In this video, we’re going to talk about the 3rd shot drop vs the 3rd shot drive.

You often here that you should always drop the 3rd shot.

Well…that simply isn’t true.

There are times when you will want to drive it and we’re seeing more and more driving of the 3rd shot in high level pickleball.

Today we’re going to cover when to drive and when to drop the 3rd shot.

You’ll see a lot of top players actually driving their third shots. A reason why is it’s just a great changeup instead of the drop.

Also, there’s different scenarios where driving the third shot is a good option.

Sometimes, when you serve the ball and they return, if they hit a very short return, it could be a good option to drive it, then your opponent or your partner could poach.

Other times, people might not get all the way up to the non-volley zone line after their return so this is also another scenario which could be good to try to drive a third shot and try to just get a free point or try to make them hit a hard ball which they could pop up and you could finish off with the put away.


In this particular drill, third shot drop versus third shot drive, I really want to emphasize that you can start to practice to make your game more offensive.

I have two cones here (you could use tape if needed), almost in the middle of this rectangle right here (see image below). We’re going to play it as skinny singles.

I’m going to serve from the baseline and my practice partner is going to return the ball.

If it goes past the cone area I’m going to choose to drop it and work my way in and try to get into the kitchen and play out the point.

If it lands short I’m going to try to drive the ball and try to put a lot of pressure on my opponent at the net.

So if it goes past it I’m going to drop it and if it’s shallow/short I’m going try to drive it.

See video at top of post to see some live play examples.

This is just a really good visual and it’s going to help you become more offensive on the court.

It’s going to give you a more offensive mindset.

Go out there and practice with a partner and then switch.

Happy Pickeling!