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Best Pickleball Drill

Here is the Best Pickleball Drill you can do to improve your game and win more points. Yes, this drill is used by many professional pickleball players, gold medal champions, and I simply call it “Jennifer’s favorite drill.”

And you know what? It is the perfect drill for any age or skill level. All you need are two players of relatively equal skill level, half a pickleball court, and then game on!

In Southern California right now, most courts are closed, or if they are open you must play with a family member. No problem here, this Best Pickleball Drill is COVID Compliant! I recently did a quick video showing this very drill with my husband.

Check out this video, then below is the HOW TO

This drill has several variations and probably several different names, but this is my spin on it and what has worked for my success.

HOW TO:

  • Play to 11-points, win by two. You must keep score – you want that pressure!
  • The “server” starts at the kitchen line. The server calls the score; they call their score first, and then the opponents score.
  • The receiver is back on the baseline. The server serves the ball underhand deep to start the half-court rally. Rally begins.
  • If the server serves out, in the net, or in the NVZ, the point is awarded to the receiver. (Server must focus).
  • If the server wins the rally, they are not awarded a point but do move back to the baseline to receive. If the person who started on the baseline (the receiver) wins the rally, they win a point and stay at the baseline for the next rally.
  • So the goal is to continue to be the receiver (back on the baseline) which is the only place you can earn a point.

Want more of a challenge? Play a total of four games -two games straight ahead (play one on both the left and right side of the court) and then play diagonally (again, alternating sides). This will equally allow forehands and backhands for both players. GAME ON!

“Why is this drill so great, Jennifer?”

  1. It really makes you think … how can I get myself to the kitchen line? Or how can I keep my opponent back on the baseline? How can I use an angle?
  2. Have to get myself set up, in position to execute the shot.
  3. What shot do I need at this moment to … move forward, buy myself some time, set up the play, or win the point?
  4. Your reflexes will also get a workout.
  5. You will quickly recognize – or get hit – if/when you hit “attackable” balls to your opponent.
  6. No mentally checking out, because you need to focus on every shot, just like a real game.
  7. The pressure is on to focus and make each shot. Whatever it takes to win the point. Just like when you’re playing your gold medal match at the end of a long tournament day. The crowd is on the edge of their seat, witnessing your amazing, laser-focused play. You’ve felt this pressure before because you’ve done this drill a hundred times. You now know the shot to make. Enjoy the victory!
  8. Best of all, without a partner, you have to play every ball so it’s a wonderful workout!

You are a winner!

Please share with other players or your club to continue the improvement and success with your pickleball game.

New to pickleball or my blog? PLEASE SUBSCRIBE HERE to continue your learning and FUN!

This drill is a workout! If you want a good way to stay hydrated, energized, and cramp-free try Electrolyte Supreme™ – a powder to add to your water. Great flavor and there is no processed sugar in it. SAVE $10 by using my Jigsaw Health coupon code:  Lucore10   I am one of their brand ambassadors. jigsawhealth.com


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10 thoughts on “Best Pickleball Drill”

  1. Hi Jennifer,
    Thanks much for keeping the Blog going! We need the contact for fun and instruction. I have played Skinny Singles. This video was a nice twist on such. Any chance for you and Brandon to have a singles match for us to see? He seems to have good skills. Thanks.

    1. Jennifer Lucore

      Hey John, glad you are enjoying the drill. Brandon says that was enough that he had to go on camera with me for the drill, he prefers behind the scenes, ha ha!

  2. Great explanation! We play a variation of this called 7-11. Rally scoring. Server (at net) begins at net for entire game, while receiver starts at baseline for entire game, then they switch for the next game. The server has an advantage since they are starting at the net. The receiver is trying to work their way up. Due to the advantage, the server must earn 11 points to win the game, but the receiver only has to get 7 points to win. Of course it’s played on half the court, so it really helps with shot placement and of course drop shots or other strategies for approaching the net. Thanks for sharing your favorite drill, Jennifer!

    1. Jennifer Lucore

      Hey Anne, I love it! Great share and good to have different ways to practice and get your workout on the courts. Keep up the FUN!

  3. Jennifer, come visit us in The Villages! The courts are open for 12 players at a time and we are happy to be back! Always looking for a fun way to practice so thanks for the new drill!

    1. Jennifer Lucore

      Susan, you are welcome. YES, I love The Villages, so good to hear courts are opening up for your FUN!

  4. Jen,

    Great drill! I got to do this drill and it really helps the entire game and it’s a great workout. I would also say it’s a great way to warm up too.

  5. Very helpful since we’re only allowed to play singles (so far) here in Laguna Niguel, CA. and this forces each of us to play the net instead of just base lining the game.

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