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How to play drop shot in badminton

How to Play the Deceptive Drop Shot in Badminton

The drop shot in badminton can be very effective if used cleverly. If your opponent is very sure of what is coming next, he may prepare a better strategy for the next shot. And here comes the importance of the drop shot. It creates the deception that keeps your opponent busy with guessing. 

What is a Drop Shot in Badminton?

The drop shot in badminton is a semi-offensive shot that is taken from the backcourt to place the shuttlecock on the frontcourt, close to the short service line. It is a tactical shot that makes your opponent off balance for a weak return.

When Do You Use a Drop Shot in Badminton?

There are several situations during a game when an effective drop shot gives you the upper hand over your opponent.

  • When you find your opponent at the rear court, a good drop shot will drag him forward to disturb his footwork.
  • If you are tired enough, you may opt for the drop shot which will delay the pace of the game. This gives you more time to recover.
  • The clever use of drop shots can be very deceptive. Take the advantage of this deceptive shot to force your opponent to lob the shuttle for a weak return when he is expecting a smash or a clear shot.

What are the Types of Drop Shot?

Broadly, there are two types of drop shots, slow and fast.

Trajectory of slow and fast drop shot in badminton

Slow Drop Shot

  • The intention for hitting a slow drop shot is to place the shuttlecock in the frontcourt area, close to the net
  • In a slow drop shot, the point of contact is above your head with a complete follow-up arm action. 
  • A slow drop is a soft shot, hit with considerably less arm power.

A slow drop shot gives your opponent more time to react. Try to hit the shuttle as low as possible over the net, otherwise, it may cost a point by a perfect net kill by your opponent.

Fast Drop Shot

  • In a fast drop shot, the shuttlecock lands faster at a steeper angle than in a slow drop shot.
  • The point of impact is slightly in front of your body.
  • You have to add a little more power to execute a fast drop than a soft drop shot.
  • In a fast drop shot, the shuttlecock lands on the midcourt area just behind the short service line.

Depending upon your racket angle, drop shots may also be classified into two types.

  1. Overhead drop (Forehand or Backhand)
  2. Slice drop (Forehand and Reverse)

Overhead Forehand

The overhead forehand drop shot (Fast and Slow) in badminton is the basic drop shot for beginners to learn. The action of this shot is like throwing a ball. It will be better if you get a habit of throwing shuttles before stepping into the court to get used to this basic drop shot.

  • Use a forehand grip.
  • Take a sidewise stance with your racket foot towards the backcourt.
  • Put your body weight on the rear foot.
  • Raise your racket arm and non-racket arm.
  • Your non-racket arm should point to the shuttlecock.
  • Take a relaxed approach and contact on the top of the shuttle without forcing too much power.
  • Complete the stroke with a full arm swing.

If you like the video, you may check the visual explanation on “How to Hit a Forehand Overhead Drop Shot” by Sikana English.

Around the Head

Around the head drop shot

‘Around the head drop shot’, very similar to the overhead forehand drop shot in techniques, is played on the non-racket side of the body. It is advantageous in many situations to play the ‘around the head shot’ rather than go for the backhand shot which is not easy to play.

  • Stand facing the net.
  • Bend your body sideways on the non-racket hand.
  • Put your body weight on the non-racket foot.
  • Bend your elbow and bring the racket behind your head.
  • Brush the shuttlecock at the top of your head.
  • Transfer your body weight and come back to the ready position.

Overhead Backhand

The backhand overhead drop shot is not easy to execute in badminton. Even the professionals try to avoid this shot. Rather you should try an ‘around the head’ shot whenever possible. If you use a backhand drop shot, use it as a recovery shot and quickly get back to your ready position for the next shot.

The backhand drop shot is taken from the back of the court for a steeper trajectory of the shuttle on your opponent’s forecourt. This shot is a good option when you lack the power to perform a backhand clear shot.

  • Use a backhand grip
  • Get into the position with your back facing the net.
  • Put your weight into your leading racket foot.
  • Your racket should be across your body with your arm close to the body.
  • Contact the shuttle in front of your body at the highest point possible.
  • The backward swing should be a continuous motion.
  • The racket angle points to the trajectory of the shuttle.

You may see the video uploaded by Sikana English on “How to Hit a Backhand Overhead Drop Shot“.

Slice Drop Shot (Forehand & Reverse)

After getting in the habit of making the overhead drop shot, you should approach the slice drop shot which is quite difficult to execute at the beginner’s level.

Slice drop shot brushing area

Slicing means you are brushing the shuttle sidewise around 3 o’clock or 9 o’clock. If you are right-handed, then brushing at 3 o’clock means you are tempting a forehand slice drop shot whereas, at 9 o’clock, it is a reverse slice drop shot. The racket face in a forehand slice drop shot is inclined inwards and for the reverse slice drop, the inclination of the racket face is outwards.

  • To play a slice drop shot, you need more power than a slow overhead drop but less power than a smash.
  • Due to the spinning effect in a slice drop shot, the shuttlecock lands faster at a steeper angle than in a fast overhead drop shot. Your opponent will get less time to react to a slice drop shot than an overhead drop shot.
  • A slice drop shot looks very similar to smash or clear shots. A well-executed slice drop shot falls short from your opponent expecting it a smash or clear shot.

Most importantly, if you change the racket angle at the last moment, the slice drop shot can be very deceptive. The swing of your racket will be in one direction, but the trajectory of the shuttlecock will be in another direction. At the last moment, slicing makes your opponent spellbound, finding it a cross-court.

Racket swing direction vs shuttlecock direction in a forehand slice
Racket swing direction vs shuttlecock direction in reverse slice

A forehand slice drop is taken from the right side of the court. On the other hand, it is convenient to execute the reverse slice drop from the left side of the court.

Check the nice video on the step-by-step techniques to hit a forehand slice and reverse slice drop shot by Tobias Wadenka.

Wrapping Up

It is not easy to control the drop shot in the early stages. Though this deceptive shot is very effective, it may backfire, if not executed properly. Practice is the key to enjoying the good use of this delicate shot.

I have tried hard to give an overview of the drop shot in badminton. If you have any queries, let me know by entering them in the comment box below.

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