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Not Quite a Drive and Not Quite a Drop - Pickleball's Hybrid Third

by The Dink Media Team on

John Isner holds the record for the fastest serve on the tennis pro tour at 152.7 mph. When yielded by his 6'10 frame, the racquet (or paddle) is considered a deadly weapon.

You might think all of that power would transfer into his pickleball game, but not so much. Last year at the PPA Team Championships in Las Vegas, Isner was not trying to blast anyone off the line or burn a hole through anyone's paddle.

He had his own drive-drop combo that was giving players fits. Isner pushed the ball on a line drive over the net and let it rapidly descend to the ground right at the feet of the other team.

We've all heard the third shot drop advice, "It's like underhand tossing a ball into the kitchen" yatta yatta. His stroke resembled more of a shovel motion, giving the ball the perfect trajectory.

Check it out here and try it out for yourself:

Focus on that swing path. Isner adds enough slice to make it challenging to return. He then finishes with his paddle out in front instead of over his shoulder.

Remember: with thirds, consistency is key. Top pros land thirds in >90% of the time; amateurs, not so much.

Stop driving ambitiously into the net. Play a well-placed, consistent ball like Isner does here.

The Drip Shot

Zane Navratil has also added this shot to his repertoire. He is constantly looking for an edge and preaches the benefits of the 'Drip' shot in this video.

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