When I first met Jordan, I hadn’t played much pickleball. I had played maybe a handful of times.
And, like everyone that’s just getting started, I played like a banger. And, I could bang with the best of them PLUS… it was fun.
As soon I started playing with Jordan and his group which consisted of only 4.5 and above players, it quickly became clear that banging was not going to work anymore.
Jordan quickly pointed out all the skills I would need to master in order to become a top player and of course the main two were dinking and 3rd shots.
So, we went to work with dink and 3rd shot drills.
Nothing fancy, we basically just rotated between straight ahead and cross court dink drills and the simplest of 3rd shot drills…one player on the baseline dropping it in the kitchen and one at the net sending it back deep.
Oh! I almost forgot, we also did the “No Man’s Land” drill which is almost the same as the simple 3rd shot drill except the baseline player will move up a bit and stand about half way between the baseline and the NVZ line.
Like I said…
We went at this for about 1.5 – 2 hours before playing full games with others each time I came to the courts and sometimes we did it after also.
I usually drilled with Jordan or his Dad, Batong. We often did these drills and made games to 5 points out of them.
For months, they would out dink me or out drop me. Practically ALWAYS!
Of course, it’s frustrating to be on the losing end almost all of the time.
Jordan in particular is tough, you can’t lose focus for a single moment because if you make even the smallest of mistakes, he will eat you alive.
It can be hard and frustrating but it is by far the best and fastest way to get really good at a skill.
You just have to keep going and on some level, embrace how much you suck at it and just drill right on through that because you WILL come out on the other end as a far superior player.
Eventually, after a few months of this, my dinks and drops got SOLID and I was going toe to toe with them.
That’s when things start to get really fun but you have to bite the bullet and drill through the suckiness first.
That’s just how it works.
So get to drilling that shot that you KNOW needs it.
With that in mind…
When you get up to the net in pickleball, which is where you want to be, it becomes a test of patience with the dinking game but if both teams have roughly the same dink capabilities then it will come down to who has the fastest hands.
More and more, pickleball is becoming a game of speed.
Can you successfully speed it up and out gun your opponents with control at high rates of speed?
If you want to get better with speed at the net then the drill video at the top of this post is for you. Check it out!
Here’s a summary of what you can find Jordan coaching on in the video…
In today’s video we’re going to cover how to develop quick hands for net domination.
I’m going to show you a good exercise that you can do with your partner so that you can develop very quick hands at the net.
Sometimes when you’re playing a game you might run into opponents that have quicker hands than you.
In order to keep up you’ll have to work on and develop your hand-eye coordination and your volley control at the net.
I have my friend Danny here. We’re going to do a volley drill that requires having quick hands and good hand-eye coordination.
A lot of times you’ll be in a match and you run into those players that like to speed up the ball very quickly and sometimes those players could be hard to play against.
This is a good drill that can prepare you for that kind of play.
We’re going to alternate feeding the ball.
My first feed has to be directly at Danny’s body and then his first volley has to be directly to my body.
After that we’re just playing on this one side of the court, half the court.
After those two first balls we could either reset the ball and hit it low into the kitchen or we can volley the ball off to the side in the kitchen to make them reach (either to the forehand or backhand).
One quick tip – When you run into a player that’s really good with their hands you don’t want to keep hitting right at their body or their chest because their paddle is always ready right in front of them and that ball is just going to come back at you faster and faster and faster and you’re going to be on the defense the whole time.
A way to neutralize that is to not volley at their body which is their strike zone.
Either volley towards their backhand or their forehand.
Okay so we’re going to do this drill… I’m going to feed the ball first.
Remember the first feed is right to his body and the second ball which Danny is going to volley is right to my body.
After that we’re going to just play a live point.
Make sure to alternate.
Get out there with a partner!
It will really train your eyes to watch the ball and to keep your paddle up.
No matter what situation you’re in you still have a chance. Don’t give up on a ball, even if it’s a high ball.
Get your paddle out of front and you’ll get a lot more balls back.
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