How to Deal with the ‘3rd Shot Pop Fly’ in Pickleball

Learn how to counter the ‘3rd Shot Pop Fly’ strategy in pickleball with these expert tips.

A player seeks advice on how to counter the ‘3rd Shot Pop Fly’ strategy in pickleball, causing their team to lose the net quickly.


  • Counter ‘3rd Shot Pop Fly’ with understanding drive, drop, or lob options.
  • Learning to hit an overhead can eliminate lobs swiftly.
  • Recognize lob telegraphs and adjust strategy accordingly.
  • Adjust your return to limit serving team’s options for the 3rd shot.

Dealing With Lobs

A player explains that countering a lob involves mastering overhead smashes and tactical positioning. Jumping for an overhead smash or playing off the bounce are effective strategies to handle lobs in pickleball.

Strategies for Returning Serve

Another player suggests two strategies for returning serve and reaching the net efficiently. They emphasize using high slow deep shots or driving the return to disrupt the serving team’s options.

High Risk, High Reward

One player highlights the risk and reward nature of a 3rd shot lob, underscoring the challenge of handling unexpected shots that go over the net.

Players offer diverse strategies, from countering lobs with overhead smashes to adjusting return techniques to outsmart the serving team. Whether through tactics or skill development, the key is to adapt your gameplay to limit the impact of the ‘3rd Shot Pop Fly’ in pickleball. Each player’s perspective contributes to a comprehensive guide on overcoming this strategic challenge in the game.