Advanced position                                frhnd drp frm t adv pstn


In this section we shall discuss the use of the other foot (right foot on the forehand and left foot on the backhand) to execute the shot. Remember, you should not be trying this if you haven’t mastered the conventional technique explained above.


Starting with the forehand, it is most important that the top half of the body moves in the same way as when getting ready for the conventional position. That is, even though the legs maintain a frontal position, the back-swing is complete and the shoulders are well turned. The player then turns his hips slightly, before placing his right foot into position. The comments accompanying the photo sequence will guide you through the shot.




A complete back-swing gives the player all the possibilities to hit hard if he wishes to.



The use of the right foot guarantees an immediate position on the ball and good balance.




The ball is taken slightly early; hence the wrist is bent a little backwards on impact.



The follow-through is towards the front wall but also slightly downwards.




This photo proves that the follow through moves downwards only to a limited extent.



The body weight is immediately but smoothly transferred to the T at the end of the swing.


See a video clip of the shot executed. For a rear view of the shot, click here. The fundamental principles used in the basic position also apply to this shot. (To compare to the forehand drop described above – click hear)



This technique is more difficult for less experienced players than the conventional sequence described earlier, but is much more immediate. Once mastered, it proves to be more versatile and comfortable. Top players find themselves straight onto the ball, then instantly ready for the opponent’s response when using the "incorrect foot". Also, the smoother rotation at the waist gives the player all the freedom to make impact with the ball very early, well in front of the body (view here), or waiting until the ball is in line with the right foot, almost behind the body. The two photos below illustrate early and late impact.






The use of the right leg is often useful when adopting deception to wrong-foot the opponent. More of that will be seen in the specified section of the book.


Another advantage to this technique is that it prepares the player to learn how to execute the drop shot from the frontcourt when he just about gets to the ball. Often, he will be forced into this pointing his right leg towards the front corner.  You may go to the counter drop by clicking here.


When talking of unconventional positioning, we should not be limited to the use of the right leg. The left foot too, could be placed forward when the arriving ball is a little short of the T. A player who practises his drop shot from all positions would not feel any restrictions during a rally. As long as he has good racket preparation and balance, he will have optimal control. Just remember, perfect your drop-shot from the basic position first.




Another situation where the “wrong foot” produces great advantages, will be described below. It regards the drop shot played from the cut-line.





Advanced position


Here too, on the backhand, the player takes his racket far back and turns his shoulders well. He sets himself up as if ready to drive hard. The legs are still in a frontal position when torsion of the upper body begins. He then places his left foot into position after deciding where the point of impact will be. While placing the foot forward, he may rotate his hips towards the eventual position of the ball on impact. 










The same fundamentals apply, regarding control of the wrist, and position of the racket head in relation to the hand. Go back and compare to basic position. The player must never think that the shot is over on impact. The follow-through is what guides the ball in the desired direction. It is therefore, most important, to continue moving the racket for as long as possible in the direction of the front wall target. Failing to do so will not guarantee best results.


Here, you may see a front and side view of the shot. Note that the ball is taken fairly early.


The position of the wrist on impact is an important factor. When making contact with the ball early, the racket must be in position (A), and not position (B). The later would send the ball away from the corner and the ball would not land in the nick. On the contrary, when the shot is delayed as much as possible, position B would be correct, while position A would send the ball onto the side wall.




Position A



Position B



Now let us examine this position more closely. On the forehand side, we could see an advantage when the other foot (right foot) was used to take the ball early. This is because the right hip was taken forward and allowed the right shoulder and consequently the right hand to reach further forward. On the backhand side, this does not work when the incorrect foot (left foot) is used. As you may have noticed from the above two video clips, using this foot does not particularly favour reaching forward for the ball. The right hip remains a little behind and does not allow the right shoulder to go as far forward. However, this position helps keep the opponent behind. This would not be considered blocking because the shot is actually played from the T. The opponent has put himself at a disadvantage.




Late impact is also made easy when the left foot is used, as can be seen in this video clip. Late impact is most useful when the opponent plays a poor shot and traps himself behind the player. Late impact of the drop shot insures that the opponent remains far back behind the T and delays his take-off to chase the ball at the frontcourt.





FROM THE CUT-LINE AREA    from the cut-line area-

Earlier, it was mentioned that a major advantage could be attained when the “incorrect” foot is used. This is when the drop shot is played from the cut line area or slightly behind. This video clip demonstrates the effectiveness of the shot rather well.


When an opponent hits a straight drive or cross court which bounces short or a kill shot which strikes the front wall slightly high, the player could take full advantage of the situation by moving immediately into position.  play video    Of course; this also applies to the forehand.




The more the player stretches with the left leg, the quicker he is onto the ball. He makes contact with the ball before the opponent can take the necessary steps to return onto the T.


The player will find himself swiftly onto the ball if he doesn’t have to bring the “correct” leg across. Considering that the opponent’s shot is travelling fast, the use of the foot shown in the photos above, allows the player to easily stretch his leg towards the side-wall and slightly towards the back corner if necessary, to gain time. Hence, keeping the ball in front of him. The use of this foot also allows the player to delay his shot without turning his hips towards the back corner. In doing so, that would translate into creating a fraction of a second which would otherwise be subtracted by the pace of the opponent’s shot. In other words, had the player decided to use the “correct” foot, by the time he gets into position and moves his arm, it would be too late and the ball would be too far behind.


With the use of the other foot, not only can the player create an opportunity to attack, but also the fact that he goes for the drop-shot while slightly back-stepping and stretched, will take the receiver by surprise and catch him off guard.