As a beginner, learning how to play drop shots in badminton can be game-changing. They’re a favorite tactic for throwing your opponent off and giving yourself a major advantage on the court.
But what exactly is a badminton drop shot, and how can you pull it off? Aside from that, when is the best time to use it during a rally?
Here’s everything you need to know about this powerful badminton tactic, including what it is, variations, and common mistakes to avoid.
What Is a Badminton Drop Shot?
Put simply, a badminton drop shot is a technique for sending the shuttle in a curved, downward trajectory to the front of your opponent’s court.
The idea is to throw your opponent off guard and force them to rush forward. They’ll then have to hit the shuttle at a lifted angle, setting you up for a solid offensive shot.
Drop shots in badminton also make for a spectacular deceptive strategy. It’s always a win to force your opponent into a weak return — but in best-case scenarios, drops can drive the shuttle to the floor before your opponent even has a chance to reach it.
Types of Drop Shots in Badminton
Here are some main types of drop shots to know about:
Basic Forehand Drop Shot
A basic forehand drop shot is the best kind to practice if you’re just starting out. To pull this off:
- You’ll start with a somewhat relaxed forehand grip.
- You’ll stand sideways with your legs a bit wider than shoulder-width apart.
- When the shuttle is slightly above and in front of you, pivot your body and swing, keeping your racket face flat.
In basic forehand drops, you don’t want to hit the shuttle with all of your might. But you should still try to generate just enough power to send it over the net.
Basic Backhand Drop Shot
The basic backhand drop shot is great when your opponent is attacking your backhand rear-court, and you want to even out the rhythm without setting them up for an attack.
To achieve a basic backhand drop:
- Start by holding the racket with your backhand grip.
- Prepare for this shot just as you would for your backhand clears and lifts. Similar setups make it so that your opponent won’t be able to predict your next move until it’s too late.
- When it comes time to hit the shuttle, bend your wrist upwards slightly and swing your racket as you step down. (This timing helps you generate more energy.)
Remember to keep your strings facing forward and your racket vertical here. If you turn it too far to the side, you might send the shuttle flying out of bounds.
Slice/Fast Forehand Drop Shot
The slice drop shot is a powerful tactic to deceive your opponent and gain an advantage in a rally.
For this one, a grip about halfway between the forehand and backhand grip is a good place to start. But you’ll likely need to adapt your grip based on the situation (and, of course, how you prefer to hold your racket.)
- When preparing to take the shot, shuffle back quickly and bring your racket shoulder all the way back, so you have room to slice.
- When it’s time to hit the shuttle, swing your racket diagonally and forward while turning your body. The goal is to send the shuttle zipping to your opponent’s front side court at a flat and downward trajectory.
This technique creates a flatter, fiercer speed compared to the basic forehand drop shots — which means your opponent will have less control over their return.
Here’s a detailed tutorial on how to pull it off:
Reverse Forehand Slice Drop Shot
The reverse slice drop shot is an advanced deceptive tactic that can help you take your opponent by surprise. It’s a tough shot to make — and when done skillfully, it can be lethal.
To start this badminton drop shot:
- First, you’ll make it appear as if you’re hitting a straight clear or smash.
- At the last second, you’ll change the angle of your racket to send the shuttle cross-court.
- Because you’re using a slice, make sure to put a lot of power in your stroke here. This will be a bit different than a smash, where all your swing power transfers straight into the shuttle.
Watch Out for These Mistakes
Want to know how to improve your drop shots in badminton? These are three of the most common mistakes you should know about:
1. Hitting too many “floaty” drop shots.
High, slow drops can be helpful on rare occasions, but too many of them can set your opponent up to gain an advantage. Most of the time, long and flat drops are the way to go.
2. Not enough variety.
Remember to mix it up. If you only ever use a basic forehand drop shot, your opponent will begin to predict your next move easily.
3. Overusing them at the wrong times.
Drop shots are fun, especially when you first figure them out. But don’t overdo it, or you might put yourself in a vulnerable situation. When you’ve got an open position to end the rally, consider whether or not it’s best to choose a smash instead.
Drop Shots in Badminton: The Takeaway
Drop shots in badminton are an effective way to pull your opponent to the frontcourt and force them to hit a weak, upward shot. No matter what type of drop you choose, it can help you set up for a powerful smash to win the rally.
Keep in mind that basic forehand and backhand drops send the shuttle on a curved path at slightly slower speeds. On the other hand, slice and reverse slice shots will boost the shuttle’s speed at a flatter trajectory.
Both sets of techniques have their benefits, and it’s worth mastering each of them if you want to become the best player you can be.