What is Pickleball Drop Shot?

Most pickleball players have trouble consistently hitting the drop shot. You end up spiked back at the net if you use too much power. You need to use more energy to make it over the net. Finding the right consistency takes time and practice. This easy drill only requires a pickleball court, some gear, and a partner. Then you’ll be shooting drop shots with ease in no time.

Dropshots are precise, gentle shots meant to bounce into your opponent’s no-volley zone. One of the most advanced pickleball techniques is the third-shot drop. By utilizing this technique, your team can gain possession of the net while equalizing the positional advantage of your opponent.

The first few pickleball shots you can take are very challenging to do. It would be best if you were skilled to take advantage of these Pickleball third shot to achieve the accuracy and placement that makes them winning shots. In this post, we’re going to look at what is a drop shot in pickleball, how to practice and perfect one, and how you can incorporate it into your game as well.

Pickleball drop shot

What Is The Purpose Of A Drop Shot?

Pickleball’s drop shot is essentially a soft, delicate shot taken from anywhere on the court, most often around the baseline. The shot goes over the net and lands “harmlessly” in a non-volley zone where your opponent cannot “attack.” These shots can be challenging for a new pickleball player. To hit this shot accurately and correctly requires a high level of skill.

By using drop shots, you are achieving two key things that give you a competitive advantage: net control and setting up the return shot to your advantage. Known as the kitchen, the non-volley zone is the area where your opponent cannot play volleyball. Whenever you are in a challenging position, and you are well backed up, this shot offers the perfect solution for resetting the pace, slowing down the game, and giving yourself more time to get to the net and get your shots off. You may need to hit this shot three or four times in a row during a volley to give yourself some time. This drill will make you proficient at this shot in no time.

Even so, it is imperative to remember that you can use the drop shot “anytime” when you or your partner are not at the non-volley line, but your opponents are. The drop shot is usually executed on the Pickleball third shot, but it can also happen on the fifth, sixth, or even on the 23rd. It depends merely on how each player positions on the court.

One of the key aspects of pickleball scoring is understanding the importance of each point. With the drop shot, players can aim to catch their opponents off guard and score a quick point. This can be particularly effective if the opponents are playing back and expecting a longer rally.

In addition to understanding the basics of scoring in pickleball, it’s also important to be aware of the different strategies and techniques that can help you score more points. By mastering the drop shot, you can become a more well-rounded player and increase your chances of winning matches.

How To Play Drop Shot Pickleball? 

It is best to play at this position on the court because it gives you the most excellent chance of scoring. Pickleball is won or lost at the net, so getting there is key. It is rare for another serve to give the serving team time to reach the net, like a well-placed drop shot. Have you consistently hit your drop shots into the net? Or they are so high that your opponents hit them back at your feet fast and hard. If so, it’s time to improve your touch with pickleball drop shots. If your 3rd shot drop attempt was not as successful as you had hoped, you might benefit from dropping for a 5th shot. Your team can eventually advance to the net as the game evolves after several drops.

Drop shot pickleball skills clinics focus on the strategies and skills necessary to master one of Pickleball’s most challenging shots – the drop shot! During rotational games of doubles play, players will try to apply the basic reasoning/strategy and execution of the drop shot! For advanced beginner/intermediate players who already know how to play and score but may feel uncomfortable joining an open-play social group!

To make the most out of your pickleball workout, you can try incorporating drop shots into your game. Drop shots require precise control and finesse, and they can help you improve your reflexes and footwork. By practicing drop shots, you’ll be able to move more quickly and efficiently on the court, which can lead to more calories burned.

Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced pickleball player, there are many ways to increase your calories burned playing pickleball. By focusing on your technique and keeping up a steady pace, you can make the most out of your pickleball workout and get in shape while having fun. So grab your paddle and head to the court – your body will thank you!

how to play pickleball drop shot

Pickleball Drop Shot Technique

Step 1: Get your dink down.

Essentially, a drop shot is just a very long dink. In order to avoid getting the ball back at you, you want to land it in the non-volley zone. Thus, it makes sense to shorten the distance before you start to make the shot easier. You can get comfortable with the shot once you master it at a shorter distance before trying it at longer distances until you feel ready to use it.

It’s a great idea to start with a partner in the non-volley zone and then ask them to hit the ball to you while you are practicing returning the dink to them. This will probably appear like a dinking rally at first. Repeat this until you are comfortable returning the dink to them in the non-volley zone.

