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Mastering the Kitchen Line with the Yo-Yo Drill

In the fast-paced world of pickleball, mastering control and precision at the kitchen line can significantly elevate your game. If you often find yourself rushing to the kitchen line only to pop the ball up, it’s time to refine your approach with a targeted drill designed to enhance your skills in this crucial area.

Enter the Yo-Yo Drill—a practice technique that promises to improve your dink and drop shots, offering a practical solution to a common challenge faced by many pickleball players.

Understanding the Yo-Yo Drill

The Yo-Yo Drill is a straightforward yet highly effective training method that focuses on honing your ability to maintain control and finesse at the kitchen line. The simplicity of this drill, combined with the immediate feedback it provides on your shot quality, makes it an invaluable tool for any player.

Performing the Yo-Yo Drill

1. Start at the Kitchen Line

Begin the drill by standing right at the kitchen line, the non-volley zone that demands precise shot-making skills to dominate the game.

2. Execute a Controlled Dink

Hit a controlled dink shot over the net, focusing on precision and placement rather than power.

3. Take a Step Back

After successfully hitting your dink, take a step back from the kitchen line. This step challenges you to maintain control and accuracy from a slightly longer distance.

4. Repeat and Progress

Continue the drill by hitting another dink or drop shot and taking additional steps back with each successful shot. The goal is to work your way back to the service line and then return to the kitchen line, maintaining control and precision throughout.

Benefits of the Yo-Yo Drill

Incorporating the Yo-Yo Drill into your practice routine offers numerous benefits:

  • Enhanced Shot Precision and Control: Regular practice will improve your ability to place shots accurately.
  • Improved Footwork and Positioning: Moving back and forth helps develop better court movement.
  • Deeper Understanding of Shot Selection: You’ll gain insight into when and how to use different shots effectively.
  • Increased Adaptability: You’ll become more comfortable handling shots from various court areas.


The Yo-Yo Drill is a practical and effective solution for players looking to refine their kitchen line game. By following the steps outlined above and drawing inspiration from the pros, you can significantly enhance your pickleball performance. Regularly incorporating this drill into your practice routine will build a foundational skill set that translates into greater confidence and versatility on the court.

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Written by Billy Pickles

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