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By: CJ Johnson | December 21, 2016 |

Pickleball Drills-The 3rd Shot

the 3rd shotI can hear a few of you groaning now, the 3rd shot. AGAIN?

Arguably the 3rd shot is one of the most difficult shots to hit consistently at any level. That might explain why I see so many new players, especially from a tennis background choose to drive the shot versus hit a third shot drop. There is a time to drive the ball but we’ll save that for another post.

If you haven’t played long you might be wondering what it is and why it’s important. The team in control of the net has the advantage. The point starts with one team serving (1st shot) Since one player on the receiving team is already at the net, once the return of serve (the 2nd shot) is hit, they are in a position to get both players to the net first. Ideally, the next shot hit by the serving team is a soft shot that lands in the kitchen which gives them the time to work their way to the net and eliminate the advantage.

If you’ve played for a while you know how hard this shot can be to hit. Even 5.0 players occasionally hit this shot a little high which gives their opponents a chance for an easy put away.

This drill is one of my favorites and I often use it to warm up, get my heart rate moving and practice the 3rd shot.

Pickleball Drills-The 3rd Shot

What’s your favorite way to practice the 3rd shot? Leave a comment below.

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CJ Johnson

Hey there — I’m a professional three-sport athlete and coach who has spent my entire adult life earning a living from playing and coaching sports. Since I started coaching more than three decades ago, one thing has remained the same: My commitment to see students not as they are but as what they can become and to move heaven and earth to help them realize their untapped potential. You should know that when it comes to helping pickleball players over 50 live their best lives on and off the courts, I'm an expert. Good pickleball is not just technique; it's the mind and body working holistically. That's why I'm also a personal trainer and weight management specialist. When I’m chillin', you'll find me watching Star Trek with my husband John and our two fur babies, Shirley and Ralph. (Yes, Happy Days)