Land of the Sky Tournament information can be found by clicking on the button above.

Newcomers to the site should note the pickleball book "chapters" in the left column and the repository of expert articles and videos in the right column.

Friday, December 11, 2015

Ground Stroke Drills

Drills are most effective when players learn to control their shots sufficiently well to sustain long rallies with their drill partners. That is especially true for these groundstroke drills. Players should try to hit a target area near the back corner of your partner’s court with firm strokes but not so hard that they are outright winners. The objective is to develop a feel for the shot and the muscle memory to execute it under pressure. That requires repetitive hitting of the same shot.

Basic Groundstroke Drills

These drills practice the most basic of groundstrokes – returning in the same direction from its origination. Completing all 4 drills means you will have practiced forehands and backhands both cross court and down the line from both sides of the court. These drills can be done with either 2 or 4 players.

Players practice hitting cross court balls to each other as illustrated below. Players 1 and 4 hit to each other and Players 2 and 3 hit to each other. Each pair uses a separate ball. Then the players switch to hit from the other court. If players want to keep the same partners, Players 1 and 2 switch positions and Players 3 and 4 switch positions. If players want to switch partners, rotate around the court in a clockwise pattern, i.e., Player replaces Player 3 who replaces Player 4 who replaces Player 1. 

Players practice hitting down the line. Players start in the same position as above. Players 1 and 3 hit to each other and Player 2 and 4 hit to each other. Then, players switch to hit from the other sideline using the same switching pattern as the cross court drill. 

Drills on Changing Direction of the Ball

These drills practice more difficult groundstrokes – hitting a spot in a different part of the court from where the shot originated. These drills can be done with either 3 or 4 players.

In the 4-player drill, players are positioned in each corner as above. Each player should return the ball back to the player on the other team who did NOT hit the ball to him. In other words, if you receive the ball down the line, then hit it back cross court. If you received the ball cross court, then hit it back down the line. This is illustrated below. 
The same shot pattern repeats cycle after cycle. In order to practice all possible shots, the players should rotate clockwise to each of the other court positions.

In the 3-player drill, 2 players on one side of the court both hit to the single player's forehand side while that player alternately hits cross court and then down the line. After everyone has taken a turn by themselves, repeat the cycle with the single player hitting backhands cross court and down the line while the other players both hit to his backhand. This pattern is illustrated below. 
A short Norm Davis video called Pickleball Backhand-Forehand is below to remind you of the forehand and backhand stroke techniques.

No comments:

Post a Comment