What Is a 4th Shot in Pickleball?

You are a pickleball player always looking for ways to improve your game. Have you ever wondered what a “4th shot” is and how it can benefit your play? In this blog post, we’ll examine the ins and outs of the elusive 4th shot and dive into pickleball strategy. Get ready to raise your game!

4th Shot in Pickleball
halbergman – iStock

What Is a 4th Shot in Pickleball?

Pickleball is a paddle sport that combines elements of tennis, badminton, and table tennis. Players of all ages and skill levels enjoy it. The game’s rules are simple: two to four players use paddles to hit a plastic ball over a net on an outdoor court. One point is scored when the ball hits the ground or is out of bounds in the opponent’s court.

Pickleball Third Drop Shot
Tempura – iStock

Three shots can be taken in pickleball: forehand, backhand, and serve. The fourth shot in pickleball is known as “the pickleball third shot drop” or “the third shot dink” (also called the “volley drop“).

This type of shot occurs after both opponents have made two returns; one player takes advantage and drops their paddle low to hit a soft return with little pace just over their opponent’s reach resulting in an unforced error (or winning point). This move can be difficult for new players but experienced ones use it often as it can help them gain an advantage over their opponents.

The fourth shot in pickleball has become increasingly popular as more people learn how to play this fun sport. Whether you are looking for something new to try or want something different than your usual tennis routine, try pickleball! You won’t regret it!

Court Positioning for 4th Shot in Pickleball

Pickleball is a fast-paced and fun game that requires players to move quickly and be strategic in their court positioning. The fourth shot in pickleball is essential, as it can help set up the next point or score the point. Knowing how to position oneself on the court for this shot can give a player an edge over their opponent.

court positioning for 4th shot in pickleball
Ron Alvey – Shutterstock

When playing the fourth shot, paying attention to where your opponents are positioned and anticipating where they may be going next is essential. It will help you decide whether you should hit deep or short, near the line or further away from it. You also want to ensure your body is balanced to move quickly when needed.

If hitting crosscourt, try and stay close with your feet at shoulder width apart so you will have more control over your shots and be able to react quickly if needed. If hitting down the line, stay back from the net with feet slightly wider than shoulder-width apart for increased power behind each hit.

When playing defensively on a fourth shot, look for openings towards either side of the court rather than going straight down which leaves open space for error if not placed correctly – instead, aim lower as this gives less time for opponents to react while still giving yourself enough time to get back into position afterward if necessary.

By understanding how different positioning affects play during a pickleball game’s fourth shot – such as controlling the depth of shots based on where your opponents are located – players are better able to set themselves up strategically against their opponent(s), allowing them greater chances of winning points throughout each match!

7 Pickleball Strategies for 4th Shot

It is crucial to maintain your advantage, hold the Kitchen line, and put pressure on the serving team once you, as the receiving team, are at the Kitchen line and ready to receive the third shot from your opponents. In the fourth shot of each pickleball rally, take into account the following pickleball methods to achieve this:

Strategy to 4th Shot
LPETTET – iStock

Keeping the Serving Team at Baseline

The 4th shot in pickleball is an essential point in the game strategy, as it can either set up a winning point or lead to an easy exchange. To ensure victory, it’s necessary to maintain a strong serving team at baseline with the 4th shot.

The first step in keeping your serving team at baseline is to use good footwork and positioning. It means ensuring both players move quickly and strategically around the court to stay within reach of each other’s shots. It’s also essential for players to be aware of where their opponents are on the court so they can anticipate any potential returns or shots from them.

When returning the ball with your 4th shot, aim for deep shots near your opponent’s back line if possible; this will help put pressure on them and make it more difficult for them to return your serve successfully. Additionally, focusing on accuracy rather than power when returning serves as power is only sometimes necessary if you control where you place your shots during rallies.

Finally, practice consistency by playing regularly with friends or against robots to develop a better awareness of how each player moves around the court during points and how best to position yourself during rallies while still maintaining consistent play from one point to another.

By following these tips, you will be able to consistently keep your serving team at baseline throughout matches, giving you an edge over opponents who need to employ this strategy more effectively!

Keep Serving Team at Baseline
Ron Alvey – Shutterstock

Hit Down on the Pickleball

One important strategic element of pickleball is the fourth shot drop. This shot requires the player to hit down on the ball to bounce low over the net and away from the opponent’s reach.

It can be done by angling your paddle so that it hits slightly below the center of the ball when you make contact, causing it to go lower than if it were hit straight on. After hitting down, follow through in an upward motion to not lose too much power or momentum from your shot.

The fourth shot drop allows players to control where their shots land and set up their opponents for an easy return or even put them out of position, depending on where they place it. Mastering this technique with practice and careful planning will significantly improve your pickleball game!

