Two-Person Pickleball Drills and the Most Important Practice Tip

The most important drilling tip we have: only practice 1-2 techniques in a single session. Plus: a couple two-person pickleball drills that work two players'...

Pickleball players who have clearly practiced their drills face off during a PPA Tour match.

Top five pickleball pro James Ignatowich here. I already explained how players looking to improve should drill more than they actually play games of pickleball. 

But how can you get the most out of your drilling sessions? By focusing on no more than 2 shots per practice session.

I’ve seen a lot of drilling at this point. I’ve also done a lot of drilling. Most players seem to go out there and drill to work on every shot for 10 minutes at a time.

I’m here to tell you that to make the most out of your pickleball practice sessions, focus intensely on one or two specific facets of the game for extended periods of time, instead of just dipping your toes into the water of each shot.

I’ve gotten more out of drilling sessions where I’ve spent a full hour focusing only on dinking, or a full hour dedicated solely to resets.

This level of commitment to a singular shot during a drilling session is where real improvement happens. This has been where true improvement happened for me when I was improving leaps and bounds as a 4.5, or now, where I’m just fine tuning my game and improving in smaller increments.

Related: Instantly Improve Your Pickleball Dink Technique with One Tip

Get out there for an hour and focus on no more than two parts of the game, whether that be dinks and 3rd shot drives, drops and serves, or whatever you feel the need to work on.

The 1-2 shots that you choose are not what matters here. What matters is that you keep it concise and focused.

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Two-Person Pickleball Drills to Try

The following pickleball drills are great to try with a partner because they work different aspects of the game for each person, allowing you to either dedicate a long session to either side or to switch it up halfway through.

Bad "Dink" & Speedup

With both players on the kitchen line, have one toss a ball that would be a high dink - toss it so that you're not training a high dink yourself! - and theother player speeds it up. 

This is great for one player to focus on speedups while the other practices counters. 

If you want to work a specific shot or spot over and over again, great, but don't get used to it on the defensive side!

Serve, Return, 3rd

Aside from the obvious benefits of repping these shots over and over, not enough players practice thirds from the distance of a return. Usually, it's someone hitting fourths from the kitchen.

The ball has lost more pace after covering a bigger distance, so the feeling of the shot is a little different. This is also a good opportunity to focus on early recognition for your third shot drop or drive decision.

For the Lone Player: A Pickleball Drill Machine That Works

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The ERNE is one of our favorite pickleball products for SO many reasons:

  • Lets you practice up to 25 different drill patterns - no partner needed
  • Starts and pauses drills with a remote
  • Powered by either its battery or AC power, ensuring hours of play time