In today’s blog we’re going to talk about the third shot and specifically the arc that it has over the net.

We have gotten a lot of questions and comments about the third shot. When we’re talking about the third shot it’s a soft shot from the baseline.

Remember we’re not hitting it hard. We’re usually taking pace off of the ball and we are trying to really clear the net over to our opponents non-volley zone.

We’re hitting the ball up and the apex of the ball (at the highest point) is going to be on our side of the court and it’s going to be descending into my opponent’s non-volley zone.

The main thing that you want to take away from this blog is that you really want to get that apex on your side of the court and as it crosses the plane of the net its descending into the non-volley zone area of your opponent.

The third shot drop is the one big thing that makes your opponent hit up on the ball.

This happens because that ball is descending into the non-volley zone and your opponent is forced to hit up. This is the whole purpose of the third shot drop.

You don’t want to cut it too close because you don’t want to hit the net. The point would be over.

Your balls should range between one and three feet, maybe even higher, above the net.

Remember that the higher you get it the more margin you have but the more likely it’s going to go deeper into the non-volley zone and the more likely you opponent could hit down on that ball.

You really want to find that happy medium for the margin over the net and the depth.

The shorter you hit it, the closer to the net it’s going to be and therefore the harder for your opponent to hit down on that ball.

If your opponent at the net is volleying the ball it doesn’t necessarily mean it was a bad shot as long. As long as you’re making them hit up on that ball it’s still a good third shot drop.

If your opponent is reaching in and they are contacting that ball really low that’s still a great third shot drop.

Ultimately, you want to make sure the ball is descending into your opponent’s non-volley zone and forcing them to hit up on the ball.