Don’t Do Pickleball Drills

dont do pickleball drills

Don’t do pickleball drills. What does that mean? Everywhere you look new pickleball video drills and instructions are coming up across the web and to your neighborhood. This is good that more are talking about drills because let’s face it, there is a big demand from pickleball players on how to get to the next level and better their skill set and game. Players across the world are hungry for resources, teachers, instruction and drills… I love that!  Means this sport keeps growing and passionate pickleball players are popping up everywhere.

Don’t do pickleball drills… alone. Yes, I know you need at least two people to drill but when you drill the best thing you can do is have another player, ideally a certified pickleball teaching professional, OBSERVE you in action to make sure you are DOING THE RIGHT THING. Drills are a repetition of practicing and perfecting the same shot – so when it’s game time this shot comes automatically. But if you drill incorrectly, then you are reinforcing the wrong technique – thus your time and effort was just wasted (although you did get exercise, so that is a plus).

So if and when you drill – don’t assume you are doing it right, have a certified pickleball teaching professional by your side and then work smart with your time on the court.

My personal experience on this… Whenever my dad (Bob Youngren) is in town and we are together for pickleball play or tournament, I ask him to watch me. Him observing my shots only really happens 2-3 times a year, but I will take what I can get. I was drilling on backhand dinks with Alex Hamner, and about 10 minutes into it I was feeling great, the dinks rallies lasted 50 – 60 shots.. Good right? Wrong. Dad says “you are reaching out to get the ball instead of letting the ball come to you” Oh, I am… I had no idea, I was focusing on my footwork and getting it over one more time and not also thinking of paddle placement and contact… So that is an example of why you want someone to observe when you are doing pickleball drills.  Be smart and don’t drill without eyes watching you.

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7 comments on “Don’t Do Pickleball Drills”

  1. I’d sign up for that clinic too (Lydia referred to). And your dad is great! I remember his humor and personality from so long ago.

  2. This is just a suggestion. I know is difficult to find an experienced player to help you to correct things. What I do in my case, I ask the person who teaches me to watch my friendly games sometimes for a full hour, instead of a regular class, and to make notes of what she considers should be corrected. With this information, I am able to plan my drills in a more effective way. I still get my lesson just with a different approach.

  3. Dear Jen,
    You are lucky to have a wonderful partner
    to practice with Alex Hamner. Your dad Bob Youngren
    gave me a free lesson at the Nationals V
    I played him first round in 70 + singles.
    His leg was hurting and had trouble running. Lesson was hit it to where there is a opening. Mistake I made I hit to him, he put it away. 2 games to 11 , in 10minutes and thirteen seconds. His coffee never got cold. Lesson someone hurt, let him run for the ball hit it where they ain’t . Good luck California Bill

  4. Hello Larry, I am a lucky girl! “Finding an expert with keen eyes” maybe a reach for most, yet the idea still stands true in the fact of having a “non expert” observe can confirm you are not: getting your feet set up; watching the ball hit the paddle; moving side to side; keeping your head down; hitting low to high… You get the idea.. Now watch out Larry, Bob may be coming to a city near you 🙂

  5. You’re extremely lucky to have Bob Youngren as your father. Can I sign up for that, too? Most of us mere mortals don’t have the luxury of having Bob watch us drill. Very few people have the insight your father has. I doubt there are very many people who would have made the same observation about your dinking position. While your point is well made, it’s hard to find an expert with the keen eye your father has that could watch us drill. For most of us, it’s hard enough to just drill and not play so hopefully, we’re not reinforcing bad habits when we drill. Having said that, please feel free to send Bob my way anytime.


    1. Larry, your point about how awesome Jen’s Dad is true and well said…but just think how awesome Jen is for sharing her tips for success and how lucky we are to be on this blog where she is willing to share…help others grow…I think she makes a great point i never thought about…find a good coach to watch…try not to drill bad habits…I am up for a bob, jen and alex clinic anytime…meantime will take her advice and get quality eyes and feedback whenever possible…thx jen!

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