Pickleball Singles Strategy Part 2: Drop It

We all utilize a third shot drop when playing doubles, but I found this shot has real value when playing pickleball singles as well.  It is a singles strategy I learned from one of my mixed partners, Wesley Gabrielsen.  You see it more in the men’s game … but it can be applied to women’s singles as well.
pickleball singles
Shorter Players
I am 5′ 5″ so my ability to cover the court side to side is more limited.  In tennis, I could get away with it … but in pickleball the court is so much smaller.  When you are shorter, and your taller opponent’s wingspan is so much greater you have trouble passing them.  I’ve learned that a third shot drop can be used to minimize the differences.
Pickleball Singles with a Drop Shot

The purpose of a third shot drop when playing singles is to take pace away from your opponent.  Taking pace off the ball can neutralize a point when you are on defense.

As an example, let’s say I am serving and my opponent is able to approach the net after hitting their return.  In this situation, I will try to hit a drop shot to the backhand corner.  My goal is to force my opponent into a dink rally, moving me from defense to neutral and then to offense when the occasion arises.

Defense … Neutral … Offense

pickleball singlesThe important thing to keep in mind is that when playing pickleball we move through stages or conditions in a logical sequence. Our goal when we are on defense is to get to neutral … from neutral to offense.  It may take several shots to accomplish this.  I may not be able to move directly from the baseline to the non-volley zone line using a single drop shot.  I may only be able to take a few steps forward, into the area often called no mans land.  However, coming forward that little bit shortens the distance.  If I continue to hit a drop shot, with time, I will be able to once more capture the line.

Playing Pickleball Singles … Shorter Points

We often see players want to bang the ball more when playing singles.  Using the drop shot can neutralize an opponent and set up a point in your favor.  It will take practice, but hitting an effective drop shot is an important strategy when you are playing pickleball singles.





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