5 Advanced Pickleball Drills for Offseason Practice

5 Advanced Pickleball Drills for Offseason Practice

If you are one of the few who do not have a clue on what pickleball is, then it will only be a matter of time
before you do. Currently experiencing rapid growth in the US, it was created in the 1960s and, contrary to
popular belief, has nothing to do with tossing around pickles. It is a hybrid of popular net sports like
badminton, tennis, and ping pong where players use paddles to hit a ball called a pickleball. And though the
game is played on a much smaller court, players need to train extensively and perform advanced pickleball
drills to stay pickleball ready.

How Important Are Pickleball Drills?

Just like any sport, practice is essential in going a long way since it is with this that you get to acquire new
skills and hone your old ones. It is a critical tool for pickleball players since it is through hours of
repetitively executing drills that you learn how to put those skills into efficient use.

Pickleball drills, no matter how easy or hard to complete, are meant to produce results that both novice and
advanced players would love to have on their arsenal. Various exercises may be inspired by popular racquet
sports since the core of the game focuses on the same goal and that is to confuse and tire out the opposing
player until they drop your hits.

Advanced Pickleball Drills

Developing different strokes and the ability to recognize when to perfectly utilize them is the most crucial
skill for pickleball players. Even though the similarities to other racquet sports are obvious, players should
foster skills that allow them to control the wiffle’s speed and placement, enabling them to overcome
opposing teams and players with ease.

Advanced pickleball drills may pose more challenges as they are designed for players who can move pretty
well on the court. Sadly, some of these drills may not suit players suffering from bad knees and other le
ailments as they may end up aggravating the injury.

Ideal for players looking to improve their singles game, here are a few pickleball drills that are bound to turn
beginners into experts:

1. The Side Burns

This drill allows one player to practice hitting the ball on the move and at the same time letting the other
player practice his ball direction-changing skills while standing still. Bear in mind that returning the ball
from a stationary position is harder than it may seem and it requires extremely strong shoulders and an
exceptional swing.

How To Do:

  • A trainer stands on one side of the court and alternately serves the ball down the line, cross-court, and in
    various directions as another player, using only his lateral movements, tries to hit every ball back.
  • After a given period, the trainer transfers to the court’s opposite side and does the drill all over again,
    familiarizing his trainee with the side length of the pickleball court.

2. The Hit And Run

Two greatly mobile and fit players are required for this quick-paced exercise as they will be constantly
running while changing the ball’s direction in every hit. Athletes that feel signs of a bad knee or any leg
injury are advised to sit this drill out since it may cause the damage to become worse.

How To Do:

  • While running at moderate speed, one player hits every ball down the line as his counterpart brings them
  • Players switch between strokes after each set, ensuring that both players get properly worked out.
  • Participants must be constantly on the move as fast as they possibly can for optimum results.

3. The Vicious Hooks

  • Unlike the first two exercises, this drill does not involve much movement from the players but would require
    a heavily-fortified arm and a wicked swing. It works best when performed by a crew of 3 to 4 players of any
    skill level.

How To Do:

  • Players volley back and forth at a pace where they can keep a long rally going.
  • The trick is to return the ball in a direction different from the way that it was sent, in such a manner that if a
    player was given a down the line hit, he should return with a cross-court or any other stroke other than a
    down the line.
  • Participants have to stay on their spots, moving only their legs for balance and hit accuracy.

4. The Flip Side

  • Three players of any skill level are needed for this fun drill which does not call for a lot of movements,
    making it an ideal set for players with knee and leg issues. This exercise will surely boost any player’s arm
    muscle for exceedingly remarkable swings.

How To Do:

  • With two players stationed on one side of the court, they both try to enhance the third player’s forehand by
    sending balls to his direction quickly and repeatedly.
  • The third player fights back with the use of only his forehand strokes, alternates cross-court swings and
    down the line hits towards his peers.
  • After everyone has taken a turn, the players flip into hitting cross-court and down the line backhands until
    everyone gets to try being on the wrong side of a double team.

5. The Side Swipe

  • Probably the exercise that would work you out the most, this drill requires quick sideways movements that
    will no doubt improve your game, particularly in defense. It will improve a player’s capability to cover the
    side length of the court, making it extremely difficult to drop a ball on them.

How To Do:

  • Since this is only practice, balls should be hit at a moderate speed to give the running player enough time to
    get to the ball, otherwise, the drill will be such a bore. Moving side to side is a wee bit slower compared to
    when you run forward, so players are asked to show some kindness.
  • The player on the move should hit the ball down the line, while the other two go cross-court every time.
  • Another variation of this drill is for the stationary players to send the ball down the line as the player on the
    move returns with cross courts.
  • The drill continues until every player gets a turn.

These advanced pickleball drills promise amazing results as they focus on additional skills such as speed,
placement accuracy, and court awareness. Not only that, it also burns tons of calories that whips you and
your game in shape.


No question, having a firm grasp of the basic strokes is important, but having the capacity to sustain long
rallies is necessary to achieve pickleball success. Moving around the court for an extended period while
sending accurate and powerful hits will earn you the recognition as the jar’s sweetest pickle.

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