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The drop shot is one of the most effective and sneaky shots you can use in badminton and while its very difficult to master, its highly effective and is a great way to win the strategic battle in badminton, as it can cause your opponent to doubt themselves and where you place your next shot becomes much more difficult to predict if you’re able to sell an effective drop shot.
This shot can be a point winner, however, it’s best used to drag your opponent out of position and put them into a forced position where they have few shot options and are reacting to you instead of dictating the play.
This allows you to push and pull your opponent around the court, disorientating them and making it much more likely for them to make a foul or for you to get the opportunity to hit a point winning smash.
While its a very powerful shot it’s quite difficult to master and to know when to use effectively as it relies on a blend of perfect technique and deception in order to be most successful, and it can take a lot of game sense and practice to know how to perform this shot and the best time to use it.
What Is A Drop Shot?
The drop shot is the technique of hitting the shuttle from the back of the court and weighting the shot in such a way as to direct the shuttle towards the very front of your opponent’s court, just past the net.
The ability to direct a drop shot into the correct area takes a lot of practice and is very difficult, as there is a narrow window for success when using this shot, and an incorrect usage could open you up to a devastating return smash or even cause you to hit the net.
This makes the drop shot somewhat risky, but it’s one of the very best tools in a player’s arsenal, and with good technique, you can use this shot to devastating effect.
How Many Types Of Drop Shots Are There?
There are five main types of drop shot, each using a slightly different technique.
- Basic/slow forehand drop shot
- Slice/fast forehand drop shot
- Reverse slice drop shot
- Basic backhand drop shot
- Slice backhand drop shot
Now let’s take a look at each shot in-depth and how to use them.
Basic/Slow Forehand Drop Shot
This shot is the most common and basic type of drop shot and requires you to hit the shuttle with the racket head almost flat, allowing the shuttle to travel very slowly into the other side of the court and landing close to the net.
In terms of trajectory, there will be a slight loop to allow the shuttle to clear the net, and the slow speed of the shuttle will mean that it’s already dropping low as it passes over the net, making it very difficult to return.
This will give your opponent almost no time to return the shot, however, if you do this incorrectly the shuttle may end up too deep and too slow and open you up to a smashing return. It’s also important to use this shot sparingly and set it up correctly by forcing your opponent to the rear of the court before you try to get the drop on them, so to speak.
If you use a drop shot when they’re already near to the net you will make it very easy for them to hit a strong return.
This shot requires a forehand grip as you will have guessed, and is typically used from near the rear of the court.
An essential part of this shot is deception. Your opponent must not be expecting a drop shot until the shuttle is already just clearing their net, giving them little time to respond.
This is achieved by setting up and preparing to hit the shuttle as if you’re performing a standard overhead forehand, but slackening off the power as you actually hit the shuttle and using the wrist to hit the shuttle almost flat, sending it on a flatter trajectory at slow speed.
Slice/Fast Forehand Drop Shot
The fast forehand drop shot is slightly different as it sends the shuttle at far greater speed. You will again want to use deception as with the slow forehand and will use a similar grip.
The main difference between these shots is that the fast forehand uses a slice to hit the shuttle, hitting it high in the air and with the racket head flat or pointing slightly down and to the side, to create the slice you need to create speed and destabilize the shuttle as it returns.
Reverse Slice Forehand
The reverse slice is similar to the forehand, and the only key difference is that the reverse slice doesn’t slice the shuttle inwards, towards your body, but outwards, away from your body.
This shot should send the shuttle diagonally away from the player who hits it. The only difference is that the racket head is tilted the opposite way from the standard fast slice drop shot.
Basic Backhand Drop Shot
This shot differs from the others in that it uses a backhand grip and is typically a weaker shot players only resort to when they are in a forced position and have few options available to them.
It’s a decent way to get out of a pressure situation and stabilize, but it’s difficult to get right.
The basics of this shot require you to use a backhand grip and use your non-racket arm for balance. Make sure you position yourself and your feet before you start your swing for maximum stability and accuracy. Time the movement of your upper body so that you strike the shuttle as your racket foot hits the ground for maximum power.
You want to hit the shuttle towards the parallel side of the court and try to use a little slice if you can to create some more power, however, don’t try this if you aren’t confident.
Slice backhand drop shot
This shot is very similar to the standard backhand drop; however , it aims to send the shuttle to the far side of your opponent’s court, hitting it across the court entirely. This is a great way to buy yourself some time in a forced position and take your opponent by surprise.
Due to this, you’ll want to use most of the tips from the basic backhand, however, you should alter your grip so that the racket is held at a more dramatic angle so you can direct the shuttle across the court. Learning to change this grip at the very last second is the best way to disguise this shot.
Hit the shot with as much power as you can generate to make sure it crosses the court fast and gives you time to reset your position.