Coaching Blog – Don’t get caught out after your drop shot
I see it a lot where a player plays a drop-shot, and if their opponent gets the ball back, they lose the rally.
This is because I see most players hit the ball to the front, and then retreat. They immediately move backwards to cover the back two corners. This leaves them totally susceptible to counter-drops and trickle-boasts, but it also doesn’t help them cover the back of the court that well either.
After playing a drop-shot you need to hold your ground in the middle of the court. This is like a goalkeeper in football coming off his line to narrow the angle for the striker.
After you have hit the ball to the front, ideally you want to be ever so slightly in front of the ‘T’ and ever so slightly to the side of where the ball is. This allows you to cover the counter-drop, and also you can volley a slightly loose straight or cross-court drive, without having to guess. If your opponent plays a good drive to the back, you will have time to turn and recover the ball off the back wall.
I always think it is unusual reasoning to cover the back of the court instead of the front after you have played a drop shot. If you think about it logically; a counter-drop does not travel very far off the front wall and is not in the air for very long, so therefore it bounces twice very quickly. A drive to the back, travels much further which means it is in the air for longer, therefore takes longer to bounce twice, giving you more time to get the ball back.
When you think about it like this, it totally makes more sense put yourself closer to the option which gives you less time to get the ball back.
I think the one main rule though is to lean forwards with your head after your drop-shot. Even if you are slightly behind the ‘T’ but leaning forwards, you can get a counter-drop back, and you can also turn and run to the back of the court. If you lean your head back, this slows down your reactions and your movement massively, whether going forwards or side to side.
So in conclusion, after your shot to the front of the court;
you want to be in the middle of the court (slightly in front and to one side of the ‘T’ is preferable, but not the most important thing)
lean forwards with your head
have a slight bend in your knees and hips
and do not guess your opponents shot. Trust in your reactions as a human!
This is perfect from Nick (the player in the background). He has played a drop-shot and his follow up position is leaning forwards, slightly in front and to one side of the ‘T’.