By: CJ Johnson | August 30, 2019 |

Three Strikes-No, Not Baseball, It’s a Pickleball Drop Shot Drill

Would a better drop shot improve your pickleball game? For most of us, the answer is a definite YES! The good news is you can develop one. The bad news for some of you is it requires practice, but drills don’t have to be boring!

This is the final pickleball drop shot drill in the series. These drills are a fun way to effectively build your existing skills and make your practice sessions more fun.

Just in case you missed any of them, in the first post, we reviewed the fundamentals. Then in the first drop shot drill, we used the dink to help you develop touch from the baseline. In the second drill, once again, we used the dink to develop feel from anywhere on the court.

This last post ties it all together and gives you a way to measure the number of consecutive drop shots you can hit from the baseline to the non-volley zone.

Three Strikes Pickleball Drop Shot Drill

Three strikes aren’t just for baseball. In this pickleball drop shot drill, we are trying to see how many consecutive unattackable drop shots we can hit before we accumulate three strikes.

In this drill, the player at the non-volley zone “pitches” the ball to the “batter” who’s standing at the baseline.

Begin counting consecutive drops once the first ball lands in the kitchen. Keep counting until you hit a ball into the net or past the non-volley zone. That’s your first strike. Start over and repeat the drill until you get three strikes. Then it’s your partner’s turn.

The highest number of consecutively hit drop shots is your score for that “inning.” Play as many innings as you like!

If you are having difficulty hitting the ball from the baseline into the kitchen, start in the transition zone in the middle of the court and work your way backward.

Want more challenge? Only count the unattackable balls, where the apex of the ball is below the net, as “runs.”

If you’d like a more significant challenge, the player at the non-volley zone should attack any ball over the height of the net.


Anyone can develop the touch required to hit consistent drop shots. The requirement is repetition and practice. Use these three drills to build your touch and fun while you’re improving!

What is your favorite drop shot drill? Put your answer in the comments below.


CJ Johnson

Hey there — I’m a professional three-sport athlete and coach who has spent my entire adult life earning a living from playing and coaching sports. Since I started coaching more than three decades ago, one thing has remained the same: My commitment to see students not as they are but as what they can become and to move heaven and earth to help them realize their untapped potential. You should know that when it comes to helping pickleball players over 50 live their best lives on and off the courts, I'm an expert. Good pickleball is not just technique; it's the mind and body working holistically. That's why I'm also a personal trainer and weight management specialist. When I’m chillin', you'll find me watching Star Trek with my husband John and our two fur babies, Shirley and Ralph. (Yes, Happy Days)