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Make Your Third Shot Spicy: The Inside-Out Drop

by The Dink Media Team on

The third shot in pickleball is crucial because it helps control the pace of the game and improves your team's positioning. It is typically a soft shot played as a response to the opponent's return.

By hitting a well-placed third shot, you force the opponents to hit a deep return, giving your team more time to advance to the net. This strategic shot allows you to establish dominance at the net and maintain control of the rally.

One of the best spots to land your third shot is right here, no matter which side you serve from:

It forces the opposing team to either take a low backhand or retreat away from the NVZ line.

Unfortunately, that location is also incredibly susceptible to an opposing erne. The left-side player can easily jump the kitchen and smash a fourth.

A favorite shot to stymie the erne attempt is the inside-out drop.

Freeze the opposing team with a bit of misdirection and still deliver the ball to an offensive location.

The key here is a little bit of wrist manipulation. Your swing is going to look the same from your footwork to your forearm.

The difference is that your paddle face stays open a little longer than usual. Keep the wrist cocked back as you make contact and push through just as the ball is leaving the paddle.

Meanwhile: sell the idea that the ball is headed toward the left or middle of the court. The late follow-through sends the ball to its desired location on the right side.

Take a look at an example here:


For higher levels of deception, add a look-away into the mix. Focus your eyes on the middle of the court instead of your actual target.

Read Next: Third Shot Strategies in Mixed Doubles

Give this drop a try and make your approach to the NVZ a breeze.

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