THE DROP SHOT OFF THE BACK WALL

 

This shot has both positive and negative aspects, when speaking from a tactical point of view. When mastered and utilised at the right moment, it could be very upsetting for the opponent. In this section, we will mainly discuss how to reproduce the shot successfully. To go into the tactical aspects of the shot and know when to play it, see the following sections, which also include deception. 1.  2.  3.  4.  5.  6.

 

On the Backhand

 

Again, with the aid of a photo sequence for both forehand and backhand, the shot is broken down and analysed. Let us have a look at the backhand first, for a change.

 

 

 

As usual, the player prepares his racket well before moving in onto the ball. The shoulders are turned well and a full back-swing takes the racket all the way back to disguise the shot. See how the player entering into the corner maintains his distance from the sidewall. This allows him to position himself with the ball between his body and the sidewall, rather than the back wall. It is also important to note that the adversary’s shot has risen high on the back wall, and is not too tight onto the sidewall. Under such conditions, the player has the time to position himself perfectly, and can strike the ball when relatively high off the ground. (point of impact marked by the red spot in the photo below)  Hence, the ball could be guided very slightly downwards towards its target. This downward trajectory will help keep the ball well into the front corner, instead of returning towards the retriever.

 

 

 

 

Therefore, the player has to make the decision of positioning himself perpendicular to the sidewall with the point of impact relatively high (instead of allowing the ball to drop too far towards the floor). While striking the ball, it is situated in exactly the same position as when driving down the wall, that is, in line with the right foot and right shoulder. The technique and swing are identical, except for a slight modification on the racket face angle and follow-through. In this case, the follow-through moves a fraction lower towards the point of impact on the front wall. This is obvious because the straight drive is sent towards the service line area on the front wall, while the drop is sent just above the tin. The racket face is also a fraction more open permitting the player to delicately slice the ball. Remember that the follow-through then moves on towards the T, helping the player move out of the corner quickly and be ready for the opponent’s reaction.

 

 

 

 

Now you can see the shot in motion by clicking here.   A closer and different camera angle can be viewed in this clip.  play video   Watch for the timing of the ball's bounce and the start of the swing. Listen to the sound and here the slice on the ball. As the front wall is so far and the player cannot see his target when playing this shot, a very handy tip is to imagine the tin only a metre  away. Trying to visualise an imaginary line between the point of impact (between racket and ball) and the top of the tin, is a very useful trick that helps keep the player focused.

 

On the Forehand                         drp off bk wll frhnd

 

 

 

An aggressive back-swing is necessary to keep the opponent guessing.

 

 

The timing of the swing is important, in order to make contact with the ball while it is still high off the ground.

 

The same technical markers apply for the forehand. The shot can be seen in motion by clicking here. It is advisable to read the section explaining the same shot on the backhand.  Also take a look at this interesting camera angle to get a closer and complete view of the shot.  play video

 

For information on the tactical aspects of this shot, click here. If you would like to know how to be deceptive from this position, click here.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Bll rght

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Letting the racket head drop produces an incorrect slice on the ball.

The racket moves in one direction while the ball moves in another. Such, is not ideal for ball control.