Pickleball: Thoughts about the Soft Game and Drop Shot

I have written about the third shot drop shot and the soft game on JBRish a number of times. This is a wonderful skill to develop to help win pickleball games…but to be consistently good takes lots of practice. I can hit one every once in a while, but that percentage isn’t going to win many games.

Pickleballers who don’t have a great third shot drop shot, or perhaps a poor soft game overall, need not despair. Jennifer Lucore has an interesting take on drop shots and dinking in pickleball.

I would encourage you to read the entire article:

There’s No Dinking in Pickleball

In summary, however, this is what she concludes:

“So, to summarize there is NO RIGHT OR WRONG way to play pickleball when you are talking about dropping the third shot or a powerful, driving ground stroke. (emphasis mine)”

PS – Some of the comments under the article are interesting as well!

More Pickleball Videos

To See additional Pickleball Videos Covering Many Aspects of the Game Click Here (primarily for beginners and less experienced players)

Check out Additional Pickleball Info and Videos! (for all players including average to more experienced players)


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All original content on this blog is copyrighted by Jeffrey B. Ross with ALL Rights Reserved. While reference links back to JBRish.com are appreciated and encouraged, please acquire approval for any reproduction of original content from this website.

©Jeffrey B. Ross – 2017


Pickleball Video: After the 3rd Shot – Then What?

To the net? Not to the net? That is the Question!

Pickleball players are taught from the very beginning that the “best” place to be is close to the net just behind the non-volley zone (NVZ) line. This is often true, but it isn’t always the case.

The serving team puts the ball in play (Shot 1) and stays back because of the two bounce rule. The opposing team will try to hit the ball deep (Shot 2) so the player returning the serve has an opportunity to advance to their NVZ.

As the video below points out, now comes the question – What does the serving team do after the third shot? Mark Renneson of Third Shot Sports explains: “That depends.” And he is so right.

Beginning players often run to the NVZ willy nilly no matter what, but that could be a big mistake. Watch the video to find out what you should do after the third shot. Read the note below the video which may also be very helpful.

 

NOTE – Did you notice the point Mark was making about how the players on each team should generally be at the same relative depth on their side of the court? Having one player back and the other up creates an angled zone with a big hole that is very hard to cover. Ideally, both players should be at, or very near the same depth on their side of the court.

More Pickleball Videos

To See additional Pickleball Videos Covering Many Aspects of the Game Click Here (primarily for beginners and less experienced players)

Check out Additional Pickleball Info and Videos! (for all players including average to more experienced players)


**********

 

All original content on this blog is copyrighted by Jeffrey B. Ross with ALL Rights Reserved. While reference links back to JBRish.com are appreciated and encouraged, please acquire approval for any reproduction of original content from this website.

©Jeffrey B. Ross – 2017


Pickleball – The 3rd Shot “Drop” Is Not Always the Best Option


Sarah Ansboury Pickleball Champion

Photo of Pickleball Champion Sarah Ansboury Courtesy of naplesnews.com

Pickleballers who have competed for a period of time and who have investigated how to improve their skills, have probably been given the impression that the third shot drop shot is the holy grail of pickleball championships.

In a recent blog post, Sarah Ansboury explains that although the third shot drop is very important and is a necessary skill for those seeking to move upward beyond average pickleball play, it isn’t the only option.

In part, she explains:

“Remember, the goal of the third shot drop is to give you and your partner time to get to the non-volley zone when the other team is already there. However, if your opponents are not yet all the way to the net your best bet is to keep them back. Hitting a hard, flat ball to the deeper player is always a good option. In fact, dropping it into the non-volley zone will actually give them time to come forward. When you can capture the net before your opponents, you have the advantage. Don’t invite them to join you! Keep them back.”

You can read the entire article on Sarah’s website:

The Third Shot Drop is Important…But Not Your Only Option

Sarah Ansboury has won many pickleball championships. She is a coach and player who shares her hard-earned knowledge of pickleball via her blog. You can read more about her HERE.

