Pickleball Drilling

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Drilling can be fun

A critical part of progression in pickleball is drilling. For many of us, drilling isn't as fun as playing games. I get it. However, I've learned to enjoy drilling. I've found that drilling starts well before you get on the court. Here are a few things that have helped me get in to drilling and really enjoy it.

Pick a skill to focus on

You know your game well. You know which shots you don't like to hit and which ones are your weapons. Maybe you miss to many backhands, or your hand speed needs to be quicker. Find an area in your game that feels weak and pick that.

Watch the pros

Before running off to the court to drill, it's important to know what you should be doing to make your selected skill better. The Selkirk TV app is great for this step. They have many lessons and pro matches there. If there is a lesson about the skill you want to work on, watch that numerous times. Another thing I like to do is watch pro matches. When I see one of them hitting the shot I've chosen to focus on, I focus on that part of the match. I'll watch it over and over. Sometimes it's only a few seconds long. I take note of their footwook, stroke motion, and more. This helps me create a clear mental model of what I should be doing to improve my selected skill.

Court time

Now that you have a skill to work on and a clear mental model of what you need to do to improve that skill it's time to hit the court. It's time to get reps. The great part about drilling is you don't need to think about the score, who your partner is, or anything else. You should only be thinking about executing that skill you've studied. After you've hit a good amount of reps, it might be helpful to have someone video you hitting the shot. Once the drill session is over, go back to that pro level match you studied and compare how you looked. Take note of any adjustments needed, and then work on that next time.

Following this process has helped me learn to enjoy drilling more. I enjoy having a purpose in my drill sessions. I hope this helps.