Unpacking the Third Shot Drop: A Key Pickleball Technique

November 2023 • Alex Johnson

When it comes to pickleball, I've always been a stickler for the fundamentals. And let me tell you, there's no shot more fundamental than the third shot drop. This shot is your golden ticket from the baseline to the net – the prime real estate in pickleball. It's all about getting control and setting the stage for domination.

The Art of the Third Shot Drop

Why is this shot so crucial? Well, it's all about pacing. You get to slow down the game, giving yourself the time to get to the net. If your opponents are already cozied up at the net, a well-placed third shot drop can really mess with their strategy, forcing them to hit a less aggressive, upward shot. Plus, who doesn't love a good error reduction? A softer shot means fewer mistakes.

Perfecting Your Technique

Here's how I do it:

  1. Grip and Paddle Ready: Keep that continental grip and your paddle up front. Always be prepared.
  2. Athletic Stance: Bend those knees and stay light on your feet – you're about to make a move.
  3. Smooth and Calculated Stroke: Hit that ball with a gentle upward motion. Aim for just over the net and into the kitchen.
  4. Advance to the kitchen: Don't just stand there admiring your shot. Move forward and get ready for what's next.

When to Drive Instead

Every once in a while, you gotta mix it up with a third shot drive. If your opponents are scattered or looking a bit shaky, a strong, direct shot can really catch them off guard. If you're feeling confident in your power game and they're not so hot on the volleys, drive it home.

Honing Your Third Shot Drop Skills

Practice makes perfect. I like to work with a partner, focusing on getting that placement just right. Solo wall drills also do wonders for your control. And, of course, feedback is key. I'm always asking fellow players or my coach for tips to refine my technique.

Bringing It to the Court

In a real game, it's not just about skill. It's strategy, too. Keep an eye on your opponents, work seamlessly with your partner, and stay cool and collected. Precision is key.

To wrap it up, mastering the third shot drop isn't just about leveling up your game. It's about embracing the spirit of pickleball. Good Get gets this – it's why I love their gear. It's not just about looking good; it's about playing good. So, get out there, practice those drops, and watch how this crucial skill transforms your game.