To become a master at drinking or Pickleball third shot, you need to practice placing your dink with excellent form. To accomplish this, practice stepping to the ball and getting the correct position to return a dink. When you swing, it is important to set your feet and step toward the ball before hitting it to get maximum control. To improve accuracy, you must also follow through with your swing.

Read More : pickleball kitchen rules

Step 2: Take action back 

You can move back a bit and repeat the same process farther away after getting your dink down. Just take one step back and then do the same thing. Stand up at the top of the kitchen and have your partner hit you with the ball, then return it to them in the non-volley zone. It should land softly in the kitchen so that your partner can’t get it back.

Soon after you hit the ball back into the non-volley zone, your partner should return the ball to you at the new spot. Keep repeating this until you feel comfortable replacing the ball with you from that distance. Once you feel comfortable in this spot, you can proceed further.

Step 3: Repeat 

Now do the same thing. Take a step back every time you get comfortable at a new level until you eventually reach the baseline. Once you get satisfied with the shot from the baseline, you’ve practically mastered it and are ready to work it into your games.

The best way to improve your accuracy is to modify this drill a bit and practice. Try hitting the drop shot from the right side of the court into the left side of the opponent’s court or vice versa. You can work on half the court to improve your accuracy, and you can tweak this drill to maximize it. The best part is you can use this drill even if you are an advanced player to improve further or tweak it to your advantage.

Mechanics Required For Drop Shots in Pickleball

To hit a superb drop shot pickleball, we need to control the paddle face and the speed of the shot.

  1. Open Paddle Face: An open paddle face helps to lift the ball up and over the net.
  2. Paddle Angle: The angle of the paddle is to the side, not straight below your arm. When it’s straight below your wrist, it’s more challenging to control the trajectory.
  3. Short Backswing: The longer the swing is, the more difficult it is to control the speed of the ball.
  4. Contact in Front of the Body: Getting in contact with the ball in front of your body is easier than making contact with the paddle face (trajectory).
  5. Pushing Sensation: A properly executed drop shot feels like we’re pushing the ball, not hitting, off the paddle.
  6. Grip Pressure: It is hard to hit a soft shot with a tight grip, but how do you define tight? Use a scale from one to ten where one is the least pressure and ten is the most. If I pulled your paddle, I could take it out of your hand. You’ve now found your extremes, one and ten. You’ve now squeezed the grips tightly. That’s a ten on a scale of 1-10. Adjust the grip pressure on the paddle to a point in the middle between the two extremes. If you want to hit this shot, you should have a grip pressure between three and five. Control, consistency, and feeling will be improved by using lighter pressure.
  7. Footwork: In Pickleball, footwork is essential, and the drop shot is no exception. Senior Pro Helle Spare uses a great analogy to illustrate this point. Imagine a box at your feet while pushing the ball off the paddle with your paddle tilted toward the top corner.
pickleball drop shot mechanics


What Makes a Good Drop Shot?

Generally, the ball should bounce low and near the net, and sometimes with underspin (or backspin). Reducing its bounce height and slowing the ball will make it bounce higher and slower. However, if the ball is shot with too much backspin, it could also bounce back toward the net.

When it comes to Pickleball, what is the difference between a dink and a drop shot?

Pickleball is played with a ball that hits a net inside the opponent’s non-volley zone. The difference lies in where on the pickleball court the shot is hit. Hit from the kitchen line, whereas a drop shot can be hit from any place on the court, though it is usually at the baseline

When hitting a drop shot, what grip should I use?

A continental grip is the best grip to use when going for a drop shot. The continental grip is the same grip that is used when hitting a volley or a slice, since holding the ball in front of your body helps you control the spin and placement.


Take one ball at a time and practice the fundamentals of this shot without a partner at the baseline in front of you. Working through the fundamentals one ball at a time will help you become comfortable.

In order to figure out drop shot pickleball you should have a good grasp of the fundamentals, ask your partner for a few balls. A movement makes any shot more difficult, so it is imperative to review each fundamental individually. Take videos on your phone if you need to understand how you are doing.

Once you have mastered the basics of pickleball drop shots, you will be able to use your drop shot to manipulate the direction and speed of the ball, controlling what happens to the ball during the bounce, and you will be well on your way to winning more games.

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