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Tips to Improve Your “Third Shot Drives” in Pickleball

Celebrated pickleball coach Steve Dawson

Steve Dawson

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This video is going to go over and punctuate the most important parts of hitting a third shot drive. A lot of people assume that your third shot is always going to be a drop shot, but that’s not true. There are actually many different options on your third shot and this video will go over the third shot drive.  

The third shot drive is used most often because often your opponent returning serve will put a lot of spin on the ball, which makes it difficult for you to do a third shot drop. So, when people like to spin their return of serves, you can use the third shot drive. Then when your opponent returns your drive, which will always be flat, coming at you with no spin, it makes your third shot drive more effective. This allows you to hit your fifth shot drop much more easily than your third shot drop. 

For some, their third shot drive is best with their forehand, in which case they would move slightly to their left to open up the court and get a nice hard drive. Your goal is to be able to drop shot your opponent’s fifth because their shot won’t have as much spin as their return. Your third shot drive should never go to the person who’s already at the net. They’re already standing there ready in the ready position; ready for your drive or whatever you give them. It’s extremely important that when you choose a third shot drive, you drive it at the receiver who is hustling to the net. You’ll have a much better chance of getting free points in weak returns than if you drive your third to the person who’s already at the net.

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