A badminton drop shot is when you hit the shuttlecock so softly it lands just after clearing the net. It either wins a point or creates space for you to exploit in the middle or the back of the court.
This article will cover everything badminton drop shot-related. We will discuss various types of drop shots, how you can execute each of them to perfection, and much more.
Let’s jump into it.
How to Do a Backhand Drop Shot in Badminton?
A backhand drop shot is usually played from the back part of the court with your backhand. It has a curved trajectory and is aimed right next to the net, at the front of the court of your opposing player.
Follow these steps to perform a backhand drop shot:
- Adopt the backhand grip on your racket.
- Turn your body to ensure your back is facing the net.
- Make sure your bodyweight is on your racket foot.
- Keep the racket head pointing toward the floor as you hold it across your body
- Keep the elbow and racket arm close to your body.
- Hit the shuttle as high as possible and in front of your body
- Try to tap or slice the shuttle, this will reduce your racket head’s speed
- After playing the shot, revert your body back to the base position
How to Do a Forehand Drop Shot in Badminton?
A backhand drop shot is usually played from the front part of the court. Your goal here is the same as it was with the backhand drop shot: either win a point or create a space for the next shot in the back and mid-court to exploit.
Here’s how you can execute a forehand drop shot:
- As you prepare to hit the forehand drop shot, stand on the balls of your feet, with your knees slightly bent
- Use a forehand position on the racket. Take the racket leg back and the body sideways.
- With the racket slightly inclined toward the ground, hit the shuttlecock gently but not too softly or else the opponent will get the time to react to the shot.
- The point of impact should be as high as possible and just above your shoulders. Keep the wrist in a relaxed position while playing the shot.
- After playing the shot, shuffle back to ‘ready position’ in the middle of the court.
Deceptiveness is one of the key attributes of a good drop shot in badminton. You need to make the shot look as if you’re about to hit a smash or perform a clear until the moment the racket meets the shuttle, giving your opponent no time to react.
This might sound easy on paper, but keeping your drop shot under wraps until the final second is one of the most difficult skills to master.
For, while a smash shot or clear requires you to hit the shuttle hard, a drop shot needs you to hit the shuttlecock softly.
There are various practices you can regularly perform to improve your drop shot. Some of these skills are for beginners. Others are for pros. Yet all of them have one thing in common: they will help make your drop shot (almost) unplayable.
- Practice 1. Throw the shuttlecock over the net using nothing but your bare hands. This practice will teach you how much tension you must put on your shoulders to have the shuttle land right next to the court.
- Practice 2. Swap the shuttle in your hand with a racket. Instead of hitting any shuttles, what you’re going to do is practice the movement. This is another good practice to get the technique right.
- Practice 3. Get a partner to high-serve you, one shuttle at a time. Practice your body and racket preparation as well as your rotation into the shot. Don’t worry about aiming at first.
- Practice 4. Video yourself and watch the replay after every practice session. This practice is as necessary as those mentioned above to improve your drop shot. It will help you identify the areas where you could do better.
- Practice 5. Hit consistent drops to a feeder who is continuously lifting. After a few sessions of this, you can add some movement in across the back line. This will allow you to get the technique as well as the movement right.
- Practice 6. Have the feeder play shots at different sides of the court. This practice will add more variables to the routine and train your body how to respond to different scenarios.
Here’s how you can defend a drop shot in badminton:
- Stand right next to the net line with your feet shoulder-width apart.
- Hold the racket as if you’re shaking someone’s hand.
- Make sure your racket is at or close to shoulder height — if it’s too high, you’ll lose control over your shot; if it’s too low, you might end up hitting the birdie into the net or might loop it into the air.
- While playing the return shot, make sure to aim it as close to the net as possible. This will force your opponent to do what you just did. In case they falter, you’ll either win a point or have a meek return shot to exploit.
There are primarily two drop shots in badminton: slow drop shots and fast drop shots. Both of them can be executed with the forehand or a backhand.
A slow drop shot would cause the shuttlecock to land just after clearing the net, in your opponent’s forecourt.
It is executed with the aim of moving your opponent as close to the net as possible, ideally forcing them into a weak return.
A fast drop shot travels much steeply and lands in the midcourt, preferably by the sides.
Unlike the slow drop shot, which intends to force the opposing player to leave the mid-and back-court vulnerable, a fast drop shot is meant to catch them off-guard.
Still, whether it is slow or fast, a perfectly hit drop shot will have the shuttlecock just clearing the net.
When it comes to drop shots, “myths” rule the court. However, as we’re going to explain, these myths are just what their name implies.
They have no real basis and believing in them might force your game to suffer. To save you from meeting this fate, I have come up with this list:
Myth 1: Slowing down your swing would help you execute the perfect drop shot
Slowing down your swing might cause the shuttlecock to land near the net.
But it will also decrease the speed of the shot, giving your opponent enough time to react and reach the shuttle.
By contrast, a steadily hit drop shot will leave your opponent in a double whammy.
They will not only have to react to a drop shot but also react quickly, increasing your chances of winning the point.
Myth 2: A drop shot has to land right next to the net
This myth stems from the name. Many badminton players believe that the term ‘drop’ means the drop shot must land as quickly as possible after clearing the net.
However, that isn’t the case. Some of the most-effective drop shots I have seen over the years were aimed at the mid-court.
They helped players win points as well as force their opponents into a weak return.
Aiming your drop shot at the short service line — the line right next to the net — might look pretty, but it rarely, if ever, helps you win a point against a professional badminton player.
See the video below where many mid-court drop shots can be seen:
How To Prepare for a Drop Shot in Badminton?
To prepare for a drop shot in badminton, shift your body weight to the rear foot, bend the racket-holding elbow and keep the racket just above the shoulders. All the while maintaining a firm grip on the racket.
When Would You Use a Drop Shot in Badminton?
You might generally want to use a drop shot in badminton when your opponent is expecting a smash or a clear or they have gone so back to the court that you feel that a drop shot will catch them off-guard with little to no time to respond.
What is the Target of the Drop Shot?
The short service line — the line that is right next to the net on both sides of the court — is an excellent target area for drop shots.
Don’t try to aim your drop shots too close to the net, especially if you are a beginner.
In most cases, you’ll either end up hitting the drop shot into the net (gifting your opponent a point) or looping it into the air (giving them everything they need to perform a killer smash).
When played with deception, drop shots can be one of the most effective shots in badminton. Just make sure to rely on them sparingly and there’s no reason why drop shots can be one of the most potent tools in your kit.
Now I’d like to hear from you:
- What do you think makes for a killer drop shot?
- Do you think drop shots are as effective in doubles as in singles?
- Anything badminton-related you want to share with me?
Feel free to reach out to me in the comments section below, I’d love to answer your questions and hear your feedback. We are also on Instagram @healthyprinciples_.