How much time should I spend on the pickleball drive (hard shot off the bounce)?
You watch pickleball videos on YouTube and the players on there drive the ball (hit the ball hard instead of using a third shot). And they win points.
Some players at your club also hit the ball hard. And it looks cool when they win a point by blasting a ball down the line or overpowering the player at the NVZ.
You did not come to pickleball from tennis though and so you do not have a drive already built in, so to speak. What to do? How much of your training/improvement time should you spend on learning/mastering the drive shot?
Short answer – and long one – is no time. Zero time. Nada.
If you already know how to drive the ball, continuing using it as part of your game, but only when it is the right shot. If, however, as many pickleball players, you do not know how to drive the ball, forget that shot. Once you fill your wall with gold medals at the 4.0 (and even 4.5) level, then you can spend some time adding a drive to your arsenal.
Until that time, spend your time working on your court placement, serve and return, third shots and other aspects of the game that are more fundamental to your success. Put the drive in the same drawer as spins, Ernes, ATPs, etc.
Keep building your game based on sound fundamentals and you will be a ____ [fill in the blank with 3.5, 4.0, 4.5, as appropriate] in no time.
Hola. Hello. Konichiwa. After 40 years playing tennis, I am now a full-time pickleball player and professional. As a 5.0 rated Senior Pro Pickleball Player and an IPTPA-certified Master Teaching Professional, my focus is on helping players like you learn to play their best pickleball. In 2016, shortly after starting to play pickleball, my friend Tom and I jumped into the highest division at the first US Open in Naples, Florida. That morning it became clear just how much there is to learn in this seemingly simple sport – a lifetime of learning if you so choose. Since 2018, I have been on a mission to share my knowledge of pickleball so other players can enjoy the game at a higher level and attain their pickleball objectives. When not studying or playing pickleball, I like to travel with my other half, Jill.
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