Pickleball 3rd Shot Drop Strategy

Searching for what is drop shot in pickleball? Or why or when would you use a 3rd shot drop to win over your opponents? I have the replies.

Because the drop shot is one of the most important shots in pickleball, I’ve decided to give it a detailed explanation. One of the reasons why the drop shot is so important is because it’s one of the few shots that forces your opponents away from their comfort zone.

If you’re a seasoned player, you know that there are particular zones on the pickleball court where you feel most comfortable. For most players, this zone is near or at the baseline. This area allows you to get under the ball and hit with more power.

The 3rd Shot Drop:

The 3rd shot drop also called the drop shot or the dink shot in Pickleball, is a common shot of medium distance in pickleball. It is a soft shot that lands just over the net and bounces low to the ground. The idea behind this tactic is to force the other team to hit the ball up where it can be easily returned by your team, as opposed to playing a volley at their feet.

The drop shot can be effective when playing against stronger opponents. If you are unable to return a hard smash in pickleball, try hitting a drop shot instead of just lobbing it back up. This will put your opponent on the defensive. And force them to move farther away from the net to return it, which makes it harder for them to hit an efficient volley.

Third Shot Drop Strategy: A third shot drop describes when you use this tactic after winning two points in a row (i.e., third shot). By putting some extra spin on your server and then following with a drop shot after winning two quick points, you can create some confusion among your opponents and make them work harder for each point they win.

Types of Drop Shots:

1- Soft Drop Shot:

This is when you hit it soft enough so that it barely clears the net and drops quickly after just clearing the net. It makes it very difficult for your opponent to get their racquet under the ball in time, especially if they are near the NVL and have to run toward the baseline to get under it.

It’s also hard for them to make adjustments because they don’t have time to readjust their grip or stance since they’re already committed to moving forward toward the net.

2- Slice Drop Shot:

This kind of drop shot usually has lots of backspin with it. This lands more forward and less up and forces your opponent to struggle while returning the shot.

3- Top Spin Drop Shot:

Topspin Drop Shot is one of the highly skillful shots and it requires more skill and expertise. To hit a topspin drop shot one needs more paddle movement. It is played with a close or nearly closed paddle face with the paddle pointing towards or slightly above the net.

Effectiveness of drop shot:

The drop shot is a shot that is executed with great touch and finesse. It can be extremely effective in frustrating your opponent. Or at least confusing them to help you secure an easy win. The reason the drop shot in pickleball is effective is because of its pace, it is a very slow shot that makes it hard for your opponents to return. If they do manage to return the ball they will most likely have to lift the ball, which will allow you to pickleball smash or volley the ball back.

When you have a third shot drop, meaning the ball is coming towards you at a sharp angle and low to the ground, you need to be ready to get into position quickly. This is an excellent opportunity for a forehand drive.

pickleball 3rd shot strategy


The drop shot is a low and slow shot that is used to keep your opponent off balance. The drop shot is often used as a third shot in pickleball when you are serving the ball, however, it can be played at any time.

Understanding all these above types of drop shots in pickleball is important to enhance your skills. The more consistent your shots are, the better it is for your partner because he or she can then move around the court and make some good offensive moves. Rehearsing these is a certain way to give you an advantage over your opponents. And if you find anything rambling, feel free to get engaged.

The best time to use a drop shot is when your opponent is standing near the non-volley line (NVL). The closer they are to the NVL, the more effective it will be.
Usually, this is when you’re in the non-volley zone. Your next shot is a soft shot that drops just over the net. The other player has to run up to hit it, and often they miss because they didn’t run enough and their paddle hits the net.

When you start out playing pickleball, you’ll probably stick to hitting your third shot into the kitchen. As you get better, you’ll learn how to move your opponents around with third shots until you can get a clear winner, or at least set up an easy winner for your partner on the next volley.

The drop shot is a great weapon to have in your arsenal. The idea of using a drop shot is to bring your opponent in closer to the net hence more defensive. When you do this, it forces them to hit the ball at a lower trajectory than normal and gives you more options from the baseline.

There are a few ways you can achieve this. One way would be to brush near the top of the ball when contacting it with your paddle face. The other way would be to hit down on the ball as hard as you can, producing very little forward speed, but hitting enough downward speed that it doesn’t make it past the net.

In either case, you want to generate very little pace on this shot and make your opponent do all of the work!

There are no rules in pickleball but here are some tips on driving the ball.
To drive the ball, you have to:

Keep your eyes down on the ball so that you can focus on where you want to hit it. This will help you swing accurately. Use your shoulder to drive the ball which will give you more power.
Hit the ball from below your waist because the force of gravity will help you hit a strong shot.
Use a firm grip so that you can use your wrist and forearm to make a strong return shot.

The most important part of any serve – regardless of whether it’s soft serve, topspin, slice, or a flat serve – is consistent placement. A consistently placed serve gives you more options on where to hit your next shot