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Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Volley Drills

Volley drills can be very similar to dink drills since the player positioning is the same. I will link to that post, Dinking Drills, rather than repeat the entire discussion here. Obviously, the shots should be kept in the air rather than letting them bounce.

The simplest volley drill for 2-4 players is to stand at the kitchen line and volley the ball back and forth. Each player should hit the ball to the other team such that the return volley can be made. The goal is to have a rally with a large number of continuous hits and not to hit winners.

The speed and target for volleys in drills is dependent on skill levels. For beginning players, the drill will include slow and high volleys hit mostly to the forehand side. But a player’s abilities must be tested to improve skills. There is no better time to do so than in drilling. Even beginning players should intersperse harder and backhand volleys into the drill regimen.

As players’ skills improve, the ball will be hit harder and toward the forehand, backhand, and directly at the body. Judge the difficulty of the drills by the length of the rallies. Longer rallies mean the difficulty level needs to rise. Shorter rallies mean that the difficulty should be reduced until that level is mastered.

When 4 players are drilling with 1 ball and hitting to both opponents, nearly all shots will be practiced without requiring a change in court position, though a court change with your partner ensures both backhand and forehand practice.  When only 2 players are drilling, they must practice the straight-ahead volley and the crosscourt volley in separate drills. 

Below are a couple of really short videos. The first video is from Pure Pickleball called Volley 1 on 1 Multiple Balls is only 5 seconds and shows a fun volley drill using 2 balls at once.

The second video is called Pickleball Volley Drill and shows a lower level player practicing his volleys. He has some skills but is not using the proper technique in most of the video. 

I included this video to show the value of an extra person to watch the drill to point out correct techniques. Practicing bad techniques is never a good idea. Read the post on The Basic Volley to see if you can figure the parts of his game that need to be improved.

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