Have you ever been in a tournament situation when your match was called leaving you only a few minutes to warm up?
Well this blog is for you.
Today we’re going to go over a series of drills that we like to do that cover almost all the shots you’re going to need in a real game situation and you can get it done in 3-5 minutes.
You can use this in a situation where you’re tight on time or if you simply want to get warmed up quickly so you can start playing.
If you’ve ever played a tournament you know a lot of times your match gets called and the referees are waiting and the other players you’re playing are waiting as well.
Sometimes you only have a few minutes to warm up so we call this the five-minute warm-up. We’re going to go over all the shots that you’re going to need in a real game situation.
As you know, in the game of pickleball, dinks are the majority of the shots. At least 80% or more. So, we like to start up at the non-volley zone with a partner and practice our dinks.
We’re going to take some dinks and play out a few rally point (approximately 3-5 points). We won’t be hitting anything hard such as drives or lobs. This is simply all dinking.
We’re going to be moving our opponent around and we’re going to simulate a real game situation.
In the video linked above you will see an example of Jordan practicing this warm up. He’s making sure he’s warming up his feet as well as keeping his eye on the ball.
Jordan is staying up at the non-volley zone line trying to be very consistent with his stroke.
After you play out a few dinking rally points, one person is going to stay up at the non-volley zone line and the other is going to start working their way back.
In the above video you will see that Jordan is going to hit a dink shot and then he’s going to take a step back. He continues to make his way back until he’s all the way at the baseline.
This is going to develop your feel and your touch for the ball for the upcoming match.
You’ll start at the kitchen line with a dink a ball, take a step back and split step.
Try finding your range while doing this. If you can, try to drop every ball into the kitchen.
You’ll continue developing your feet movement and your touch for the ball.
As you work your way back to the baseline from the non-volley zone, you’re going to hit a series of third shot drops and then continue practicing the shot repetitively from the baseline until you get into a good rhythm. We recommend about five to ten repetitions.
This is really important because it is a much-needed shot for you and your partner in order to advance to the non-volley zone in a game situation.
You want to make sure you’re really clearing the net while hitting these shots.
During this time your partner is working on keeping the ball deep and with pace which means you are both practicing something.
Ensure to practice both your forehand and your backhand so that you are ready for any kind of shot that comes your way.
After taking a series of thirds where you feel comfortable and where you have a good rhythm, you should then take some drives so that your partner could get their hands warmed up at the net.
In the video, you’ll see Jordan taking some drives and his partner is going to keep them deep. Jordan is going to try to clear the net every time.
After Jordan takes few drives and his partner feels comfortable with the fastball at the net then Jordan is going to work his way back up to the non-volley zone from the baseline.
He is working his way through no-man’s land and getting his touch and feel warmed up.
Once Jordan has worked his way in, him and his partner are going to play out the point. Everything goes.
Jordan is making sure he is contacting the ball out in front and also making sure that he’s moving his opponent around so that they don’t know where he’s hitting the ball.
To summarize what the warm up has looked like up until this point – You would have started from the non-volley zone and moved your way back gradually to the baseline. You would have hit some third shots and drives from the baseline. Then, you would have worked your way back up so your partner could go ahead and practice the same thing.
Once your partner has finished with the same practice drill on their side then you can both move in to some fast volleys at the non-volley zone line so that you can get your hands warmed up.
Next, it would be a good idea to play some skinny singles.
Up until this point you haven’t really practiced any serving and returning so now you’re going to put everything together.
You and your partner will each be standing on your half of the court and you’re both going to move back to the baseline.
You’ll serve, your partner will return, and then you will play out the point like you would in a match. Remember you are only playing on half the court.
In the video you will see that Jordan serves, his partner hits the return, Jordan then hits his third and moves up and then then they play out the point. Next, Jordan’s partner will serve and they will play out a point again.
These drills incorporate all the shots that you’re going to need in a real match situation. We hope you guys liked this video. We hope it was very helpful and useful to you when you only have a short amount of time to warm up.