Drop Shot Pickleball: Why, When & How to Drop Shots

Do you know about Pickleball drop shot? Or maybe have heard about the pickleball third shot drop? In general, the drop shot pickleball is similar to the dink with a bit more distance. If you are already a pro in pickleball, you may be familiar with this shot. If you are a beginner, it will take a little longer to learn the drop shot.

Drop Shot Pickleball: Why, When & How to Drop Shots

What is a Drop Shot in Pickleball

Pickleball Drop shot is a shot that hit the ball right over the net toward the non-volley zone to prevent the opponent from making a quick move to attack. Drop Shot is one of the most crucial pickleball shots that any Pickleball should master.

Learning drop shots is useful for you to control the pace, inhibits enemies from making fast attacks, and allows you to make better shots in the next hit. At first glance, this shot is similar to the “dink pickleball” shot but the drop shot is shot from a long distance.what is pickleball drop shot

Reasons Why Pickleball Players Take Drop Shots

Drop shots Pickleball can give you and your team an advantage if you play doubles. Although most drop shots are not shots that have a big impact on scoring goals, they do have a defensive function. A good drop shot will give you and your teammates cleaner control of the game. Or in other words, using drop shots will present a balanced position between you and your opponent.

Your position in the game is very important. You should not be too far from the net or the non-volley line. If you are too far to pick up a difficult ball thrown by your opponent, then shooting with a drop shot can give you extra time to get back into the right position.

You can do drop shots to provoke your opponent to attack, but in reality, you don’t. The trick is that you give the ball a chance to give your opponent a chance to attack with a hard shot. But you have to put the ball in the non-volley zone with a not-too-high bounce. Instead of hitting hard, your opponent will think twice and will hit with a dink shot that is easy for you to return.

Generally, professional players further use drop shots to set the next shot that has a chance of delivering a smash or passing baseline. However, if you are a beginner, using drop shots for defense is good enough.

When to use Third Shot Drop

In general, Pickleball third shot drop is best when you and your team are near the baseline. Because it allows you to get to the front of the net. Also, this shot is common on the third shot after service shots and return shots. Therefore, this shot is often referred to as the “third shot”.

Unlike tennis, pickleball appears to be advantageous for the returning team over the service team because they will be at the net faster. Drop shots may be taken by the service team to cover this loss.

pickleball drop shot at base line

Another effective time to make a drop shot is when the opponent is already on their non-volley line. Try to make your opponent think you’re going to shoot to the baseline. If they are careless, you can drop the ball in front of the net and outwit your enemy.

This shot requires careful calculation and is not always optimal. The whole point of learning to shoot a lot in controlling the net. In pickleball, controlling the net means you control the game.

The risk that may occur from this drop shot is shot with high power so that the ball gets stuck in the net. Therefore this technique requires precision and intense practice.

How to Do a Proper Drop Shot

A good drop shot is a shot that is soft and goes straight to the Kitchen. Also, make sure your shot doesn’t bounce too high which could result in a smash hit for your opponent.

If you are a beginner, there are tips and tricks if you want to learn this shot. Some of these tips include:

  1. Remember if you have studied dink shots, then drop shots have the same concept with a slightly longer distance. You need to bend your knees and get under the ball. Choose a point of contact below the knee or equivalent.
  2. Drop shots usually don’t carry a lot of wind behind them, or in other words, make shots as soft as possible but deadly.
  3. Hit the ball with the paddle by lifting the pendulum. Get under it for a nice bow and let gravity help you for the rest.
  4. Aim for the ball gently. Try not to go too deep but also not too close to the position of the net. Make sure that the highest point of the ball is while it is still in your area. This is so that the ball you shoot is not too far away because you hit it too hard.
  5. A good drop shot has a rainbow-like shape. You need to measure your strength by the bow you make. The higher the arc, the deeper the ball will fall. If it’s too high then it will benefit the enemy to hit the smash and make your return difficult.

In players with high technique. Drop shots have many variations. Instead of making arcs and curves in the ball’s path, professional players make higher-level drop shots by hitting the ball in a straight line. When the ball reaches the opponent’s area, the ball will fall like a bird hit by a hunter’s shot.

Drop shots like that are not recommended for those of you who are beginners or when you are at a critical point. Although deadly, the risks involved are also quite large. If you are not precise or lack consistency and have not been able to control the ball with the paddle, a drop shot like that will only keep the ball from crossing the net.

Drills To Learn And Improve Your Drop Shot Skills

The drop shot is probably the most difficult technique in pickleball. If you want to master this technique, you’ll need a lot of drilling, hard practice, and the brain’s ability to remember every move. You can invite your friends to do a good drop shot practice.

We will briefly provide drills for you to practice.

First, you can ask your friends to stand in their non-volley line to pass the ball to you. Same as an exercise in general. Do it consistently so you can feel the rhythm and strength of your hands. This serves to get your hands used to controlling the ball with the drop shot paddle and dropping the ball wherever you want.

Hold the paddle comfortably and don’t feel stiff. Also, use a variation of the shot with the backhand position. Ask your practice partner for the occasional long, hard-to-return ball.

When you have started to feel the rhythm of the game, try to step back little by little to get a comfortable position in making drop shots. Backtrack back and prepare the ball’s landing point. You can compete with your friends about who can put the ball on a certain target at one time.

Make sure that your practice partner provides balls of varying depths. It will train your skills like a real match simulation.

These drills are recommended for practice with 2 or 3 players. If you want to practice alone, you can use the help of a wall or a board.

For more satisfying results, do these drills repeatedly. If you feel comfortable doing drop shots in certain positions, take one step back to add to the challenge. If you are proficient, you can take these drills to the next level. You can try shots from the right or left. And if you are already proficient you can try other drop shot techniques which may be even more difficult.

So those are some drills you can do in learning drop shots. Because it is one of the most difficult techniques in pickleball, don’t be discouraged if you fail a lot in drop shots. On the other hand, you should not give up immediately and keep practicing hard. Hard training will pay off satisfactorily.


The drop shot is one of the most difficult techniques in pickleball. The idea is to get a deadly shot without expending much effort and making it difficult for the opponent. This shot requires repeated practice, precision, and accuracy, as well as good control of your grip muscles. You can practice drop shots with your friends or alone.

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