Learn The 3rd Shot Drop – Tennis Stars Playing In PPA Masters – The Reset

Universal Rackets Weekly Update!

Let’s Talk About Your Pickleball Game

Question: Why am I missing so many shots into the net?

Answer: Before we can teach specific mechanics for the form of your pickleball shots, we need to first look at your footwork and your preparation for all strokes in pickleball. You may realize, after your ball falls into the net, that you were overreaching, didn’t have your feet set, or were off balance. If any of these three are not straightened out prior to contact with the ball, you are most likely to miss the shot. Sometimes the ball can go long or more likely into the net, and if you’re lucky enough to get it over the net, it will be immediately put away by opponents.

When you are moving to the ball, you want to be in a low athletic stance, lower than you think. This allows you to move more efficiently. A split step is when you take a tiny jump in place as the ball is heading for you, allowing you to move in either direction quickly. The most valuable tip we will share here is this: be sure to stop moving before you make contact with the ball. Too many players are moving through their shots; this mistake will land many balls into the net or sailing far out of bounds. A stationary, balanced, athletic stance with your knees bent and the paddle meeting the ball in front of your body is ideal for successful shots on the pickleball court. Don’t be caught overreaching, off-balance, and moving through shots with contact points close to or behind your body.

Click here for a video lesson on how to not hit drives into the net

The Purpose of the 3rd Shot Drop

The most popular shot in a pickleballer’s game is the 3rd shot. First you serve, then return, then comes the 3rd shot of the point. The strategy behind the drop at this time in the point is to construct an opportunity to move your team to the kitchen. Generating a dropping shot that lands into the kitchen allows you to use the rules of pickleball to your advantage. Since it is illegal to hit the ball out of the air while standing in the kitchen, your opponent needs to let the ball bounce before contact if you create a successful, beautiful drop. The more shallow the ball lands (closest to the net) the better.

We define a successful drop as one that is unable to be volleyed out of the air.  As they are taking the time to wait for the bounce and take their 4th shot of the point, you get to move up closer to the kitchen. Think about the rules in court positioning too: as the serving team, both players are back. Using a good 3rd shot drop allows you to move forward with the time you have. Since your opponents (the returning team) are positioned with one at the baseline to return & their partner at the kitchen they are already in a better spot for advantage on the court. Practice this 3rd shot drop to level up your pickleball game.

Click here to learn the 3rd shot drop‼️

Colored Halo Paddles Are Here!

The new pink & green SLK Halo paddles are released to the public! The SLK Halo is an exceptional choice for players ranging from beginners to professionals who prioritize exceptional spin and control on the court. Choose the Max shape for the largest sweet spot for balanced players, or the XL shape for an elongated handle and increased spin for power players. This new paddle contains T700 Raw Carbon Fiber featuring Raw Spin Technology provides control and ultimate spin developed to dominate the game.

Click here to view the Selkirk Halo Paddles  Make sure to use our code ADV-Universal at checkout for a gift card with your purchase.

The Reset In Pickleball: 3 Tips For Better Defense

We refer to a successful defensive shot as a reset. When facing an attack in pickleball, we are put onto the defensive. Our first goal is to make contact with the ball, then we aim to land our shot into the kitchen. This happens in a perfect situation. It takes many hours of practice to become adroit in resets in pickleball. 

Tip #1 When facing a put-away, their paddle is coming from up high to down low as they’re reaching for a high ball to attack. As soon as you see their paddle go up, you immediately put your paddle down. You don’t have much time to react here, so tiny time savers will make all the difference.

Click here to see a hack for this tip!

Tip #2 Footwork for defensive resets is crucial. You need to take one step back as soon as you see the high ball happening. You do not run backwards or take too many steps back. Remember we don’t have much time. Taking one step back gives you more time to react to what is coming. You also want those feet planted and solid when you make contact with the ball. Moving will introduce unwanted results in your reset. 

Click here the 3 step reset footwork sequence!

Tip #3 Swing path should be short. The reason you don’t take a big swing in response to a put-away is because there is already enough forcing coming towards you. Your job is to absorb the power and finish with your paddle pointing in the direction you want the ball to land.

Dropping it into the kitchen is the goal. If you’re successful at this you will get time to move your team up to the kitchen and recover from the attacks. Balls in the kitchen neutralize the point and are a great shot to take any time on court.

Click here for a progression to master resets!

3 Major Tennis Stars Are Competing At The Masters This Week

Yesterday at the Hyundai Masters in Rancho Mirage, California 3 tennis stars competed in the tournament including 2014 Wimbledon Finalist Eugenie Bouchard, Former Top 10 Player Jack Sock, and Former World #11 Sam Querrey.

It will be interesting to see how the tennis pros do amongst the top pickleball players. Sock and Querry have notably “officially” retired from tennis and now are onto pickleball full time, while Eugenie Bouchard plans to make her 2024 WTA tennis tour debut in February. Is it a matter of time for tennis players to “take over” pickleball or will the current top 10 pickleball players remain in 2024? Time will tell.

Want to watch the Masters? Click here!

2024 Indoor Programming Is Underway!

This week we officially kicked off our 2024 season! In January and February Universal Rackets will be running 30+ indoor Junior & Adult pickleball programs in 7+ locations including our new Center City Philadelphia location. 

Click here to view all January and February programs!

Make sure to check out our Upper Merion PicklePalooza if you are in the area! Whether you’re a seasoned player or new to the game, this is the perfect opportunity to socialize, have fun, and play pickleball. PicklePalooza will feature a variety of games and point play, so you can test your abilities and compete against other players. Grab your friends and join us for a day of pickleball fun at Upper Merion Township’s PicklePalooza. We can’t wait to see you there! Beginner, All Levels and Family sessions will be held. Click here to register

Lesson of the Week: Kitchen Warmup: How To Warm Up Like A Pro

Click here to view this week’s lesson

Thank you for reading and we can’t wait to see you on court!

-Universal Rackets

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