By: CJ Johnson | September 30, 2018 |

Reflex Volley Drill for Faster Pickleball Reactions

[Tweet “How would you like to improve your reaction time when you get into a volley exchange at the net? This single person drill will improve your reactions in no time at all!”]


If your feeling that your reaction time is a little sluggish at the net. This reflex volley drill is going to help you to get faster see the ball better and best of all you don’t even have to have a partner to practice it.


To set up this drill up all you need is a wall. You want to take and mark the top of the net, which the center of a pickleball net is 34 inches. Once you’ve done that I like to mark a box for the volley. A good volley is going to be just above the net.


This little box made out of masking tape gives me a target that I can easily see.


Then the last thing I do is put a piece of tape down seven feet away from the wall that marks the non-volley zone.

Now that the set up is over here is what you need to keep in mind as you are doing the Reflex Volley Drill

  1. Keep the contact in front of you, which means the paddle is in front of your body
  2. It’s a short punch, not a large swing.
  3. Focus on the ball. I follow the ball from the wall all the way to the paddle.
  4. Keep the wrist quiet and the grip pressure light.
  5. Stay on the balls of your feet. Do not get flat-footed.


I like to start with a whiffle ball. To start out, I hit it just a little bit higher a little bit softer. It comes off the wall a little differently than the regular pickleball and it gives me a chance to get focused on this drill and to get some confidence.


If you’d like to learn more about why I use a whiffle ball click on this link to see how you and a friend can use it to work on your volleys.


Whether I volley against the wall or do this with a partner I do this drill before I play pickleball. It helps me to see the ball better, react quicker, stay on my feet and simply gets me ready to play pickleball.


Now you’ve got a fun way to improve your volley at the net but hey what about the rest of your game? Not
to worry I’ve got a FREE GUIDE just for you. It’s going to help you to put an improvement plan together so you’ll be playing better pickleball in no time.


Do you practice volleying before you go out to play pickleball? If so how do you do it? Put it down in the comments below.

CJ Johnson

Hey there — I’m a professional three-sport athlete and coach who has spent my entire adult life earning a living from playing and coaching sports. Since I started coaching more than three decades ago, one thing has remained the same: My commitment to see students not as they are but as what they can become and to move heaven and earth to help them realize their untapped potential. You should know that when it comes to helping pickleball players over 50 live their best lives on and off the courts, I'm an expert. Good pickleball is not just technique; it's the mind and body working holistically. That's why I'm also a personal trainer and weight management specialist. When I’m chillin', you'll find me watching Star Trek with my husband John and our two fur babies, Shirley and Ralph. (Yes, Happy Days)