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Three keys to hitting a drive shot in pickleball

The Art of Pickleball Coach Jerry Jaffe

Jerry Jaffe

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Once you understand the basics of the short game, the next step is learning to hit a drive. The good news is that many of the same techniques are used when hitting longer shots, so developing proper footwork and swing technique isn’t that difficult. A drive can be broken down into these three points: 

  • Rotate your body the ball as you pull your paddle back. A short backswing is key, so be sure to keep it short. As you pivot, the movement loads up your forehand side, allowing you to transfer the weight from your back to your front leg.
  • Step forward with your left leg (if you’re right-handed).
  • Contact the ball out in front of your body, extending the paddle toward your target using a long follow-through.  

As you swing, imagine that you’re hitting through five or six balls in a row. This helps you direct the paddle to your target. The ball will go where your paddle goes, so the longer you can extend the paddle out to your target, the better your chances are of hitting a good, solid shot. 

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