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:
Helle Sparre explains third shot options. I think many pickleballers will find this interesting. It isn’t a video of pickleball players on a court, but rather about strategy. She uses a magnetic board with “checkers” as players to explain the strategy. This won’t be one of those exciting videos (for most people), but it offers some THIRD SHOT strategy tips for players at different skill levels.
The gold standard, so to speak, of pickleball third shots is the third shot drop shot. My third shot drop shot from deep in the court isn’t very reliable and most of the people I play against would probably say something similar of their own third shot. So…what are the other alternatives for a third shot? Do you just throw your paddle in the air and give up? Of course not!
Helle explains what the three basic options are and offers ideas about what you should try to do. If you are honest with yourself, and you believe that Helle Sparre has the right idea, it will point you to areas in which you need to gain proficiency.
I think you will find this of interest if you are looking to improve your game.
IMPORTANT– Helle talks about when you should NOT RUN TO THE NON-VOLLEY ZONE based on the shot just hit! A very good point or two!
To See additonal Pickleball Videos Covering Many Aspects of the Game Click Here (primarily for beginners and less experienced players)
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.