 

More Pickleball Videos

To See additional Pickleball Videos Covering Many Aspects of the Game Click Here (primarily for beginners and less experienced players)

Check out Additional Pickleball Info and Videos! (for all players including average to more experienced players)

Jeff Shank – Poaching, Drop Shot and Position Adjustments

** NOTE ** – This is the last of our Series Of Pickleball Tips from Jeff Shank. I want to thank Jeff for taking the time in preparing this video and for allowing me to share it in segmented form. I hope all of the pickleballers who visit JBRish.com have learned as much from Jeff’s tips as I have.

Things to watch for in this video (below)

  • What characteristics would make a ball a good candidate for a touch drop shot?
  • Why would you want to hit a serve return to the better poacher?
  • What responsibilities do partners have once a ball is “called” by one of the players?
  • If players are in a position where one is back and one is closer to the net (i.e. the non-volley zone), what protocol should be followed, according to Jeff Shank, with a ball hit down the middle?
  • Why is it necessary to get an overhead deep rather than shallow? (In the demo, the last shot is really the deepest and probably represents the “best” example).
  • When your opponents are in a position where one is back and one is deep, what is the best procedure to follow when returning a shot?
  • How do you respond if your team has “a gap” that creates a tempting target?
  • What adjustments does Jeff recommend for teams composed of right-handed and left-handed players who don’t play together often?

** NOTE ** – Everyone will recognize that there are two parts to developing new skills. The first is knowing what to do, but the second, and just as important, is being able to do it. I have read a great deal about pickleball over the last two and a half years and I have spoken to excellent players and the one thing they all have in common is to remark that to really improve, a player needs deliberate practice not just just playing. AND…if you can have expert guidance during the practice.

NOTE – To find out about this series of posts, i.e. 100 Pickleball Strategies by Jeff Shank, read the first post HERE

 

To See additional Pickleball Videos Covering Many Aspects of the Game Click Here (primarily for beginners and less experienced players)

Check out Additional Pickleball Info and Videos! (for all players including average to more experienced players)

Pickleball: Serving Team – How to Get to the Net

After playing pickleball for just a short while, an attentive player will learn that it is better to control the net, i.e. be at the net ready to volley a ball that is hit rather than staying back and volleying from the baseline.

The question then arises: When is the best time for the serving team to head toward the net? It isn’t necessarily wise to run to the net as soon as possible.

Mark Renneson of Third Shot Sports, has created a video to demonstrate how to “earn” the net.

You can also see Deb Harrison’s take on this situation by watching this previous JBRish post:

Pickleball: Earn the Net

Pickleball: Earn the Net

When I first began to play Pickleball a year ago or so, one of the points that was emphasized to me over and over again was to get up to the net. Some proclaimed this edict with a near religious fervor. I watched those around me and they were running helter-skelter to the net as soon as they could.

After a while, I realized this isn’t always the best strategy. As Deb Harrison remarks in the video below and as others who coach have noted, you have to “earn the net.” By this they mean that you need to make a good shot in order to approach or work your way into the net.

You can’t return a serve midway into the opponent’s court directly to their powerful forehand and expect to have an advantage while running to the net. In many cases, the ball will get to you before you are ready, or it will go flying by you at a fast clip.

To win consistently, you must make an “approach” shot. That is, a drop volley or angled shot that causes the player go make a weak return, etc. which facilitates an approach to the net without the odds of an even better shot coming back at you.

Now that I have realized this, I am a bit more selective when working my way to the net with my partners and it has paid off.

Watch Deb Harrison as she demonstrates the best ways to “earn the net.”

Pickleball: Earning the Net, Deb Harrison

Do you think “earning the net” will help your game? Are you purposeful in using this strategy? Leave a comment below!

Pickleball TipBit: Third Shot Options, Deb Harrison

When hearing from Pickleball coaches or reading books about Pickleball strategies, it is often professed that the third shot drop shot is the “gold standard” of play.

What that means is that after the serve, the opposing team returns serve and the serving team should then drop the ball into the non-volley zone (the kitchen). This is a good strategy for many occasions, but it is also a hard shot to make repeatedly without much practice.

Another point to consider is that the opposing team might “catch” on to this ploy and begin to move up on the ball.

Having a variety of third shot options might help. Deb Harrison’s Pickleball Tip Bit (video below) offers some ideas in this area.