For the Love of Drilling – Introducing the “Designated Drillers”

Vicki Keller, founder of the SaddleBrooke Ranch “Designated Drillers” group

Jeff Smith

SaddleBrooke Ranch Pickleball Club member Vicki Keller is proving that you alone can affect positive change. Vicki recognized that she needed help with drilling skills to improve her game. So, she recruited some of her “high level” pickleball friends to assist with training/instructing and offering advice—taking from their years of playing and experience. Then she used word of mouth to connect with other players who might want to fine-tune their technical skills.

On Oct. 17, the informal “Designated Drillers” group was born. Today, there are 40 members with ratings ranging from 2.5 to 3.5 who work with the trainers Mondays and Thursdays beginning at 10:30 a.m. The group is limited to 16 participants on four courts per session. The instructors lead the participants through drills on basic pickleball skills: Feet coordination for dinking, third shot drop, block volley, and dinking with a purpose, as well as forehand and backhand groundstrokes. Vicki says: “The principle benefit of the drilling exercises is to create an environment that promotes enjoyment of this amazing game that most of us have found later in life.”