Mastering the Third Shot Drive in Pickleball: Tips from Matt Manasse

Pickleball, a sport rapidly gaining popularity for its blend of fun and strategy, demands precision and skill in every shot. While the third shot drop is a staple move in many players' strategy, the game's evolution necessitates a more versatile approach. Enter the third shot drive, a crucial element in maintaining control and dictating the pace of the game. We are so excited to gain insights from none other than Matt Manasse, a pickleball sensation renowned for his dynamic play and strategic finesse.

Matt delved into the intricacies of executing the perfect third shot drive on our Pickleball Tips & Tricks with McNasty series on Instagram. With his expertise and our commitment to enhancing performance, let's break down Matt's invaluable tips for mastering this essential aspect of the game.

Understanding the Dynamics

As pickleball evolves, the pace of the game continues to accelerate. Matt underscores the importance of adapting to this change, emphasizing that relying solely on a good third shot drop may no longer suffice. The third shot drive emerges as a vital tool, but transitioning from tennis to pickleball requires a fundamental shift in technique.

Technique is Key

One of the most common pitfalls for players transitioning from tennis to pickleball lies in their approach to the third shot drive. Matt explains this point by highlighting the absence of strings on a pickleball paddle. Unlike in tennis, where brushing the ball upwards is standard practice, attempting the same motion in pickleball spells trouble.

Matt emphasizes the need for proper positioning and technique. With the absence of strings, executing a successful third shot drive demands precision and control. Rather than relying on a brushing motion, players must focus on turning their bodies, positioning their contact point out in front, and driving the ball forward with purpose.

The Execution

Matt's demonstration exemplifies the finesse required to execute a flawless third shot drive. By aiming just above the tape and maintaining a controlled 60-70% power, players can achieve optimal results. Crucially, the follow-through is paramount, with Matt advocating for a full extension of the paddle through contact.

Practice Makes Perfect

Like any skill in pickleball, mastering the third shot drive requires dedication and practice. Matt's advice extends beyond mere technique; it embodies a mindset of continuous improvement and refinement. By incorporating his tips into your training regimen, you can elevate your game and gain a competitive edge on the court.


In pickleball, the third shot drive represents a pivotal moment that can swing the momentum of the game in your favor. Matt Manasse's expertise offers invaluable guidance for players seeking to enhance their skills and adapt to the evolving dynamics of the sport. With the right technique and mindset, you can confidently step onto the court, armed with the knowledge to execute the perfect third shot drive and dominate your opponents.

At Copper Compression, we're committed to supporting athletes like Matt Manasse in their pursuit of excellence. Stay tuned for more insights, tips, and collaborations as we continue to empower players to reach their full potential on and off the court.