Ways to Use Pickleball Machine- Let’s Find Out!

Need help practicing your pickleball skills without a partner? Or maybe you’re struggling to find someone at the same level as you to play with? Look no further than the pickleball machine!

ways to use pickleball machine
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This post will explore creative ways to use a pickleball machine and take your game to the next level. Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced player, there’s something for everyone. So let’s dive in and discover some ways to up our game!

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14 Creative Drills to Use a Pickleball Machine

Creative drills are an essential part of pickleball training. Using a pickleball machine can help you smoothen your skills and stay sharp all year round. Here are some creative drills you can use with a pickleball machine:

Shot Specificity

Pickleball machines are a great way to practice shot specificity and hone your skills. Creative drills can help you improve your technique, accuracy, and consistency. For example, using a pickleball machine, you can practice forehand shots using different angles and distances from the net.

shot specificity
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Using the machine, you can also work on volleys by spitting out shots that require quick movement around the court. This will enable you to contact the ball. Additionally, creative drills such as “tennis tennis” or “pickleball tennis” can be used. These involve having multiple machines set up around a court so that players must hit specific types of shots to keep rallies alive.

Creative drills like these will help players develop their pickleball game quickly and effectively.

Learn more about pickleball strategy through our blog.

Target Areas

Using a pickleball machine to practice can significantly improve your skills and increase your confidence. Creative drills can help you target specific areas of improvement and maximize the effectiveness of your practice session.

For example, you could focus on improving your weak hand by using one-handed shots. Or set up drills that require you to hit specific targets on the court. You could also use strategic ball placement to work on defensive strategies or focus on volleys with quick direction changes.

Additionally, incorporating speed and agility exercises into each drill can help build endurance and muscle memory for more fluid movements throughout a match.


Creative drills using a pickleball machine to improve timing include passing, live ball, and reaction drills. Passing drills help players become more accurate when passing the ball back and forth. Live ball drills focus on reacting quickly to shots coming their way.

Rahul Godse – Shutterstock

Reaction drills require players to move around the court in response to different shot angles and speeds. These creative drill types can be used with a pickleball machine for improved timing accuracy.


Pickleball machines are a great way to practice and improve your pickleball game. Creative drills using a pickleball machine can help you improve your technique, footwork, and shot selection.

One such drill is the rhythm drill. Two speeds must be set up on the pickleball machine: one for forehands and one for backhands. You then hit each shot alternatingly, creating a rhythmic pattern of forehand-backhand-forehand-backhand that will help you develop consistency in both shots.

As you become more comfortable with this rhythm, try speeding up or slowing down the pace to challenge yourself further.

Shot Tolerance

Pickleball machines are an excellent tool for improving one’s pickleball game. They can be used to practice all kinds of shots, from volleys and overheads to serves and returns. One creative way to use a pickleball machine is through shot tolerance drills.

shot tolerance
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Shot tolerance drills involve the player hitting balls with varying levels of spin, tempo, and power while maintaining accuracy. It helps players learn how to adjust their strokes depending on the type of shot they’re facing. This helps them stay consistent regardless of what their opponents throw at them.

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Aerobic vs. Anaerobic Training

This brief outlines creative drills to use a pickleball machine for aerobic and anaerobic training. Aerobic exercises involve sustained, low-intensity activities such as jogging or swimming and are designed to improve the body’s cardiovascular fitness.

Anaerobic exercises involve short bursts of intense training, such as sprinting or weight lifting, which target specific muscle groups and help build strength. Using a pickleball machine for aerobic training can involve long rallies with slightly varied shots from the device to keep the heart rate up and promote cardiovascular endurance over time.

aerobic vs anaerobic training
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For anaerobic exercise, shorter drills should be used with bursts of high-intensity shots aimed at specific areas on the court. It will also help with agility, footwork skills, and strength in targeted muscle groups.

Overall, using a pickleball machine is an effective way to train both aerobically and anaerobically while simultaneously improving your all-around gameplay abilities.

Movement and Positioning

Creative drills to use a pickleball machine can help players learn the game and improve their skills. The exercises focus on movement and positioning while hitting the ball with a paddle.

Players should practice different stances, footwork, hand positions, and arm movements to become proficient in accurately controlling the ball. Working on techniques like drop shots, volleys, dinks/loops, topspin shots, and underspin serves can help players master their pickleball game.

movement and positioning
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Additionally, practicing batting sequences such as volleys followed by groundstrokes or alternating between forehands and backhands will help players develop better technique when playing long rallies.

Combining creative drills with regular practice of specific shots against opponents or a pickleball machine will enable players to maximize their potential during games.

Footwork Patterns

Creative drills using a pickleball machine can help improve footwork patterns. These drills focus on developing agility and coordination by having players move in different directions around the court while hitting shots.

The goal is to develop quick feet, balance, and control when maneuvering around the court. Examples of creative drills include:

  • Moving in figure 8 patterns while returning shots.
  • Shuttling back and forth between two points on the court.
  • Running laps while volleying with a partner.
  • Incorporating ladder drills with pickleball strokes.

These fun and interactive exercises will help players become more agile, coordinated, and ultimately more successful when playing pickleball.

Decision-Making Drills

Creative drills to use a pickleball machine involve making decisions on the court. These drills are designed to challenge the player’s decision-making skills and help them develop their strategy for gameplay.

decision-making drills
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Decisions can include what type of shot to hit, where to place it, how hard, and how often. The more creative the drill is, the more difficult it becomes as players must think quickly and make split-second decisions that could mean winning or losing a point in a game.

