The Third Shot Drop

The third shot drop in pickleball is effective strategy to return the ball when you are the serve receiver and you are not in position to effectively hit the serve as the serve is bounced low out of serve box. This go to shot on the travel shot is to drop the ball in a picked up stack, aimed to bounce on the end line and follow the bounce back into the serve box with a flick of the wrist and wrist rotation to give the ball some forward power.The bounce out of the court is when this shot works best on travel and it is a shot so effective with great success that it often times cause the server to think twice or three times about the pace and placement of the serve. Even players like Allyson Munro has picked up on the shot and used the travel drop shot effectively and is one of this writer’s favorite opponent to watch when she has the drop shot on travel as she can do this shot in one motion from pick up to finish while still playing under the ball.With end line out of serve box, it is the best shot to use to go down and win the point (for instance with the other team short on the serve count and winning point) and key shot to set up the point as it is a point of attack and potential to finish the point quickly and early. If, however the other team doesn’t follow the serve and pick up the ball, they have left the game open to your team vastly and given you the advantage of either a smash over the opponent’s head, a safe and controlled shot back into the serve box and held serve or the lower radius shot with the same goal as in a smashed shot set up from the travel drop shot. With this shot, you can hold serve more easily than a normal drop shot and in some cases, it is easy enough to even hold serve until the other team struggles to kick serve. There is also a second, more high risk of high reward shot with the travel drop shot. Here, the player waits until the contact of the serve and then hitting the ball on the serve up side, the ball is dropped and “hit” into the ball on it’s down side from the dropped ball in the pickleball end line. The final outcome of the second option is that if the first option, it is much harder to make a controlled shot and the risk is greater in failure to garner a point or make the serve be played over again if the serve was on the border of the serve box on the bounce of the dropped ball.

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