Mastering the third shot drop is a crucial skill in pickleball, often differentiating between average and advanced players. Pro pickleball player and coach Will East shares his expertise on how to enhance your third shot drop, making it a powerful tool in your game.
Understanding the Third Shot Drop
Before diving into the techniques, it’s important to understand what the third shot drop is and why it’s so critical in pickleball. This shot is typically used after the serve and return, and it’s a softly hit ball that arcs over the net and lands softly in the opponent’s kitchen (the non-volley zone).
The goal is to make it difficult for your opponent to hit an aggressive shot in return, ideally forcing a softer reply which sets up your next move.
The Key: Small, Fast Swings
The essence of a successful third shot drop lies in executing a small yet fast swing. This approach contrasts with powerful, large swings often seen in other shots.
1. Compact Backswing
- Focus on keeping your backswing minimal. A large backswing can lead to loss of control and timing issues.
- Practice keeping your paddle closer to your body to achieve a more controlled and precise shot.
2. Swift, Controlled Follow-Through
- After your compact backswing, ensure your follow-through is quick but controlled.
- This combination of a small backswing with a rapid follow-through helps in creating a shot that is both soft and precise.
Watch and Learn from Will East
In the video below, Will East demonstrates the execution of the third shot drop. Pay close attention to:
- Swing Technique: Notice the short, powerful swing. Observe the paddle’s movement and try to mimic the speed and control.
- Body Positioning: Watch East’s stance and body positioning. Good footwork and balance are key components of an effective third shot drop.
Check out more videos & pro tips from Will:
- Plateau Control for Effective Third Shot Drops in Pickleball
- How to Hit Pickleball Topspin Dinks
- Mastering Defense Against Overheads in Pickleball
- 3 Pro Tips for Mastering the Backhand Slice
To refine your third shot drop, regular practice is essential. Here are some drills you can incorporate into your training:
- Drop Shot from the Baseline: Start from the baseline and aim to land your shots in the opponent’s kitchen. Focus on the arc and softness of the ball.
- Target Practice: Place targets in the kitchen area and practice hitting them with your third shot drops. This improves accuracy and control.
To Sum Up
Remember, the third shot drop is a skill that requires patience and practice. It’s not just about power; it’s about precision, timing, and understanding the dynamics of the game.
With these pro tips from Will East and consistent practice, your third shot drop can become a dependable and effective part of your pickleball arsenal.
Stay positive, practice diligently, and watch your game elevate to new heights!
We are sorry that this post was not useful for you!
Let us improve this post!
Tell us how we can improve this post?