In today’s blog we’re going to go over three key tips to improve your third shot and we think they will be very useful to you.
Tip #1 – Low To High Motion
The first key tip is to remember that this shot is a low to high motion shot.
You won’t be standing up straight or swinging through the ball with a straight swing path. You really want to get under that ball so that you could push it up and over the net because you want to get that arc and you want that ball descending down towards your opponent’s feet.
You want to hit with a continental grip whether it’s the forehand or the backhand side. You’re going to have a continental grip and you’re going to be starting low and ending high.
You’re not taking your paddle way back behind you. You want it right on the side of you. You’re then going to push up and use your body, mainly your legs.
A lot of power is going to initiate through your legs to get that ball up and over the net.
This shot is a slow soft shot. You don’t want to be swinging really hard with a fast swing because typically the returns are coming back fast if you have a good returner.
You want to make sure that you are slowing the ball down.
Since you’re most likely getting a fast return and you’re trying to drop that ball into the kitchen, or around the kitchen line, you really want to slow your swing down and hit with a slow, or medium pace, swing path on your stroke.
So, remember, it’s a low to high motion using your legs with a continental grip. Also, you want to get your wrist laid back.
You want to have this natural laid back wrist on the backhand and also on the forehand.
Tip #2 – Stepping In To The Shot
The second tip that we think is going to really help with your third shot is to make sure that you are moving forward when you are hitting this third shot.
You’re going to have the most control this way and you’re going to be the most balanced when you are hitting the ball moving forward.
You wan your momentum coming in as opposed to falling back. You don’t want to be stagnant either.
If you could always hit this shot while moving in you’re going to have the most control.
When your opponent is hitting returns that’s something that you need to be really thinking about. If you’re standing right at the baseline after your serve and they’re hitting very deep returns you either have to hit it off the bounce, which you don’t want to do, or you have to back up and hit it backing up which is not ideal. The third, and best option is, you can back up a few feet behind the baseline to prepare and then move forward while you hit.
That’s something you’re going to have to do.
If all your all the returns from your opponent are landing short into the court that’s easy to move forward and hit. You’re going to be hitting that ball with your momentum going forward.
But, if your opponents are hitting deep returns, one thing you can do is just hang back so that you can hit that ball. You should use your mobility to prepare early so that you can then move forward and hit through the ball.
You’re not running in, you just need to make sure that you’re shifting your weight from your back leg to your front and you have your momentum moving forward.
Tip #3 – Contact Point In Front
The third and final tip we have for you that’s going to really improve your third shot drop is making sure you have that contact point out in front.
What does that mean you?
Basically, you want to be able to see that ball out in front of you and make that contact in front of your body about a foot or two away. This applies to both the forehand and the backhand.
If you let the ball get on the side of you, or even behind you, then you may lose control.
It’s the same thing if you bowl or play corn hole. When you are tossing the ball you never toss the ball from the side. The control is always out in front.
Same thing goes when you’re hitting the shot. You want to make sure the contact point is out in front.
When the return comes back it may be hard to get your contact point out in front in a comfortable position, especially with returners that are hitting really hard and deep returns. These returns may have you contacting the ball late or right off the bounce.
What you then need to do is make sure you prepare early and step back so that you can create the right amount of space in between the ball, where your contact is, and your body.
You don’t want to be backing up while you’re hitting.
Set your feet early and then hit that third shot.
You need to be constantly moving and judging by looking at your opponent’s return.
These are the three main tips.
Remember a lot of times your opponents are going to be hitting great shots so these are all ideal things that you want to do.
Low to high motion, keep that ball out in front of you, and you don’t want to be falling back. You want your momentum moving in.
Now sometimes your opponents are going to put you in positions where your contact point will be late or you will maybe be moving back on some of your thirds. That will happen at times but you can’t do this every single time. Every player has to deal with those kind of things when their opponent is putting a lot of pressure on them.
If you could keep these three tips in mind, and really try to dial these in, and put yourself in a position where you can do all these things it’s going to higher that level of success when you’re hitting your third shot.
We really hope these tips were helpful to you.