Pickleball Magazine 2-6 - Page 19

THIRD SHOT DRILL To set up this drill, you should have a person at the net and a person at the baseline. The person at the net is going to hit the ball as deep as he/she can to the person on the baseline. Meanwhile, the person on the baseline is going to work on that third shot technique where the ball reaches the apex before the net and lands into the kitchen. The important part of it is you don’t want to hit the ball short and miss into the net. You want to see the ball go up and over the net as much as possible, rather than miss into the net and end the point. Something to remember when you start working your way through No Man’s Land, those shots are not going to be exactly the same as the third ball shot that you hit from the baseline. You might have some at your feet that you’re going to have to short hop. You might have to take some out of the air. The main point is that we need to get that arch so that the ball is descending into the kitchen, forcing your opponent to hit the ball up. Whether they have to let it bounce or hit it up is going to protect you as you work your way through No Man’s Land. THE SPLIT STEP Once you’re comfortable hitting your third ball drop and you can hit it consistently, we’re going to start working our way to the kitchen. We do this by using our split steps. We’re going to hit our third ball, split step, hit a fourth ball, split step, maybe even a fifth ball, split step, until we can work all the way to the kitchen. The third shot technique is one of the hardest parts of the game of pickleball. The thing to remember is that these are drills, and this is the perfect time to make mistakes. So, have fun doing them, and I promise, if you stick to it, your game will improve immensely. Special thanks to: Matt Staub, Brian Staub, The Villages.  • Rusty Howes is the Executive Producer and creator of Pickleball Channel. Rusty worked for the likes of Warner Bros and Disney before creating Pickleball Channel to develop and provide fantastic, professional video content for the pickleball community. He is deeply involved in promoting the sport of pickleball at home and across the country. NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2017 | MAGAZINE 17