THE MID-WALL DROP

 

 

The mid-wall drop is a very useful shot. Sometimes, it is sliced firmly and the ball acquires quite a lot of speed, making it difficult to classify as a drop shot. However, at other times, especially when played from far up the frontcourt, it is placed very gently with great touch. All depends on the strikerís intentions. Whether he wants the retriever to change direction and stretch quickly, or rather relatively slowly, but stretch deeper into the front corner.

 

In all cases, the ball must bounce first on the floor, with the second bounce in the nick. Very much like the boast. (To compare with the boast, click here) Unlike the boast though, this shot reaches the frontcourt much quicker and gives the opponent even less time to react. It can also be played from deep into the front corners.

 

 

 

Strong words of advise. Practice this shot to perfection to make best use of it. If you are unable to keep this shot extremely low, your opponent will not know how to thank you. Make absolutely sure the ball doesnít ride onto the sidewall. The second bounce must be in the nick or on the floor as close as possible to the sidewall. Mastering this shot will increase your options when moving the opponent around the court. It is most effective because the other player has little time to switch direction, stretch, think of and produce a valid response. Often he/she will be even wrong footed.

 

ON THE FOREHAND ride onto the side

 

Front Court

 

At the frontcourt, the mid-wall drop is riskier than when played from further behind. That is because the player cannot see the exact position of his rival. If the opponent were favourably positioned to the side, the consequences would be disastrous. Therefore, from this position, the mid-wall drop is best played very softly or with deception. (You may go to the section on deceptivetechniqueby clickinghereand here)In both cases, agreatdealof experienceis required to sense the opponent's whereabouts as shall be

 

 

explained in the tactics section.

 

Mid-Court††††††† mc

 

Played from the cut line, the mid-wall drop is tactically easier because the player has a better chance of sensing where his opponent is. Even if the shot is not played at an ideal moment, the striker is back on the T immediately after the shot, and is less likely to be out-positioned. One big advantage to this shot is that it is more versatile than the cross-court drop. Note the position from which the player in the photo (below left) goes for the shot. From here it is almost impossible to produce a cross-court drop.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Yet, the player manages to send the ball in the opposite front corner without giving away any visual cues to his opponent. Thanks to the less prohibitive trajectory, he is able to position himself perpendicular to the sidewall. Then, using a subtle wrist action, sends the ball to the other side.

 

 

 

 

 

When the right foot is placed forward, the shot is simpler. The photo on the left illustrates how it is easier to reach with the body and arm around the ball. When this shot is played off a ball that is not too easy, the opponent is less expectant and will react later than usual.

 

 
 
ON THE BACKHAND†††††††††††††† mwdb

 

Front Court†††††††† mwbfc

 

The mid-wall drop from this area of the court is a useful alternative to all the other shots played from this same position. It is more manageable than the cross-court drop, and not so easy to ready by the opponent. This is demonstrated in this video clip. We can see how the player can enter to the side of the ball, reserving his choice to hit down the wall with ease. This is much more difficult, if not impossible when a player positions himself for the cross-court drop.

The video emphasises the importance of using the follow through to recover quickly back to the T. This is most important in case the opponent reads the shot and moves in early. Remember that one side of the court was left uncovered.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The top two photos show the importance of an aggressive entry to keep the opponent with his weight back. As the player intentionally moves in distant from the sidewall, the opponent also has the straight drive to worry about. The following two photos illustrate the player's good balance and delicate wrist action. Finally, the follow-through and exit must be smooth and immediate.

 

 

 

 

Mid-Court††††††† bkmc

 

When this shot is played well, the opponent could be caught off balance and sent chasing and stretching for the ball. Concentration and confident execution is necessary as only a few centimetres really make all the difference. The key to playing this shot with authority is to insist on taking the right shoulder as far back as possible during the early back-swing. The described action is most evident in this video clip.

 

 

 

The photo shows how this shot could be played at a time (positions) which would not consent the execution of the cross-court drop.

 

 

Back Court

 

Not an easy shot, but really worth practising to perfection. The video clip demonstrates the shot from a relatively simple position, but when struck from near the sidewall, the player on the receiving end is often taken by surprise. This is even truer after a succession of shots down the backhand wall. More will be discussed in the tactics section.

 

 

 

 

 

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