These games/drills were used at the 2021 Pickle Jam. Download the info as a pdf.
When sharing these with others, we’d appreciate a shout out telling others about Pickle Jam!
Use a purchased target that attaches to the net. Hula hoops would work great, too.
Dink shots from the kitchen line.
Drops from mid-court.
Drops from the baseline.
Dink five shots consecutively for two players on opposing kitchen lines.
One player moves to mid court to practice five drop shots through the target. Then that player moves to the baseline to practice five drop shots through the target. Player not doing drop shots will stand at the kitchen line on the opposite side of the court.
Change places and repeat the drill so other player gets his/her turn.
BENEFITS: You will develop more touch to your shots as you focus on placement over power.
Play a Dinking Game with Non-dominant Hand
This is mainly just for fun, and it’s a great ice breaker competition.
Play a dinking game to five points where ALL shots must land in the kitchen.
BENEFITS: You will train yourself to watch the ball, and you will also train yourself to watch your paddle hit the ball.
Use a small foam golf ball to play a dinking game to 5.
Then play a full court game to 5.
You can also use these balls for wall drills in your home.
Small foam golf balls are available at many retailers.
BENEFITS: You will train yourself to watch the ball more and you will also train yourself to watch your paddle hit the ball more.
Double Touch Dink
Bounce up the ball once to yourself. Then dink across the court to other player.
Other player bounces the ball once to self. Then dink across the court. Ball bounces twice on each side.
BENEFITS: Improves your control of and touch on the ball while training yourself to watch the ball more.
Stand at the kitchen. Gently volley across the net cooperatively.
Count volleys and keep trying to beat your best number.
As you both gain control, work on making your volleys faster and with less arc.
BENEFITS: Gain more hand eye coordination. Helps you maintain your READY position. Improve the touch and feel on your shots.
Dink to a Target
Tape off three 3’ boxes spaced equally apart in the kitchen.
Three players stand on one side of the court – one player behind each box. One dinker stands on opposite side of court. Dinker dinks once to each box from the even side of the court and then from the odd side of the court.
All players then rotate enabling all players to dink to the targets.
BENEFITS: Gain control of your dinks as you aim for the target. Improve the touch and feel on your shots.
Tape width of court on both sides about 3 feet from baseline.
One player stands without a paddle at kitchen and tosses a ball to player across the net and then raises arms high. Player with paddle attempts to lob the ball over the arms of the other player and land the ball deep in the court.
BENEFITS: Improve your lobs while working to go deep with them.
Tape width of court on both sides about 3 feet from baseline. Players will take turns attempting to serve deep cross court. Do not return the serve. Catch the ball and return the serve attempting to serve deep. Rotate so you will practice serves from both sides of the court.
As you gain control, add return of serves and work on making them deep as well.
BENEFITS: Serving deep helps you keep your opponents back which gives you an advantage at the beginning of points.
Play with 3 players on each side. “Mortimer” stands in back and cannot return a serve. Mortimer can return and play any ball except a serve. Whoever makes an error or is unable to return a shot to them now becomes Mortimer on that side.
BENEFITS: A fun way to play with six people. Also helps players see which balls are deep and require a different strategy.
Dilly Dally Game
Start with all four players at the kitchen. The two players on one side of the court dink serve crosscourt into the other kitchen simultaneously.
After the serve, both players dink cooperatively and balls must be dinks landing inside the kitchen and played crosscourt.
After one side makes an error (deep, out, into the net), the person making the error yells “Dilly Dally!” The game continues with all players where and the ball can be played anywhere on the court.
BENEFITS: Very fast and active game that forces you to focus on your ball and then transition to all court play.