Third Shot

Third shot

Posted On April 09, 2013

Marsha from Toledo, OH asks: “I was interested in your thoughts on strategy. I hear so many players talk about the third shot being a soft shot so that your team can get to the kitchen line. What is your take on the third shot and what is your strategy when hitting it?”

Jay from Steamboat Springs, CO asks: “I understand the mechanics of the 3rd shot, drop shot, master shot (whatever its called) but need some help with where to place it to combine a solid strategy with the shot. Help?”

Susan from Northville, MI asks: “I’ve read about mastering a 3rd shot. What are your thoughts?”

Answer by “Jennifer Locore”

Great questions- For our purposes here, I’ll stay with “third shot”. I’ve also heard it referred to different names, but they generally describe the type of shot like “drop shot” or “long dink” opposed to being the actual third shot of a point; admittedly, I’d not heard of the “master shot”.

The third shot is a valuable and necessary shot to master; maybe that’s where that name came from. This shot is used when your opponents are already at the net and you’re at the baseline needing to get yourself to the kitchen line. The third shot is a long dink hit from the baseline softly over the net and into your opponent’s non-volley zone. The goal, often easier said than done, is to land it at their feet not allowing them to volley the ball in the air. When executed correctly this shot allows the person (and their teammate) hitting the third shot to get to the net . The sooner you get to the net, the higher chance of winning the point.

The location of placement is dependent on various scenarios, but the middle is generally the safest and highest percentage; in part because the net is lower, but also because you have more room for error and there is always the chance of confusion on the part of your opponents. If the opportunity presents itself by an opponent being out of position, cross court or down the line can be effective. Lastly, I’m sure you’ve noticed players who “play” to the weaker player. That’s a whole other strategy that may be considered as you decide where or who to hit your third shot too.

Whatever you decide, once the ball leaves your paddle move to the net ready for the elusive pop-up. If you’re ready, you’ll be occasionally gifted a perfectly placed ball ready to be smacked for a winning volley shot. That is a great feeling!

 It’s subtle improvements and consistency that will take you to the next skill level.

National PickleBall Champion
National PickleBall Champion

What PickleBall Player are saying.

Submitted on 2013/10/18 at 3:42 pm

Great fun and great people!



Submitted on 2013/10/15 at 4:08 pm

Hi Jerry, It’s Kim from Canada eh? I now have fellow players repeating after me ” accuracy over power”. I thank you for your informative site. When I am wondering what I am doing wrong I check back into the categories and always find what I need. Tim and I still talk about our fun time with you all in Naples. Thank you for your dedication to this sport. Kim



Submitted on 2013/10/15 at 11:55 am

Hi Jerry,

Thanks for sending on the pictures and information. The weather looks delightful, and it was so much fun seeing everyone enjoying the game.  I am looking forward to playing with you all very soon! Sally



Submitted on 2013/10/11 at 1:24 am

Hey Jerry, Thanks for the video. All of us at Bonita Bay enjoyed the chance to play with you and your colleagues this summer. Hope we can organize something during the season, once everything has settled down. Best, Steve


Submitted on 2013/09/17 at 1:15 am

Jerry- You are so valuable and special to so many of us.  Thank you for posting video and pictures.  My turn to take some of you playing tomorrow… SHAVE!!


Submitted on 2013/09/16 at 7:15 pm

Great seeing so many playing.  Looks like some new folks also. I have not been able  to play for a month now due to Achilles tendonitis.  Not at all happy about it either.  I feel like a part of me is missing with my pickleball.  We have had a great summer here in western North Carolina mountains.  We played in the Palmetto Doubles Tourney in Aiken, SC in August and finished a game out of the medal round.  My heel was preventing me from my playing my game, but it was fun.  We saw some fantastic matches.  Our friends, Nancy & Mike Falkenstein, won a bronze medal-their first in sanctioned play.  We will be back in Naples around the first of Oct.  Can’t wait to see everyone again.   Judy & Don


Submitted on 2013/09/16 at 3:05 pm

Thank you for sharing Jerry!  When I see these pictures, it makes me want to come back sooner than later.  The sunshine looks so inviting, and it’s great to see so many people I know on the courts.

My warmest regards to all!  See you in November. Sally





Flying over the Earth at night

Explanation: Many wonders are visible when flying over the Earth at night. A compilation of such visual spectacles was captured recently from the International Space Station (ISS) and set to rousing music. Passing below are white clouds, orange city lights, lightning flashes in thunderstorms, and dark blue seas. On the horizon is the golden haze of Earth’s thin atmosphere, frequently decorated by dancing auroras as the video progresses. The green parts of auroras typically remain below the space station, but the station flies right through the red and purple auroral peaks. Solar panels of the ISS are seen around the frame edges. The ominous wave of approaching brightness at the end of each sequence is just the dawn of the sunlit half of Earth, a dawn that occurs every 90 minutes.