Gamify Practice

We’re sitting here, and I’m supposed to be the franchise player, and we’re talking about practice. – Allen Iverson

We all fall into the habit of just playing, because playing is fun and that certainly represents my pickleball style. But let’s say you only have two or you show up and have an extra five minutes. Instead of endlessly hitting monotonous drops, dinks or serves why not gamify your practice. Play a game and keep score. 

The following game can work for:

  • Serving
  • Backhand returns
  • Forehand returns
  • Variable returns

Set Up

What you need:

  • Two Players – 1 Ball – 1 Court
  • 1 Person Serves
  • 1 Person Returns
  • 10 Shots
  • Chalk/Painters Tape

Player A: Server

Player B: Returner

Draw a line within 3 feet of baseline and six feet of baseline of server. 

Start with forehand serve returns. 

Goal: Return of serve as deep as possible to pin back the opponent enabling you to get deep and force a more difficult third shot drop. Side benefit – opponent can work on serve. 

The server needs to serve 10 balls in – the returner serves each ball. 

Server serves the ball and the opponent returns the serve as deep as possible while remaining in. Scores are awarded as follows. 

  • Out or Into Net: -3
  • Within 3 Feet of Baseline: +2
  • Within 3 to 6 Feet of Baseline: +1
  • Between 6 Feet from Baseline to Net: 0

Keep a live score of your returns, do not play out points. 

Switch servers and returners and see who tallies the highest point total. 

To spice this game up you can serve just to forehand, backhand, alternate shot or dynamic and then you can also play this game as a server. Trying to land the ball as deep as possible with your serve.

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