Pickleball drills help you improve your game. In this post, you will learn about the drills called Fireball, Terminator, Survivor, and Mid-court Crisis to help you master 4.0+ skills.
One player starts on the even side at the baseline and the other player will start at the non-volley zone on their even side of the court. The goal of this drill is for the player at the baseline to work on hitting very aggressive serves. The net player will make sure that he/she is ready at the net.
After each point ends, the server should start on the other side of the court and his/her partner should also switch sides. Hit lots of toss spin trying to put as much pace on the ball as you can to force an error from your drilling partner. The goal of the net player is to try to hit a nice solid volley at the net trying to keep the ball deep.
Fireball promotes and rewards very aggressive serves as strong serves will put more pressure on your opponent.
After the serve is struck, it’s a live ball and you will play the remainder of the point out across court. Remember that both drilling partners should be trying to win the point. As for scoring, you can use rally scoring to 11 points, with the same person serving during the whole drill. After someone gets to 11, switch roles — the other player serves and the other starts up at the net.
One player will start at the non-volley zone and the other will start around the baseline. The net player will feed a high attackable ball to simulate a weak return. The player at the baseline will step in and drive the ball as he would as if he were hitting an offensive third shot drive. He/she should do his/her best to keep his/her ball low to the net and try to stay aggressive to win the point. The player at the net should do his/her best to neutralize the initial attack and try to volley the ball down towards the feet of the opponent.
After the feed from the net player, it is a live ball and the point will be continued to be played out on one half of the court. You can do this drill straight on using half the court or cross-court from even side to even side or from odd side to odd side.
Terminator is a great pickleball drill that can work on your attacking skills and being a more offensive player on the court. As for the net player, remember that you are purposely setting up a weak attackable ball for your opponent. There will be many times in pickleball when you or your partner will hit a weak or short return and this is just a great drill to practice neutralizing your opponent’s attacks with your volleys.
Just like Fireball, you can play Terminator to 11 points using rally scoring. After each game to 11, switch roles so that the other player has a chance to work on their offensive drives as well.
One player will start at the baseline and the other at the non-volley zone. The player at the baseline will feed a shallow lob right to the player at the non-volley zone. As the other player receive the lob, he/she will do his/her best to try and put the ball away with an overhead smash. The goal of the player at the baseline is to try to survive and stay at the point. Whether the player hit a drop, drive, lob, or just blocks the ball back, he/she should do whatever can be done to play good defense and stay on the point.
After the feed, it is a live ball and both players will play the remainder of the point using only one half of the court. You can play this game straight on or cross-court from even side to even side or odd side to odd side.
The survivor drill really works on taking advantage of a weak lob and hitting strong overheads and it also tremendously works on the defense of the player at the baseline. You can play this drill to 11 points using rally scoring then switch roles so the other player has a chance to work on overhead smashes or defense as well.
4. Mid-court Crisis
One player will start at the non-volley zone and the other will start somewhere in the transition zone. The player in the transition zone will feed an attackable ball that lands and bounces high in the non-volley zone. This simulates a high third-shot drop which should be attacked by the player at the non-volley zone. The player should hit the ball with topspin and pace, rolling it down towards the feet of the player in the transition zone. This puts the player in the transition zone at a major disadvantage which is great as it will work on their defense and also neutralize the attack from the net player. The player should try to hit a reset shot and neutralize the point to have the best chance to win. After the initial feed from the player in the transition zone, it is a live ball and both players will play the remainder of the point using only one-half of the court.
You can play this game straight on or cross-court from even side to even side or odd side to odd side. You can play this drill to 11 points using rally scoring then switch roles so the other player has a chance to work on attacking high balls at the non-volley zone.