Hit Your Typical Targets

Hit Your Typical Targets is a great way to improve your pickleball game. It begins with understanding the fundamentals of pickleball and then developing the proper strategy for the fourth shot in a rally.

The fourth shot is crucial because it puts pressure on your opponent and can either end or extend the rally. The goal should be to hit shots you can consistently make and have enough variation to keep your opponent guessing.

This strategy involves targeting areas of the court, such as deep corner pockets, wide angles, short angles, and lobs over your opponent’s head, and placing shots at different heights and speeds to keep them off balance. With this strategy, you can control where each point goes while keeping your opponent guessing what’s coming next!

hit your typical targets
RyanJLane – iStock

Beware of the Poach

The fourth shot in pickleball can be the most important and therefore requires a great deal of strategy. One critical method is to be aware of poaching. The poach occurs when one player strategically moves across the court to hit their opponent’s ball, which would otherwise have been an easy point for them.

This tactic must be used carefully as it can backfire if not executed properly and can lead to a manageable point for your opponent instead. When using a poach, players must consider where their opponent will hit next, how much time they have before the next shot, and what type of spin or power they should put on their return shot.

If done correctly, this technique can often result in an unexpected point for your team or disrupt your opponents’ momentum enough that you can retake control of the game and move towards victory!

Be Careful When Using a Drop Volley

Drop Volleys in Pickleball is a great way to take advantage of your opponent’s weak return and put them on the defensive. This strategy is especially effective for the 4th shot, as it forces your opponent to hit a problematic return or give you an easy point.

Carefully Use a Drop Volley
Ron Alvey – Shutterstock

However, it can also be risky if appropriately executed; when using this strategy, players should keep their drop volley close to the net or too far away from their opponents. It can give away an easy point or even a double fault if done incorrectly.

Players should focus on accuracy and placement rather than power when executing this shot to maximize effectiveness. Additionally, drop volleys should only be used when there is a specific target in mind; if there isn’t one, then a safer option, such as an overhead smash, may be more appropriate.

When used correctly, though, the drop volley can be an effective tool that puts pressure on your opponents and keeps them off balance while giving you control of the point.

Let the “Out Balls” Go

One key strategy in pickleball is to use the “Out Balls” when playing your fourth shot. An out ball is a shot that forces your opponent to miss their next hit by placing the ball so far away from them that they cannot reach it.

This strategy can be used to gain an advantage in any game of pickleball and can help you win more matches. By using “out balls” strategically, you will give yourself the best chance for success.

The key is to place the out ball far enough away from your opponent so that they cannot make a return hit or are not able to put their return shot in an area where you are likely able to get back into position for another impact on the next rally point.

Out balls should also be placed close enough together so that if one goes wide or long, there’s another one following up soon after, which could catch your opponents off guard and give you an easy point-winning opportunity before they have time to recover their position on the court again.

With practice and patience, using “out balls” correctly during each match can give you a tremendous edge over your opponents!

Start Aggressively If You Are the Kitchen Partner

The fourth shot in pickleball can be a game-changing move. If you are the kitchen partner, you must start aggressively when playing the fourth shot. Aggressive play allows you to control the point, making it more difficult for your opponents to respond.

To do this, focus on delivering power shots that force your opponents back on their heels and into defensive positions. Additionally, aim for spots where your opponents aren’t expecting to receive the ball and take advantage of any open court space available to place singles or doubles shots precisely where they will cause maximum disruption for your opposition.

By starting aggressively with your fourth shot, you can quickly gain the upper hand in the match and put yourself one step closer to victory!


What are the four shots in pickleball?

The four shots in pickleball are the forehand, backhand, dink shot, and volley. The forehand is hit with an open paddle face and a forward motion. The backhand is hit with a closed paddle face and a backward movement. The dink shot is an offensive or defensive tool to keep the opponent from taking control of the rally. Finally, the volley finishes off points quickly by hitting weak returns close to the net.

What is the fifth shot in pickleball?

The fifth shot in pickleball is the dink shot. A dink shot is a soft, low-level shot that keeps the ball within the non-volley zone and away from an opponent’s reach. It can also set up other shots, such as a drop or lob.

What is the hardest shot in pickleball?

The drop shot is the most challenging in pickleball. To perform correctly, it needs exact time, accuracy, and strength. To make it difficult for the opponent to reach it in time, the player must smash the ball low and with a lot of spins.

Wrap Up

The fourth pickleball shot of the rally is rarely discussed in the media. Your team will almost always be in a better position on the court when taking that fourth shot from the non-volley line because of where they stand. A soft dink should only be used when the serving team has earned the right to lose that advantage. Respect that if they do earn it, then execute the dink shots.

Let’s meet up on the courts!

Leave a Comment