Do you face problems or lose points while playing pickleball shots and become under pressure while facing several shots from your opponent?
To play pickleball, there are several techniques/shots to extend points, clinch victory or exert pressure on your opponent.
In this article, we are going to discuss the most important shot to extend your point in play is “Pickleball Third Shot Drop”. This shot plays a pivotal role in pickleball to make your opponent pressurized and add a point to your account.
Here is a complete guide for learning and improving of third shot drop, and how you can professionally overcome your failures apropos this shot. It is important to clinch points and make your position strong in the game. This shot brings you from beginners to pro-level.
What is a drop shot in pickleball?
The precise and lenient shots that are aimed to bounce into the kitchen of the opponent are known as drop shots of pickleball.
The drop shot can take a beginner-level player to a pro player. It does not an easy shot, so needs to be practiced.
The drop shot helps the players to target the non volley zone, take control over the net and gain time to cover up the ground.
The drop shot technically renown as the third shot drop as it normally applies as the third shot of rally from the baseline.
It considers an equalizer as it neutralizes the competitor’s advantage for being already at the net and gives you and your partner time to cover up the ground or strategically spot at a specific point.
What is the 3rd Shot drop in pickleball?
Pickleball starts in the same way as in tennis, badminton, ping-pong, squash, etc. One player serves the ball to his opponent(s). In response to the first serve, the opponent(s) attempts to return the ball to engage the first serve party and get some space to prepare itself for further defense.
When the first serve party, receives the ball return and they may ready to serve their opponent for the third time, this is known as “Third shot drop”.
In this situation, the first serve party has two choices either to respond with forehands or backhands shots, in which the opponent can easily volley the ball back or to adopt the best choice to serve the ball in the kitchen by playing a third shot drop.
Moreover, through this shot, the landing of the ball in the kitchen forces the other team to dink the ball rather than drive. It gives no option to your opponent to smash power hit.
How to master pickleball third shot drop?
This shot knows as the toughest shot in pickleball but the following techniques will guide you to the easiest ways to master in third shot drop pickleball, besides, keeping in mind that this shot has more inclination towards dink instead of a forehand:
- Lower your body deeply to the ground
- The paddle should hold with continental grip or hammer grip and keep its face open and right in front of you
- Lean forward and stay low through contact
- Stand low to the pickleball ball by bending your knees
- Shifting your body weight to the front foot will also be helpful
- The use of lifting motion or low to high movement will also be necessary
- Extend the thru, little more than dink
- To make a drop shot best, keep your head down
- Do not pop your body up too early
Top 3 third shot drop Mistakes
As you know making a third shot drop is a difficult task in pickleball, you need to practice and learn tips to hit it.
While learning and getting comfortable with the play, you might carry some common mistakes. Let’s discuss,
1. Not paying attention to opponent
The first misstep you take is not paying attention to the competitor/ opponent while making the shot.
Sometimes, your opponent plans to make your shot harder by trying to topspin or a slice your shot so you need to be attentive.
Do you need to observe your opponent deliberately about what he is doing? Is he making topspin more or backspins? It will make your shot selection good.
2. Too much acceleration
Another common mistake that people make, while hitting a third shot drop is accelerating too much. We should make it slowly and nicely as a nice smooth swing.
Don’t speed up or accelerate too much through the ball as it leads to inconsistency and sometimes makes the half drive.
3. Being Too Much Scared for hitting Third Shot Drop
The last and a big mistake is to make yourself scare while hitting a third-shot drop.
Sometimes players scare during the third shot drop that they suddenly stop short when they think that we are hitting too high. Consequently, the higher ball flight or smash occurs because the paddle face is wide open.
So, you should hit the third shot drop confidently and smoothly. Don’t accelerate too much and don’t overstress yourselves. Do practice for making the game powerful and easy for you and play attentively.
Third Shot Drop Pros & Cons
Following are some pros and cons of Pickleball 3rd shot drop:
Third Shot Drop Pros
1. Approach The Kitchen Swiftly
The first-ever advantage of the third shot drop in pickleball is that it allows you and your partner to get to the kitchen quickly and conveniently before your opponent hits the ball.
In this way, you have ample time to strike the ball back and consequently make a good shot.
2. Make Your Opponent’s Shot Unattackable
The third shot drop in pickleball makes the return of the shot difficult for your opponent. So, this slow shot lands slowly into your opponent’s kitchen, forcing them towards the net and hence making a chance for you to win.
3. Opponent Cannot Smash The Shot
So the smashing of the shot comes out to be one of the pros of pickleball’s third shot drop. So with the help of this slow and soft shot, your opponent can’t drive or smash the ball.
The only possibility of a shot for them during this process is the dink shot.
A Bad Third Shot Drop Ruins The Game
Yes! As per my experience, many beginners and even intermediate players don’t know how to make a third shot drop accurately. As a result, they, unfortunately, keep it too soft and easy for the opponent. That is why sometimes a third-shot drop can make you lose points.
Final Thoughts On Pickleball Third Shot Drop
To target the non volley zone or the kitchen of your opponent, a drop shot considers a pivotal skill. For being a competitive player, taking advantage of the fastball and dropping the ball in the kitchen is preeminent.
As drop shots are difficult, don’t get pessimistic if you could not hit them well. Ample practice makes your drop shots. As the incremental learning approach requires, here we have given you a detailed review of the drop shot and how to master it.
Through third shot drop, you will leave no chance for your opponent to smash power hit or drive and bound him to only dink the ball.
I am Michael Wanner, an experienced and educated expert in the field of pickleball. I hold a degree in Sports Science from Cleveland State University, Ohio, USA. My expertise lies in the technical aspects of pickleball and how to play it effectively. I have spent many years playing and coaching pickleball and have a wealth of knowledge to share with my readers. I am a valuable resource for anyone looking to improve their pickleball skills and strategies.