What is Third shot drop in Pickleball? 3 mistakes to fix

third shot drop in pickleball is a soft shot played from the backcourt after the serve and return of serve. The objective is to hit the ball into the

Welcome to Blazingfact! In this article, we'll provide some valuable tips to enhance your third shot drop in pickleball. We'll explore three common mistakes that can hinder your progress and offer practical solutions to help you develop a consistent and effective technique. Whether you're a beginner or an intermediate player, mastering this fundamental shot will improve your overall performance and help you advance closer to the kitchen line.

The third shot drop is an essential skill in pickleball, but it can be quite challenging to master. Fortunately, we can simplify the process by employing specific strategies and techniques and achieve more consistent drops. This, in turn, will allow you to move up towards the kitchen line progressively.

 So, let's delve into the top three mistakes that may negatively impact your third shot drop and explore some valuable tips to refine your technique.

What is Third shot drop in Pickleball?

What is the third shot drop in pickleball?

The third shot drop in pickleball is a soft shot played from the backcourt after the serve and return of serve. The objective is to hit the ball into the non-volley zone, also known as the kitchen, and create an opportunity to advance and gain control of the point. Although it may sound straightforward, executing the third shot drop can be quite challenging.

3 Third drop shot mistakes to Fix in pickleball

Mistake 1: Over-using the Wrist

One common mistake players make is relying too heavily on their wrists when executing the third shot drop. Often, players flick their wrist upward just before making contact with the ball, which causes the paddle to accelerate rapidly, resulting in less control over the shot. To overcome this issue, it is crucial to keep your wrist stable throughout the entire shot. Instead of flicking your wrist, focus on lifting the ball using your arm and shoulder movements. By doing so, you can maintain better control and accuracy.

To elaborate further, when you swing for the third shot drop, try to avoid any excessive wrist movements. Keep your wrist firm and concentrate on using your arm and shoulder to lift the ball. This technique will give you improved control over the shot, allowing you to place the ball precisely where you want it.

Mistake 2: Taking Too Big of a Backswing

Another common mistake during the third shot drop is taking an overly large backswing. Many players instinctively pull their paddles too far back, resulting in excessive power on the forehand and backhand sides. Consequently, the ball tends to pop up, making it easier for your opponents to counterattack. To address this issue, keeping the paddle positioned in front of your feet and eliminating any unnecessary backswing is advisable.

Instead of pulling your paddle back too far, start with the paddle out in front of your feet. From this starting position, lift the paddle to strike the ball, aiming for a gentle drop that lands in the non-volley zone (the kitchen). By reducing your backswing and focusing on the placement of your paddle, you can achieve better control over the shot and increase the chances of the ball staying low and near the net.

Mistake 3: Not Following Through

Many players tend to stop their swing immediately after hitting the ball during the third shot drop. This lack of follow-through leads to inconsistent shots and often causes the ball to pop up, providing an advantage to your opponents. To avoid this mistake, it is crucial to continue your swing motion even after making contact with the ball.

To clarify further, after hitting the ball, make sure to carry your paddle upward toward your intended target. Doing so allows you to maintain a smooth and consistent motion, allowing for a better touch and feel during the shot. Remember that although the goal is not to hit the ball forcefully, a proper follow-through can significantly enhance the control and accuracy of your third shot drop.


mastering the third shot drop in pickleball can significantly elevate your game. Understanding and rectifying the common mistakes discussed above can enhance your technique and achieve a more consistent and effective third-shot drop. Remember to keep your wrist stable, minimize your backswing, and focus on following through after making contact with the ball. With these adjustments, you will be well on your way to becoming proficient in the third shot drop and taking your pickleball skills to new heights!

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