Best Pickleball Drills to Level Up Your Game in 2024 – LandofPickleball

Do you need help to obtain the perfect pickleball drills for a quick game boost? Eventually, suitable drills can transform weak points into strengths rapidly. Perfect skills turbo-charge your Pickleball playing proficiency faster than regular practice.

Regarding this, we unveil top-notch drills for all situations. Whether solo practice at home or group sessions, we’ve got you covered. You must explore advanced options targeting specific game aspects. 

Remember, your drills shouldn’t be dull; you must ditch their dullness. Hence, let’s discover how to upgrade your fun level with a great blast in your play.

This comprehensive guide is packed with USAPA-proven pickleball drills that can make a substantial difference in your game. 

Why Drills are Important in Pickleball?

Just like any other sport, Pickleball requires consistent practice to master. Drills help you focus on specific game aspects— serving, volleying, or footwork. So you can improve in your targeted areas. Consistent drilling improves your skills and makes you more competitive with competitors.

Top Pickleball Drills for Beginners

These pickleball drills can enhance your skills, boost enjoyment, and elevate your pickleball expertise during matches and tournaments.

  • Mastering your Paddle Drills

In this initial solo warm-up, understanding your paddle’s dynamics is key. Many beginners overlook that distinct paddle areas offer varying power and control.

You may use your paddle and a pickleball to practice upward hits without letting the ball touch the ground. This exercise refines hand-eye coordination and showcases paddle-ball interaction. However, to observe different outcomes, you can experience hitting closer to the grip, along the sides, and dead center in the sweet spot.

However, while applying it, you observe how hitting the sweet spot yields a powerful and accurate vertical hit. As you move towards the sides, power and control decrease. This exercise hones sweet spot accuracy and fixes it in muscle memory.

  • Target Accuracy

Pickleball players can use a nearby wall (one that won’t be damaged) to create a 36-inch line representing the net’s height. Though you can mark the squares or use tape to fashion targets on the wall—tailor the size to your comfort.

You are proficient to step back a few feet and hit the ball into the square. Allow your ball to bounce once upon return before hitting. You aim for consecutive target hits. Experiment with different angles and distances for added challenge. Therefore, this versatile wall drill refines forehand shots and strengthens your fundamental skills.

  • Kitchen Dinking

Elevate your dinking with a partner on the court. Use a ball wall, bucket, or tools if you’re playing alone.

Here, both of you players stand opposite each other on the non-volley zone (NVZ) lines. Trade dinks to keep the ball within each other’s kitchen.

Your cross-court dinking enhances control, consistency, and mastering forehand and backhand dinks.

  • Volleys Mastery

You can position at the kitchen line, practice volleying back and forth, and focus on lift without ground contact.

  • Soft Catch, Soft Volley

It’s usually essential in Pickleball is the skill of ‘catching’ the ball with your paddle, deadening its impact. You’re capable of achieving a pop-up for partner return. Enhance ball feel and control.

  • Transition Zone Block

You can position one player midway between the baseline and the kitchen, opposite another at the kitchen. The transition player drives and the kitchen player blocks gently over the net for finesse practice.

  • Kitchen Singles

One player stands at baseline, the other at the opposite kitchen line. They drive and return the ball, prioritizing solid contact. It’s an appropriate way to refine sweet spot hits. Thus, you may consider alternating these roles for both players as well.

  • Counter Drive

While going for the similar Pickleball drills set. The difference is that the kitchen player volleys back with drive instead of blocking it. Simulates countering aggressive opponents. Remember, your well-timed drive for an appropriate return shot comes with a score point.

  • Speedy Exchange

Players from opposite baselines drive the ball, promoting agility, reaction time, and court movement.

  • Drop or Drive

You may choose whether you’re willing to drop or drive your shot. We’ve offered the choice of combined drop and drive practice. You need to understand the optimal usage of both. So, we recommend you to short ball invites drive, while long ball suggests drop for nuanced play.

  • Perfecting your Drop Shot

The baseline player hits a drop shot, and the kitchen player returns. Developing effective drop shots is more favorable for you.

Pickleball Drills for Kids

  • Balloon Rally: Use a balloon instead of a ball to learn the basics of volleying.
  • Bucket catch: To understand serve accuracy, try to serve the ball into a bucket.
  • Traffic cones: Use cones to outline your court areas where you aim to hit the ball.

Advanced Pickleball Drills

As your skills advance, pickleball drills become more technical and specialized. These advanced drills require the players’ high level of stamina and skill.

  • Advanced Pickleball Drills

As your skills advance, pickleball drills become more technical and specialized. These advanced drills require the players’ high level of stamina and skill.

  • Hit and Sprint

Let’s start your tournament from the baseline; Player 1 hits the ball down the sideline while Player 2 returns it to the opposite corner. Player 1 then sprints to hit down the sideline again. This drill enhances footwork and accurate drives.

  • Dink and Lob Mastery

Master offensive lobs with this drill. Place markers near the opponent’s baseline. The opponent stays at the kitchen line, dinking back and forth. After a drop dink, launch a lob to hit markers, practicing a strategic play.

