and, consequently, the level of focus is ratcheted up a few notches.

Intermediate players know the score and serve it by default because their in-game focus is high. If you’re trying to become an intermediate player, you’ve got to have the behaviors and habits of an intermediate player.  

Pickleball Drills for Advanced Players

Advanced Drills are designed for the 3.5-level player who has graduated from the Intermediate course. Or a player that has not completed an intermediate course but understands all rules and has a wider variety of stroke fundamentals and a fair amount of match play experience. This guide will look to fine-tune all stroke fundamentals, improve footwork and fitness, and introduce players to higher-level match-play strategies.   

Pickleball Practice

Triangle dinking drills

With this drill, you can do it so quickly and easily! Exercises like this can easily be incorporated into drill sessions or warm-ups before open play. This practice emphasizes straightaway dinks as well as moving your opponent around.

In this drill, we will hit three landing spots successively in a triangular pattern. There is no need for perfection. Using the surrounding area is fine. You want to avoid hitting the same spot twice. Immediately following a left-handed strike, the next dink should not be on that side.  

Dinking to the same spot repeatedly is one of the biggest mistakes I see from intermediate players. While I’m happy you’re over the net, there’s nothing you can do to fool your opponent by doing this, which is the whole point of the dink in the first place. 

Forehand and backhand can also be practiced with this drill. To hit your partner’s left or right, you’ll need to switch from your backhand or forehand because they are also shooting in a triangle. Making things fun and interesting by using different types of shots and simulations!

Skinny Pickleball

Playing “skinny pickleball” or “skinny singles” is a two-player game that only uses half the pickleball court. You can play on the same side (the right or left side of the court, using the center line as an out-of-bounds line). Or you can play on the diagonal. 

This type of game will help you hone in on certain shots from some regions of the court. Now that you know what drills to do and how to structure your workouts, it’s time to go out there and do them! You will notice a noticeable improvement in your skills.  

Best Pickleball Drills for One-Person

Many pickleball players would like to practice pickle ball drills but they can’t because of solo players. To improve their pickleball skills, they can practice some drills alone. The following exercises can be practiced without any other players.

Pickleball Drills for One Person

Mirror Practice

Most players know what an excellent ready position and good stroke production look like, but it often takes preparation that doesn’t match how you think you are. Facing a mirror and looking at yourself during essential components of the swing can be very beneficial. If I change something about a student’s mechanics, I like them to go home and practice in a mirror to ensure the change is effective. The use of a mirror can provide excellent visual feedback!

Ball Machines

In no time at all, pickleball machines would be available. As of now, two companies manufacture ball machines exclusively for Pickleball. The devices can be used on an open pickleball court if you can find one. The pickleball court in my backyard makes it very convenient for me to play. Adjustable in terms of speed, placement, and height, anyone can use these machines. It is even possible to purchase a device that oscillates. A ball machine can be used to practice every shot in Pickleball. Practicing singles with this method is particularly effective for players who want to improve their skills. You will find that this practice is most effective if the device is loaded with many balls, and you will also be able to speed things up if you use a ball picker-upper.

Best Pickleball Drills for Two People

Now that you have another pickleball drills for two, that’s wonderful! By using the following options, you can warm up and prepare to improve your game with a partner.

Diagonal kitchen volley, cross-court dinks:

Play is played diagonally across the kitchen (for those unfamiliar with the game, one player stands on the right-hand side of the court just behind the line about seven feet from the net (the kitchen line)). Now each of your stays generally where you are and play diagonally across from each other. Play both forehead and backhand. You will switch sides, so both will be on the left. You can get it over the net as many times as you like.

Pickleball Two Person

Straight across the net:

In a similar fashion as above, but across the net from each other. Make sure you stay within your position when you’re volleyball. Try to volley it back and forth as many times as possible without stopping.

Ground stroke to kitchen line:

One player stands back on the baseline and hits strong groundstrokes to the opposite player, standing at the kitchen line. Get as many done as you can, and then switch positions.

Bonus Drills for Pickleball Players

Sweet Spot

Hand-eye coordination is improved, and your paddle’s sweet spot is found through this drill. By holding your paddle parallel to the ground, drop the ball onto the top of the paddle. Keep hitting the ball gently into the air above you; don’t let it fall. The drill is a refined version of the solo game we all played as children. It’s called the “Sweet Spot” drill because you’ll notice that the ball feels and sounds the best in a particular place on your paddle, typically around the middle. If it moves toward the edges, it will feel off, sound funny, and not move as well. Try a few rounds of this to warm up before your next match!

How to Design an Excellent Drilling Session

It would help if you had a plan and purpose for a drilling session together. Why are you drilling? Are you getting ready for a tournament? Is there a specific part of your game that’s driving you crazy? Are you trying something new?

All these questions are good to ask, so you have a reason for doing it. The more sense you have for drilling pickleball, you will likely take it seriously.

If you plan to drill, make sure you find someone who will take it as seriously (or not so seriously) as you will. A person with similar goals to yours or an equivalent skill level would be ideal. We will have a smooth session if we do this.


Can you play pickle ball drills alone?

It is critical to keep in mind that you can improve your game without a court or practicing partner. Working your footwork, conditioning, and sense are the three things you can work on. You can practice Pickleball alone!

What is the most critical skill in Pickleball?

Dinking. Dinking is essential to any pickleball strategy. This move isn’t just an important part of your arsenal but should be your primary skill. Anyone that’s been to a pickleball training camp will tell you the same.

What are two essential tips for playing pickle ball drills?

Keeping your paddle near your chest will improve your reaction time. Keeping the ball in play will allow your opponent to make mistakes. Seventy-five percent of rallies are decided by unforced errors, most of which occur at the baseline. Return your baseline shots to the center line as often as you can.

What are the three key things you should focus on in Pickleball?

Drill, Practice, Play! Most people enjoy playing Pickleball. And I suspect the vast majority of pickle ball drills players only play. However, if you want to improve, you must spend time practicing and drilling. Taking time to practice and prepare is essential if you want to improve.


You can practice pickleball in many different ways with pickleball drills. These pickleball drills can benefit both beginners and advanced players. From common strategies like your hitting skill to creating muscle memory, exercises can refine your movement and allow you to master your game. They will quickly turn a frustrating match into one of skill and control.

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