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Mastering the Third Shot Drive: A SelkirkTV Instructional Video Breakdown

By Kyle Whatnall

on May 02, 2023

Looking to improve your third shot drive in pickleball? Look no further! We're breaking down an instructional YouTube video featuring professional player Porter Barr as he teaches the third shot drive, a powerful offensive tool in pickleball. Whether you're a beginner or a seasoned player, learning the third shot drive can help take your game to the next level. Read on to discover the key tips and insights Porter shares in his video.

The Third Shot Drive: A Powerful Offensive Weapon

Porter begins by explaining the third shot drive's role in pickleball. After the serve and the return, the third shot can be a drop or a drive. The drive is the more aggressive option of the two and is commonly used at the highest levels of play. It's one of the best offensive options for putting pressure on your opponents, making it difficult for them to return and easy for you to learn.

When to Hit a Third Shot Drive:

  1. When the opponent's return is weaker and shorter – this allows you to come in swinging and move forward.
  2. When the return has a lot of spin and pushes you back – a third shot drop from a far distance is harder to hit, so a drive is a safer shot to get the ball over the net and back into the point.

The Drill:

Porter demonstrates a simulated play drill, where he serves, Clint returns, and Porter hits a third shot drive at Clint as he moves up. The third shot drive is similar to a tennis groundstroke, and it's essential to step into the ball and contact it from low to high with topspin for stability and control. The topspin helps the ball dive downwards and drop into the court.

Change of Pace, Not Raw Power:

Porter emphasizes that the third shot drive isn't about hitting the ball as hard as you can; instead, it's a change of pace. You want to hit it hard, but not so hard that it would hit the back fence if your opponents let it go.

Where to Aim:

  1. Right hip of your opponent (or left hip if they're left-handed) – this creates an awkward volley for them.
  2. Down the middle – this causes your opponents to quickly decide who will take the ball.

Footwork Matters:

Focus on moving your feet to the ball. If you make contact with the ball too far out or extended, you won't achieve the drive you're aiming for.

Progressing with the Third Shot Drive:

As you become more comfortable with your drive, you can increase the pace slightly. However, don't go for too much, as that increases the risk without sufficient reward.

The third shot drive is a valuable skill to learn in pickleball, offering powerful offensive potential. By following Porter Barr's tips and practicing the drill he demonstrates, you'll be well on your way to mastering this game-changing shot. Head out to the courts and start practicing your third shot drive today!

To watch the complete episode and many other Selkirk TV original shows, podcasts, lesson series from the pros, and much more, download the Selkirk TV app HERE

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