8 Best Pickleball Machine Drills For Solo Practice!

  • Date: January 24, 2023
  • Time to read: 4 min.

If you’re a pickleball enthusiast, then you know that the best way to get better at the game is to practice. But sometimes, it can be hard to find someone willing to play a game with you. That’s where pickleball machine drills come into play. By using a machine, you can control the speed and spin of the ball so that you can practice all kinds of shots and serves without needing an opponent. Let’s take a look at some of the best pickleball machine drills for improving your game:

1. Backhand Volley Drill

This drill is great for working on your backhand volleys, which are an essential part of any pickleball player’s arsenal. To do this drill, start by having the machine feed balls near either sideline on both sides of the court.

Then run up and hit backhand volleys with both your forehand and backhand until you reach about 10 in a row without missing one. Once you’ve achieved that goal, move back further from the net and keep practicing until you can hit 10 in a row from farther away as well.

2. Serve Drill

This drill will help improve both your serve accuracy and power by getting you used to hit serves exactly where you want them to go every time. Start by standing behind either baseline and having the machine set up near or inside the service box opposite from you (or wherever else you usually serve).

Then have it feed balls towards different areas within the service box—start with one area, then move onto another—and practice hitting serves into each spot until all 10 serves land in that area without fail. Once that’s done, move on to another area and repeat until you complete all four corners of the service box!

3. Soft Drop Shot Drill

Soft drop shots are an incredibly effective way to put pressure on your opponents because they require precision timing as well as control over spin and placement. This drill helps develop those skills by having the machine feed balls low over the net about 6–8 feet away from it (you don’t want them too close; otherwise, they won’t have enough time to drop before crossing over). Practice hitting soft drop shots into different spots around your opponent’s side while continuing to increase their difficulty level as needed (e.g., moving closer or farther away from the net). The goal is eventually to be able to hit five drop shots in a row without error!

4. Forehand Loop Drill

This drill is great for improving your forehand shots—particularly those that involve looping the ball back over the net. Start with the ball machine set at mid-court and set it to deliver balls right in front of you. Start with low-speed balls, and as you become more comfortable, increase the speed until you can handle a full-power shot.

Focus on keeping your body still during the stroke, and aim for accuracy rather than power.

5. Backhand Drop Drill

This drill will help sharpen up your backhand drop shots and make them more accurate. Set up the ball machine at mid-court again, but this time set it to deliver balls slightly toward your left side (if you’re right-handed). Aim for accuracy here as well—you don’t have to hit hard when doing drop shots. Keep an eye on where the ball is going after it hits the ground; if it’s too short or too long, adjust accordingly until you get it just right!

6. Volley Drill

Volley drills are great for improving coordination between hands and feet as well as developing hand-eye coordination. Set up two machines, one behind each baseline, both delivering low-speed balls into midcourt (and slightly overlapping). Focus on getting your feet in position quickly so that you can hit volleys accurately every time! As always, focus on accuracy rather than power—the goal is to place each volley exactly where you want it.

7. Smash Drill

This drill will help you improve your smash shots—those powerful, focused shots that can be the difference between winning and losing a point. Set up one machine at mid-court and have it deliver balls slightly above net height. Then practice smacking them into different areas of the court (e.g., corners, sides) with as much power as you can. Focus on keeping your body still during the stroke; this will help ensure accuracy and power with each shot! As always, aim for accuracy rather than pure power here as well.

8. Return of Serve Drill

This drill is all about improving your ability to return serves accurately and consistently. Set up two machines across from each other—one behind either baseline—and have them feed balls into the service box. Focus on getting your feet and racket in position quickly so that you can return each serves with accuracy and consistency. Again, aim for accuracy rather than power here, too; the goal is to place each return exactly where you want it!

Machine drills are an excellent way to practice and hone your pickleball skills without having to rely on another person or partner.


With these three simple drills, you’ll be able to easily improve your pickleball skills no matter what level of player you are! Whether it’s working on your serve accuracy or developing soft drop shots, these drills will help ensure that your next match goes off without a hitch! So grab yourself a pickleball machine today and start practicing! You’ll be glad that you did when it comes time for the competition!

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