Drilling is the lost art of pickleball. Everyone wants to just hit the courts and play. We don't blame you. But if you want to improve a skill, drilling is the fastest way to get better.
Take your training to the next level by adding a couple of tools to the drilling toolbag.
Stock up. Drilling is all about repetition. Make your life easier by hitting the court with a full supply of pickleballs.
It's going to be tough to find a rhythm if 90% of your drill time is spent shagging one or two balls. The main benefit of drilling is hitting the same shot over and over. The more balls in your hopper, the more reps you can fit in an hour.
Just make sure you get the right ball. Different pickleballs are used for outdoor and indoor courts. More specifically, different balls are used for a tennis court surface and a gym floor surface.
When playing on a tennis court surface, use a designated outdoor ball. An outdoor ball will have 40 holes and will be slightly heavier than an indoor ball.
An indoor ball is used when playing on a gym floor. They have 26 holes that are larger in diameter than the outdoor balls. These balls will also be lighter than outdoor balls because they don't have to compete with the wind.
2. A Portable Court
For a lot of people, court time comes at a premium. They have to wait in line to get on a court to play and most have no place to run drills. Luckily, a temporary court can be set up in less than 5 minutes.
A portable net and court markers can be set up in a driveway, parking lot or tennis court in almost no time. Again, it's all about the reps. Now, there is no more waiting for courts. Your commute time is possibly cut to nada. This means even more reps in less time.
You make your own schedule when using the portable setup. If you only have room for an abbreviated court, then just use the markers to set up the non-volley zone and you're on your way.
A full-size pickleball court can be made from about 4 parking spots in a parking lot. Depending on where you live, it shouldn't be too difficult to find a parking lot that can be used. A local community center, park or school might do the trick.
Put your control to the test. You might think you're able to hit any spot on the court, but now it's time to prove it. Pick the spot you're aiming for, put a cone there and see how many times you can hit that cone.
There is a difference between landing a serve in the back third of a court and consistently landing it one foot from the baseline. "Aim small, miss small" aiming for a small cone out on the court requires more focus and more control.
It is this type of meticulous practice with objective feedback that you miss out on while playing matches all day long.
4. Agility Ladder
Good footwork is an extremely undervalued part of the game. The only way to be consistent is to hit the same type of shots again and again. This means getting into the right position for each shot.
Because the court is small and the game is so fast, the footwork has to happen quickly. Training with an agility ladder is an easy way to improve your footwork. There are a ton of different drills that can be done with a simple ladder.
One pro with some of the best footwork in pickleball is Tyler Loong. Check out his ladder training routine in the video below.
Get what you need for all these drills from Rhino Pickleball. They have a full array of pickleball paddles, balls and accessories to improve your game. They also carry training aids to improve your fitness on the court.