  • Double trouble

Two players at the net volley against one player at the baseline.

  • Paddle control

You may dink the ball to your partner, who will try to catch it with their hand instead of their paddle.

  • Attack the middle

One player targets the middle of the court while the others try to defend it.

Types of Pickleball Drills

For diving into the specific drills, it’s essential to understand the types of pickleball drills available:

  • Solo drills: These are perfect if you don’t have a partner. Wall drills and serve practices are typical examples.
  • Partner Drills: As the name suggests, these drills are performed with a partner and usually involve repetitive volleying, dinking, and more.
  • Group drills: They involve more than two players and can be great for practicing team strategies.

Top 5 Solo Pickleball Drills

  • Wall Rally: Pickleball players may find a solid wall and hit the ball against it. You can initiate your match from slow steps, aiming for consistency rather than speed. This drill improves your reaction time and helps you understand the ball’s trajectory.
  • Serve Accuracy: Once you set up targets at different locations within the service court. Your goal is accomplished for serving your ball by hitting on these targets. It can improve your serve accuracy over time.
  • Shadow Drills: You are proficient in performing movements as if you’re in a real game. These movements can be running up to the non-volley line or side-stepping. This helps in improving your footwork.
  • Self-Dink Drill: Toss your ball a short distance in the air, let it bounce once, and then perform a dink shot. Hence, try to maintain control and make the ball bounce twice on your side before hitting it again.
  • Lateral Movement: Place cones at different distances and move laterally to touch them. This enhances your side-to-side mobility and agility.

Top-rated Pickleball Drills for Partners

Wisely stated that “Train together, gain together.” We fully concur. The upcoming drills are meant for pairs, ensuring mutual exercise benefits.

  • Cross-Court Dinking: Dink your ball back and forth with your partner from opposite corners of the court. This drill improves your soft game and court placement.
  • Rapid-Fire Volleys: You may consider this drill as the ‘Volley battle.’ Here, you stand about 6-10 feet apart and volley the ball back and forth as quickly as possible. This sharpens your reflexes and enhances hand-eye coordination.
  • 3rd Shot Drops: One partner hits groundstrokes while the other practices hitting third-shot drops. This drill improves your transition game.
  • Serve and Return: One partner serves while the other returns. They aim to place the serve and return into challenging spots for your partner.
  • Bert and Erne Shots: Mastering the ‘Bert’ and ‘Erne’ shots in pickleball requires extensive practice. The ‘Erne’ involves a player positioned beyond the court sidelines, near the net. This shot exploits a rule loophole, proving highly effective against opponents. An ‘Erne’ evolves into a ‘Bert’ with a key distinction: the ball is struck on your teammate’s side, not your own.
  • Skilled Scenarios: Play out specific game situations, like being down a point, and practice how you’d handle them. This prepares you for actual match conditions. 

Pickleball Machine Drills

Embracing AI’s rapid progress, maintaining a friendly rapport with machines is wise. What better than involving them in pickleball? These reliable companions offer tireless engagement, granting hours of valuable practice.

  • Dink into the Kitchen

You are able to configure the pickleball machine to deliver dinks near your non-volley zone line. Hone accuracy to consistently place the ball just beyond the net, perfecting shot weight.

  • Third Shot Drive

Similar to the third shot drop drill, here, the machine mimics a serve return. It enables you to perform forceful drives. Aim for low net clearance and refine the topspin technique.

Enjoyable Pickleball Drills

After suggesting some physically demanding drills, here are lighter options to offer you a breather.

  • Reflex Training

For pairs, engage in drinking exchanges until your partner is at ease. Then, surprise them with a forceful drive. Their challenge is to calmly return the shot without popping it high. This drill cultivates composure in competitive scenarios.

  • Catch and Return

Enhance paddle ball control, a crucial skill for pickleball success. Your partner sends shots with varied speed and spin, and you aim to ‘catch’ the ball with your paddle, minimizing bounce. Then, swiftly return the ball to your partner for reciprocal practice.


It’s a set of entire exercises that’s officially designed to improve the Pickleball playing rules. 

For a dominant presence in doubles play, focus on these top 3 pickleball skills.

  • Attack from the Non-Volley Zone Line
  • Dinking and Dink Volleys
  • Blocking & Resetting from NVZ line and Middle region of court

You must practice as much as you can at least thrice weekly for visible improvement.

Absolutely, yes, you should try a variety of drills. As much as your practice session is challenging and updated, you may perform in tournaments.

Final Verdict

Drills are the cornerstone of mastering pickleball. From solo to partner drills, these tried-and-true techniques will help elevate your game and keep you one step ahead of your competition. Now that you have this list of highly effective pickleball drills, all that’s left is for you to hit the court and start practicing.

Hence, you have acquired the information about numerous Pickleball drills that are essential to assist you towards your improved matches. Mastery as an all-around player is vital, ensuring you’re adept at crucial shots, well-prepared, and at ease.

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