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Monday, January 4, 2016

Overhead Drills with Lobs

Overhead drills work in conjunction with lob practice. An effective overhead drill requires a good lobber to feed the ball properly. But these drills benefit both players as one gets to practice overhead smashes while the other gets to practice a lob return off the overhead smash.

Drill 1 for 2 players – The lobbing feeder stands at the baseline and hits lobs to the overhead player across the net. The feeder tries to hit high lobs that land between the kitchen line and ¾ court. The other player tries to hit overhead shots back at the feeder so that the ball can be lobbed back. The overhead shot should not be hit at full power. The focus should be on form and control instead. Rotate the feeder and overhead roles often.

Drill 2 for 3 or more players – Two lobbing feeders hit lobs to a single player across the net as in Drill 1. The overhead player practices hitting shots to the center and both corners of the court. After 4 consecutive successful shots, the overhead player can try to win the rally with more emphasis on power and angles. Players rotate roles regularly, including rotating in from the sidelines.

Drill 3 for 4 players – Two teams set up on opposite sides of the net. One team lobs to the other team hitting overheads. The effort put forth by the teams is dependent on their skill levels. The objective is to have rallies of 5-6 shots per team for an effective practice, so the results should dictate whether overheads are hit for winners or lobs are hit high and deep. Establish some level of consistency before stepping up the intensity.

A short video from Pure Pickleball called Overhead Drill is below showing Drill 1 in action.

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