Essential Two-Person Pickleball Drills for Skill Enhancement

Partner drills in pickleball are an excellent way to sharpen your skills and enhance your gameplay. Working with a partner allows you to focus on specific aspects of the game, from volleying and dinking to serving and court movement. These drills are designed to simulate real game scenarios, providing both players with valuable practice in a controlled environment. Here are some effective two-person drills to include in your practice sessions:

1. Dinking Drill:

  • Stand at the non-volley line (kitchen line) facing each other.
  • Take turns hitting soft dinks over the net.
  • Aim to keep the ball in the kitchen and try to maintain a rally.
  • Focus on control and placement rather than power.

2. Volley-to-Volley Drill:

  • Both players stand at their respective non-volley lines.
  • Start a volley exchange, trying to keep the ball going back and forth as long as possible.
  • This drill improves reaction time and volley control.

3. Third Shot Drop Practice:

  • One player starts at the baseline, the other at the non-volley line.
  • The baseline player serves or tosses the ball and then attempts a third shot drop into the kitchen.
  • The player at the net tries to return it gently, simulating a game situation. 

4. Baseline Rally Drill:

  • Both players start at their respective baselines.
  • Hit forehand or backhand shots to each other, focusing on consistency and depth.
  • Allow the ball to bounce on the court before returning and try to keep the rally going for as long as possible.

5. Serve and Return Drill:

  • Practice serving and returning serves.
  • One player serves from different positions, trying to place the ball in various areas of the service box.
  • The other player focuses on returning the serve effectively.

6. Crosscourt Dinking Drill:

  • Both players stand diagonally across from each other at the non-volley lines.
  • Engage in a crosscourt dink rally, trying to keep the ball in play and target the opponent's weak spots.

7. Speed-Up Drill:

  • Start with a slow-paced dinking rally.
  • Randomly, one player speeds up the pace with a harder shot.
  • This drill helps in transitioning from a soft game to a hard game, which is a common scenario in matches.

Incorporating these drills into your practice routine will not only improve your technical skills but also enhance your strategic understanding of the game. By practicing regularly with a partner, you can develop a well-rounded pickleball skill set.

For more information, strategies and tips on pickleball be sure to check out USA PickleballThe International Pickleball Federation, and the Pro Pickleball Registry!

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