Third Shot Drop
Drop it Like it’s hot:
If there is one shot that defines pickleball, it’s the third shot, specifically the third shot drop. It’s a critical part of neutralizing a team that is at the net and ready to pounce. A good drop prevents the opponents from getting what they want. It forces the opponent to hit up from below the net. It takes away their ability to hit hard. The goal of the third shot drop is to force your opponents to hit up. When they are forced to hit the ball from below the level of the net, they have to hit the ball at an upward angle, preventing them from putting speed on the ball.
Key to the third shot drop: Force your opponent to hit up.
Key Technical Skills:
Control Height - Aim for a window of 1-1.5 paddle heights over the net.
Control Speed - The ball must be going slowly enough that it drops before it gets to the opponent. 1. Use a short, compact backswing to reduce speed. 2. A forward impact point and stable paddle face makes it much easier to keep speed under control. 3. A solid, balanced position makes all of this much easier. 4. Consider dropping cross-court. This gives you more distance for the ball to drop.
Move After Hitting the Drop - If you hit a good drop, advance to the net. If you hit a poor drop, stay put and get ready for a drive.
When Your Partner Hits the Third Shot - If your partner is inconsistent, wait and see. If you have a lot of trust in your partner’s ability, move up to the net.
Drop Shots are not offensive shots. They are neutralizing shots. Force your opponents to hit up and keep the ball in play. Set yourself up for success.