I think most pickleball players will answer the question with a “No”. In my experience playing pickleball socially and competitively, I have seen that most players “play” more than they “practice”. Is it a pickleball thing? Maybe….. Probably…..
I come from a competitive tennis background and in tennis you practice much more than you play.
Can drilling help you become a better player and have more success at tournament play? Yes, yes, yes. Numbers don’t lie! If you hit 1,000 backhand dinks, your backhand dink will get better. In sports, I am a big proponent of “muscle memory”. Muscle memory refers to the ability to perform a skill without any conscious effort. If you are thinking about each shot, you will miss.
The week before and the week of a tournament I usually set aside time to practice. What do I practice….it depends! It could change from tournament to tournament. I like to practice shots that I feel I have been missing recently in games. If I have been struggling with third shot drops then I practice hitting drops until I can’t miss. I keep drilling until I have built the muscle memory, so I can hit a perfect third shot drop without even thinking.
Practice is a MUST if you want to get better. Drilling is a great way to practice good habits.
Ryan Trefry “Tref”