Decision-making drills also allow players to practice different strategies for playing against other opponents, which can help them develop their style of play.

First Strike

The First Strike hit is an innovative way to practice your pickleball skills and develop your game. This drill focuses on developing the ability to hit a powerful first-strike shot precisely. The goal is to hit the ball into specific areas of the court, making it difficult for your opponent to return.

To do this, you must be able to control each shot’s speed, spin, direction, and placement. You can also use this drill for footwork practice by running around different court parts when hitting shots into various targets or zones set up around you.

Creative exercises like this one help players improve their overall game performance by honing their skills in specific areas such as accuracy, power, control, and footwork.

Serve +1

Serve +1 shot is a great way to improve your serve accuracy and power. This drill involves the player hitting one serve at the pickleball machine, then immediately hitting a second shot (usually a forehand or backhand) off the return from the machine.

serve +1
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The goal of this drill is to practice repeating good form and technique for each of your shots and develop consistency in both serves and returns. It also helps you build confidence in your serves and returns, which can be beneficial when playing against an opponent.

Return +1

This creative drill focuses on developing a player’s ability to return shots from a pickleball machine. The goal is consistently hitting the ball back with precise control and power.

The drill involves alternating between forehand and backhand returns while keeping the same distance from the pickleball machine. The player must try to hit two consecutive shots for one of them to land within the pickleball court, gaining them a “+1” point.

It will help players practice their technique and give them an understanding of how to create angles and spin when returning shots under pressure. Once two consecutive shots are landed successfully, the player should move further away from the machine to challenge themselves even more.

It will require more precision and accuracy with each shot and recognize which type of shot (forehand/backhand) is best suited for that particular situation. After each successful round, players should note what worked well and what can be improved for their next attempt at this drill!

Return of Serve

This drill focuses on improving a player’s return of serve using a pickleball machine. The goal is to help players become more consistent in their returns and improve their accuracy when returning serves.

return of serve
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Players should start with the ball machine set at a low speed and set up the shots to be produced from different angles and distances. As players get better, they can increase the speed of the machine, move closer or farther away from it, hit angled shots, or even add spin for an extra challenge.

The drill also requires players to be creative in approaching each shot and think strategically about where to place each return so that their opponent has difficulty getting around it. With enough practice, players will gain confidence in their returns and improved consistency and accuracy when playing against an opponent in real matches.

Check out our blog for what equipment is used in pickleball to find out more.

Point Finishing Shots

Overheads, swinging volleys, high volleys, high short groundstrokes, and other point-winning shots can all be practiced using this idea. For example, let’s make a drill for doubles using overheads (note that this drill can also be used for singles).

Set the machine to start feeding a lob. Set the feed’s frequency to 10 seconds, which is a very sluggish rate. It is how it goes: The receiving team scores a point if the machine tosses the subsequent ball before the primary point has ended.

It motivates the side that starts the point with an overhead kick to score as many points as possible in a short time. Score just 1 point for the team hitting the overheads because they have the advantage. Yet give the lobbing team two points.

Naturally, the defending team wants to keep the ball in play for as long as possible. Remember to set the machine to oscillate from side to side or in random mode to ensure every player has an equal chance of making the opening shot.

How Coaches Use Pickleball Machines?

Pickleball machines are an excellent tool for coaches to use when training their athletes. Pickleball machines allow coaches to simulate game-like situations and provide drills that can help improve the skill level of players.

Coaches can program pickleball machines with different shots, speeds, and spins that will challenge players in ways they wouldn’t usually experience in a traditional pickleball game.

The ability to set up drills with the machine gives coaches more control over the difficulty and intensity of each exercise, allowing them to tailor it exactly how they want it for their athletes’ specific needs. It allows for repetition and practice, essential for building strong fundamentals in any sport.

Coaches also can track their athlete’s progress by programming shot sequences into the machine so they can record results from each drill session, such as accuracy or speed. They then have access to this data to make adjustments if necessary or praise athletes excelling in certain areas.

Overall, pickleball machines offer coaches many benefits as an effective training tool due to their versatility, customization options, and tracking capabilities – all of which make them a valuable addition to any coach’s arsenal!


Are pickleball machines worth it?

Pickleball machines can be an excellent investment for those looking to practice their technique and improve their game. They are typically more expensive than regular pickleball sets, but they offer features like automated ball feeding and return systems to help players hone their skills quickly and efficiently. With the added convenience of practicing in the comfort of one’s own home, pickleball machines may be worth it for serious players looking to take their game up a notch.

How to practice pickleball alone?

You can start with simple drills such as bouncing the ball off the wall or practicing serving to practice pickleball by yourself. You can also try setting up a net and playing against yourself by hitting it repeatedly. Other solo options include shadowing, where you mimic stroke movements without the ball; paddle drills, focusing on internalizing movement patterns; or working on footwork patterns to improve court coverage.

Can you use pickleballs in a tennis ball machine?

No, you cannot use pickleballs in a tennis ball machine. Pickleballs are more minor than tennis balls and would not fit into the machine.

Wrap Up

Pickleball machines provide a great way to improve your pickleball game. They allow you to practice different shots and strategies, drill specific skills, and challenge yourself with new patterns. Pickleball machines can be used for solo or group practices and are a great addition to any pickleball player’s arsenal. With the suitable machine, you can become an expert in no time!

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