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Fix the 3 main third drop shot mistakes in pickleball

Published: 2023-02-20
Fix the 3 main third drop shot mistakes in pickleball
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Welcome to the Pickleball Clinic! My name is Matt, and today I am going to give you a few tips to improve your third shot drop in pickleball.  The article and video cover the top three mistakes that can ruin your third shot drop and provide practical solutions to help you develop a consistent and effective third shot. With specific strategies and techniques, beginners and intermediate players can master the fundamental shot of the game, work their way up to the kitchen line, and improve their overall performance in the game of pickleball.

The third shot drop is one of the most fundamental shots in pickleball. However, it's also one of the hardest to master. Thankfully, the technique can be relatively simple. If we apply some specific strategies and techniques to it, we can get those drops more consistent. That'll help you work your way all the way up to the kitchen line. In this article, we'll go over the top three mistakes that are ruining your third shot drop, and we'll provide you with tips to improve your technique.





What is the third shot drop in pickleball?

The third shot drop is a soft shot that is hit from the backcourt after the serve and return of serve. The goal is to hit the ball into the non-volley zone (the kitchen) and create an opportunity to move forward and take control of the point. However, the third shot drop can be one of the most challenging shots to execute.







Mistake 1: Overusing the Wrist

The first mistake players make, especially among beginner and intermediate-level players, is overusing their wrist when they hit this shot. They flick their wrist up on the forehand or backhand side right before the point of contact. This causes the paddle to accelerate right before contact, making it hard to control the ball. Instead, try to keep the wrist still throughout the entire shot. When swinging for the shot, lift the ball without flicking your wrist. This technique will help you maintain control over the ball.


Mistake 2: Taking Too Big of a Backswing

Many players automatically take a big backswing when hitting a third-shot drop. However, this creates too much power on the forehand and backhand side, causing the ball to pop up. Instead, keep the paddle out in front of your feet and eliminate your backswing. Lift the paddle from your starting position, out in front of your feet, to help you get the ball to bounce in the kitchen most of the time.



Mistake 3: Not Following Through

A lot of players will stop their follow-through after hitting the ball. This creates an inconsistent swing, causing the ball to pop up. To avoid this mistake, carry the ball up through your motion by following through. Even though you're not trying to hit the ball hard, you can still follow through. After making contact, lift the paddle up towards your target to get that nice touch and feel.


In conclusion, the third shot drop is a crucial shot in pickleball that can take your game to the next level. By avoiding these three mistakes, you can improve your technique and make your third shot drop more consistent. Remember to keep your wrist still, be mindful of your backswing, and follow through to get that touch and feel that lifts the ball over the net. With these tips, you'll be on your way to mastering the third shot drop in no time!