Third shot

Marsha from Toledo, OH asks: 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?

The third shot, dink,  master shot or whatever name you’ve heard – let’s go with the third shot. Yes this is a valuable and necessary shot to learn, practice and use.  To understand what the third shot is, it is a ground stroke from the baseline hit softly over the net and into your opponent’s non-volley zone – landing at their feet, not allowing them to volley the ball in the air.  This shot allows the person hitting the third shot to get to the net and join their opponent face to face at the net. Because the overall goal is to always get to the net, there you have the most opportunity to win the point.

Where to place the third shot?

Always mix up your shot placements – be it cross-court , down the line or to the middle, placement is key and usually placing it on your opponents backhand is the best.  You should place the ball where it gives you the best opportunity for time for you and your partner to get to the net. The net is where you win.

As your approaching the net after your third shot be looking for an error from you opponent on popping up their return of your shot, thus allowing you to attack the ball in the air and smacking a winning volley shot. That is a great feeling!

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