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Pickleball New Years Resolutions – Drop Shot Skills

pickleball drillIt’s almost 2015 – have you made all your Pickleball new year’s resolutions yet? Well, I for one have – It’s called practicing more! But what if, like me, you simply don’t have the time or patience level most players think is required for practice drills?

Maybe you just want to play pickleball!

The following article contains a great practice drill for pickleball drop shot skills by my good friend and fellow player Jim Ross. The drill is a lot of fun, requires only 2 people and can be accomplished in as little as 5 minutes or less.

Pickleball Practice Made Easy

12/18/2014

Pretty much every article or video about improving your pickleball game preaches the importance of practice.  Lots of it.  And not just playing games, but drills.  But when we hit the courts, what do we all almost always do?  Hit a few warm-up shots, maybe some dinking with everyone up at the no-volley line, maybe a few volleys or baseline ground strokes, and then we’re quickly on to the games.

It’s understandable, especially at this time of the year when court time is limited and we all want to get to the fun part.  But if you could improve your ability to hit what is arguably the most important shot in pickleball with a drill that takes only a few minutes, wouldn’t you want to?  Of course you would!

So with no further ado, here’s a drill taught by Coach Mo when he was in Maine this Summer.  It’s for two players, one on each side of the net.

The Moving Drop Shot Drill

Start with both players at the no-volley line, and begin dinking the ball back and forth over the net. Then, with one player staying at the no-volley-line, the other player slowly moves back toward the baseline after each shot.  They hit a shot, then take a step back.  Hit another shot, take another step back.  With each shot they practice dropping the ball over the net into the kitchen from progressively further away, trying to have it drop close enough to the net so that the opposing player wouldn’t have a chance to smash it were this a real game.

When they get to the baseline, they start moving forward with each shot, continuing to practice their drop shot into the kitchen. Once they work their way back to the no-volley-line, the players switch roles and the other player starts backing up after each shot.

During this drill the role of the player at the net is just to hit the ball to their drill partner, varying the depth of their shots so that their partner can practice their drop shots from different spots on the court.  

If anyone wants an in-person demonstration of this drill, I’d be happy to show you next time you see me on the courts!

Replace part of your usual pre-game warm-up with this drill and you should see improvement in your ability to hit an effective drop shot – which in turn gets you where you want to be – which is up at the no-volley line.

Jim Ross

 

Great drill Jim! Thanks so much for sharing this.

If your goal is to be able to play pickleball at a true 4.5 or 5.0 level, being able to consistently make accurate drop shots from any place on the court is absolutely crucial! The resulting patience and confidence this critical skill affords you can make all the difference in the world.

In my opinion the moving drop shot drill is one of the best tools you can utilize to accomplish these goals.

You can also add variations to this drill by using your backhand, by having your drill partner hit the ball at you harder, by starting at the baseline instead of the no-volley line or even by standing cross court to one another as you go through the routine.

 

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5 Comments

  • Ed Gervais says:

    Thanks Jim. Coach MO makes it look so easy. This is a most effective drill but, at least here in the Mid-Coast, court space is limited and as you say, everyone wants to get to the fun part and play games.

  • Linda Scott says:

    Coach Mo is a fine teacher and his instructional video is a steal at $20.00 (PickleballCoach.com) As you say, it’s YOUR practice that gets you to where you want to be. We appreciate your sharing of this drill in easy to understand and visualize language. Sometimes it’s difficult to explain to players trying it for the first time. Thanks, Jim, for the Christmas/New Years present.

  • Walt Allan says:

    Dyn-o-mite. Just what the doctor ordered for all of us hate-to-practice types.

  • Jerry Santoro says:

    Love to practice and this is a great drill. Thanks.

  • Derek says:

    Hi I’ve enjoyed your article, having rasied six children through the school system I can appreciate the need for progressive training, otherwise the boredom creeps in easily.
    D

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