We received so many questions about the different types of 3rd shot drops such as no spin drops, underspin drops and topspin drops.

We’re also asked how the shape and height of your drop changes depending on which spin you decide to hit. You asked, we answered.

This blog covers exactly that and many more key things you need to be aware of, consider and implement in order to be hitting successful drops that allow you to advance to the net without getting attacked by your opponents.

In this blog we’re going to be talk about examples of hitting different varieties of the third shots.

We’ll talk about under spin third shot drops and also some topspin third shot drops so that you guys can get an idea of the arc on the ball and how high the ball is relative to the net as well as how it’s dropping.

The first thing we want to clear up is that a lot of times people think the third shot drop in particular is only a good drop if it lands inside the kitchen, inside the non-volley zone. This is very untrue.

The main thing on a third shot drop is you want to make your opponent’s hit up on the ball.

Every time your opponents have to hit up on the ball it’s going to be a lot less aggressive shot than if they are hitting down on the ball.

If they have to hit up on the ball, even if they’re creating some topspin, they still have to get that ball over the net and in the court.

The key on a third shot drop is making them hit up on the ball. If you could hit the ball into the kitchen then that’s great because you’re for sure going to make them hit up on the ball.

But, you don’t want to move your margins so close to the net. A lot of people think you need to have your third shot really close to the net and that’s actually kind of impossible.

Your third shots are usually going to land around the back quarter or third of the non-volley zone, towards the non-volley zone line. Keep that in mind when you’re hitting these third shots.

One thing we also want to mention is if that if your opponent is able to volley the ball that does not necessarily mean that your third shots are bad.

When we’re up at the net and our opponents are back, our first initial thought is to hit a swinging volley. We want to hit a volley to keep them back.

If your opponent hits a great third shot we’re going to let it bounce. We want to back up and hit it or we’ll just let it bounce and we’ll dink it.

If we’re leaning in we’re going to be able to volley a lot of the third shots that our opponents send us. Out contact point might be low because the ball is dropping but that’s still a great shot.

Even if your opponent’s at the net are volleying every ball and you can’t seem to get the ball out in front of them enough where they can’t volley it, that doesn’t necessarily mean it’s a bad shot.

As long as they’re hitting up on that ball it’s going to put you in a neutral position.

In our practice session we’re going to start off hitting some third shots and then describe the arc over the net.

We have to give some margin for error and we don’t want to hit the balls into the net. We also don’t want to hit it way high so that the opponent can smash that ball.

We’re going to hit a variety of balls and see that when they clear the actual plane of the net they will probably be anywhere from a foot to even two, three, or four feet and then drop down depending on what kind of third shot we hit.

Our practice partner/opponent will be at the net. They’re going to try to take the ball as a volley if they can. If not they’re going to let it bounce and keep the ball deep.

Keep in mind that the main thing is we’re trying to do is get our opponent to hit up on the ball.

We’ll notice that on our backhand side, we are hitting a lot of underspin third shot drops. So they’re going a little flatter but they have some backspin to keep that ball down.

Naturally our forehand third shots are a little flat. We don’t undercut it that much. We’re kind of just pushing it like a dink. The most important thing is that they’re dropping.

Most people’s backhands are going to naturally have a little bit more backspin and that’s okay. It’s actually good to have that backspin. This happens due to your shoulder turn when hitting the backhand third shot which creates some underspin.

And, like we said, on our forehand side we’re mostly pushing it out in front of us not cutting it a lot.

Next, we’re going to hit some topspin third shot drops (go ahead and check out the video we have on how to hit this third shot drop).

Hitting a third shot with topspin is very effective because the ball really gets up there and then descends a lot quicker than an underspin third shot drop.

It’s a lot harder to judge the depth because this ball drops a lot faster.

It’s definitely more of an advanced third shot but it’s very effective. Also, as it hits the ground it’s going to accelerate and kick forward a little bit.

Just that little bit of topspin will make that little amount of difference that you need to change the pace of that ball.

While we are hitting these shots with our opponent we are accomplishing our goal. Our opponent has to hit up on the ball as their contact point is low.

The third shot drop is so critical in the game of pickle ball. It’s going to allow you to come to the net.

After we hit that third shot we’re going to come up as much as we can and before our opponent hits that next ball we’re going to make sure we split step which is really just a dynamic hop.

As soon as we hit that bonus we’re gong to get ready, split step and then get balanced so we’re ready to go. We can move left or move right depending on where our opponents hits the ball.

Our whole transition to the net using the third shot will really depending on getting that ball down so our opponent has to hit that ball up and take some pace of that ball.

Hopefully this blog was clear enough in describing the importance of the third shot drop and getting our opponent to have to hit that ball up.