CJ Johnson Headshot
CJ Johnson
Tony Roig
Tony Roig

Pickleball Reset Shot: Don’t Get Caught In “No Man’s Land”

Are you noticing that as you move up in levels, you’re required to hit different shots? Do you need a shot, to get from the baseline to the non-volley zone, a shot that works in the transition area? You need a reset shot.

One shot you need to acquire to become a better player is a reset shot. In my opinion, it’s the second toughest pickleball shot to learn.

New players typically return hard hit shots with equal or more power.  It’s easier to respond to power with power.  At some point, softness and finesse are required to allow the team in the transition zone to move to the net.

The reset shot is taking a hard shot and creating a soft response. It looks and acts more like the drop shot.

In this post, I’m sharing my favorite reset shot drill.

Click this link if you want to learn more about the technique for this shot.

Using half of the court, one player stands at the NVZ and the other at the baseline. The player at the NVZ puts the ball in play with a deep shot to the baseline.

The player at the baseline starts by hitting a low drive back toward the player at the NVZ. After hitting the drive, the player should take one or two steps into the transition zone (no man’s land) and prepare to defend the block. This simulates the movement and strategy of the serving team when one of the players hits the third shot drive.

The player at the NVZ needs to block the ball back at the player’s feet. Hit the shot as hard and deep as possible.

The player in the transition zone needs to hit the next shot into the kitchen. The goal is to hit it softly into the NVZ making the player at the net bend down to hit the next shot. That means they have to hit up on the ball, and they are no longer in a position to attack, which allows the player in the transition zone to move to the non-volley zone.

Make a game out of the drill. Hit five shots counting the number of times the ball lands in the NVZ and switch positions with your drilling partner.

Need more help hitting the soft shot? Check this out

Better Pickleball CJ Johnson

CJ Johnson Better Pickleball Age Well with C.J. Train Smart · Live Bold · Age Well

Email: CJ@BetterPickleball.com

Better Pickleball on YouTube

P.S. Do you want to play better pickleball? Click here for 31 Quick Tips.


  1. Liz Lemon on June 27, 2020 at 3:18 pm

    Joey Farias calls “no man’s land” the land of opportunity.

  2. CHEN HSU on June 27, 2020 at 4:24 pm

    CJ, thank you very much for the good strategy of the reset shot to advance to the NVZ.

  3. Richard Eastvedt on June 27, 2020 at 5:44 pm

    Dink shot: put backspin on the ball and keep it short, it will come back into the net.

  4. Johanna Coyne on June 27, 2020 at 10:54 pm

    I try to hit a softer drive or deep shot to the backhand that’s high but (not too high they can hit it down) to get some time to get to nvz

  5. Margaret Dunbar on June 28, 2020 at 2:58 pm

    You said A hard shot back to the person trying to get up From the baseline. Would this be a block?

    • Cathy Jo Johnson on June 29, 2020 at 7:48 pm

      Hi Margaret, Yes the person at the NVZ is blocking the drive.

Leave a Comment

Like what you see?

Subscribe to the free newsletter today for more exclusive pickleball tips.