Pickleball Drilling: Why Both Partners Are Important

Training session with Night Train Pickleball coach.

In a drilling session remember that both players are an important part of the drill including the “feeder”. If you will focus on hitting good feeds it will actually improve your game. I think this is one of the most underutilized parts of a drill session. There are many times I watch players who feed go through the motions and not put much effort into feeding the ball to the player going through some Pickleball drills. Here are a few things I think you would be missing out on if you don’t take advantage of feeding a good ball during a Pickleball drill.

Feeding the ball:

1. Teaches you shot control and pace
2. Teaches you shot placement
3. Teaches you how to attack off bounce
4. Teaches you to stay under control
5. Teaches you to hit same shots consistently

I will say that this is one of the fastest ways my personal Pickleball game grew because I had to learn to do this fast as I teach multiple lessons, clinics and HEAD Pickleball camps each week for the past four seasons and it has definitely impacted my personal game. When I run Pickleball clinics, camps, partner lessons or small group lessons I let the partner feed as much as I can and explain why this is so beneficial for the feeder just as much as it is for the player going through the Pickleball drill.

Here are two of my biggest personal goals as a feeder.

  1. I work on giving the player working on the skill the best feeds possible and as game-like as possible.
  2. I analyze each shot I hit and think to myself “In a game is this the shot I would hit in the game or can I hit a different or better shot?”

Each time I feed it gives me a goal and then while feeding it gives me a lot of touches while I practice.

Next time you are on the courts running through some Pickleball drills make sure you are working just as hard as a the feeder. Always look for opportunities to work on your game.

See you on the courts!

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