"The Most Important Shot in the Game"

Hello, pickleball players of the world…!

I’ve been playing for around 4-years now, and ever since I had to take a short break from the sport due to my schedule, I’ve been suffering with the notorious third-shot drop.

I can get the shot up and over the net, but the ball often ends up bouncing a little too high, where my opponents can roll a well-placed shot over the net, often leaving me unable to reach and return it.

To try and counteract this, I started putting backspin on the ball; however, this commonly led to the ball arcing too far because of its float.

Due to these problems, I usually resort to a third-shot drive instead, but the third-shot drop is an element of my playing that I desperately need back.

Any advice? [Thank you in-advance!]

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From my experience the third-shot drop has been an evolving shot as I gain more experience and as my friends and competition get much better. As for the third-shot drive vs the third-shot drop, I take what my opponent is giving me. Remember a good drop doesn’t necessarily land in the kitchen but instead forces your opponent to hit up on the ball.

It’s hard to pick out what may be going on with your drop without watching you play but I think what you are asking could be answered in this Primetime Pickleball @nicole video though. Specifically by paying attention to the shape of the ball flight for backspin vs topspin or even a drop with little to no spin really.

If you want more advanced tactics of a third-shot drop listen to @Kyle_Yates in the Pickleball Summit video.

And as always if this isn’t it, revisit Fundamental Basics with @betterpickleball


Thanks for the response!

After playing quite a few matches after making that post, I realized that it wasn’t just my third-shot drop that was suffering, it was also my lobs or any other well-arcing shot.

After trying out some other paddles, I quickly realized how explosive mine was. It had so much “pop” that it was hard to get those arcing shots without going too long or having it bounce too high, not to mention the difficult accuracy. Once I tried my exact same form and technique with paddles such as the Onix Z5 and Engage Elite Pro, they were dropping in the kitchen like I had done it for years.

Thanks for including that video on spin too, since the table tennis side of me will do arcing topspin and backspin shots sometimes. Felt like the topspin wouldn’t work as well, but I guess it would with a heavier ball (than a ping-pong ball).

Guess I have more to focus on than I thought. I’ll get right to work on that when I can.
Thanks again…!