Skinny Singles 

Skinny Singles is a drill to emulate actual pickleball play with only two players. It is used by all who play any level of competition. You play this “game” by using only half of the court. Each point starts out with the serve going into the appropriate box and the return of serve is hit cross court. Each shot must be hit cross court, so the third shot can be a drive or a drop shot and the point is played out. If one player hits the ball to the “wrong” side, they lose the point.  

Skinny singles is a realistic game that allows two players to work on their cross court shots and it can involve all the shots. You develop the accuracy of your return of serve to one side of the court and the server then gets to hit the third shot. Hit a drive and stay back and see how well your “opponent” can volley. Hit a third shot drop and move in to get into a dinking rally or volley duel. Hit a third shot lob to challenge their overhead. Hit a drive and move forward and see if your opponent hits too strong of a volley for you to handle. Basically play out each point and work on all of the shots. 

Templeton Tennis Ranch and other facilities actually have had a “tournament” by playing skinny singles. It is becoming more and more popular and will only grow in it’s popularity amidst the corona virus and social distancing.

The advantages of skinny singles are:

  1. It gives you a great workout. The two of you can control the pace of the game for your own cardio benefits.
  2. You will develop consistency for your shots. Since you are restricted to half of the court, your accuracy will improve and this will pay dividends for your doubles game.
  3. A great exercise to work on keeping the ball in front of your opponent and low so they can’t hit an overpowering shot.
  4. You will receive benefits both physically and mentally. It is valuable for your immune system to get out and exercise.
  5. Develops court movement in order to best cover your side of the court.
  6. Regular exercise can have a profound positive impact on depression, anxiety, ADHD, and more. It also relieves stress, improves memory, helps you sleep better, and boosts your overall mood.
  7. Physical activity or exercise can improve your health and reduce the risk of  several diseases like type 2 diabetes, cancer, and cardiovascular disease. Physical activity and exercise can have immediate and long term health benefits. Most importantly, regular activity can improve your quality of life.

By Gregg Whitfield