How To Hit Drop Shots | Tennis Technique

How To Hit Drop Shots | Tennis Technique

In today’s video, I’m going to teach you
how to hit a drop shot. The forehand and backhand drop-shot is
in the same family of shots as your forehand and backhand chip return, as
your forehand and backhand volley and also your forehand and backhand slice. So
if you’re good at any of those shots for example if you have a good backhand
slice there’s no reason why you shouldn’t have a good backhand drop-shot.
So to be able to utilize the drop shot in match situations, you must learn the
fundamentals of a drop shot and let’s start off with the drop shot grip. It’s going
to be the same as your chip return, your slice and your volleys. It’s gonna be a
continental grip with your base knuckle at bevel number two. And there’s going to
be a slight take back on the drop shot. This will depend on the pace of the
incoming ball but generally speaking you want your racket head above your grip
and you want the tip of the racket to be slightly behind your shoulder this is
for the forehand drop-shot and the backhand drop-shot. The swing path on the
drop shot is crucial and it must be performed high to low. So the tip of your
racquet is gonna be above your shoulder and you’re gonna make contact somewhere
between your chest and your hip area and then once you make contact with the ball
you’re gonna continue to go down with the tip of the racket like this. So the
swing path has to be high to low. This is the case for the forehand and backhand.
It has to be high to low and the racket has to continue to go down after contact
is made. Now to be able to create backspin on the
ball meaning that once the ball lands on the other side it’s actually either
gonna stop in place or if you hit it really well it’s actually going to start
going backwards towards the net and the way you do this is by making contact
with a slightly open racket face. So if you combine these two factors, if
you go high to low, you continue going down after contact and you make contact
with an open racket face, you should be able to get backspin on the ball. A few things to keep in mind when
hitting drop shots is that you must make a soft contact with the ball. In other
words, you don’t want to hit the ball too hard you must gently absorb the ball in
your strings and when you make contact and that’s what’s referred to in tennis
as touch. And touch it’s not something that you can learn in a couple of days
it does take a while to master. A great way to improve your touch is to play a
lot of mini tennis and also mini tennis games. I have another video I’m gonna put
a link in the description below you can see some great mini tennis games that
you can play which can definitely improve your touch. Another important
thing on the drop shot is that you hold your body still. So once you go down
after contact you must kind of hold this position even keep your head kind of
down. You can see Nadal doing this as he hits drop shots he kind of holds his body
position and this will give you more control in this crucial period because
there’s not a lot of room for error on drop shots. So you must hold your body
still to give the racquet head more control as it goes down after contact. Another thing that’s important to
remember is that you do need pace of the incoming ball in order to execute a
proper drop shot. So if you feed a ball to yourself it’s very difficult to hit a
proper drop shot because we don’t have no pace to work with. We have to
hit through the ball a little bit more in order to generate under spin. You
don’t have this problem when you have pace of the incoming ball and the
faster the ball comes to you the less you have to do. So you literally do not
have to hit forward at all on drop shots. So you just basically go high to low and
then when you make contact the racket goes straight down and it doesn’t go
forward very much. So basically what you’re doing is you’re using the pace of
the incoming ball, you’re deflecting the ball back and the way you are doing this
you are creating backspin. So you’ll find a lot of times the more pace the
incoming ball has if you execute the drop shot correctly, you’ll get
tremendous amounts of backspin. In some cases you can even get the ball to
bounce on the other side and then come back to your side. Another great way to
more effectively use drop shots in matches is to do what’s called the fake
drop shot. You see this a lot on the forehand side from professional players.
So you’re going to your regular forehand grip and you do a regular forehand loop
that you would do on a normal forehand. And now once you hit this spot you’re
gonna change your grip, you’re gonna have to do the grip change with one hand
which is a little bit unorthodox, normally you change the grip with your
non-dominant hand. So on the fake drop shot you’re gonna have to change the
grip just with one hand and you do it right here and then you make a drop shot.
So the other person is not expecting the drop shot, it can come as a surprise and
is, therefore, a lot more effective. The fake drop shot works on the backhand
side as well. If you have a two-handed backhand you simply take the racquet up
like you normally do and as you’re going forward towards the ball, you go into the
drop shot technique. On the one-handed backhand, you do need a
grip change. So if you have an eastern backhand grip you would take the racket
back and like you always do with a loop and then as you come forward you would
have to change your grip and then do a drop shot. Now the placement of your drop
shots is very important and the safest way to do it is you just hit a straight
drop shot. What I mean by that is no matter what position of the court you’re
in you just hit the ball straight forward and try to drop shot it that way
and that is the easiest way to get control over a ball, however, is also the
easiest way for your opponent to get to if you indeed leave the drop shot a
little bit too high. A better way to do it would be a cross-court drop shot like
this or even better you do an inside-out drop shot like that. The cross-court drop
shots are a little bit more low percentage because you are hitting the
ball closer to the line, however, if you execute them correctly, there are definitely
more difficult to get for the opponent because the ball is moving off the court.
And the most difficult drop shot to master and the most effective is the
inside-out drop shot. So the way you do this shot is you make contact with the
tip of the racket positioned slightly backward. So if you imagine me hitting
in this direction I would make contact with the tip of racket pointing slightly
back and now what happens if I make this type of contact is that the ball will
curve to the left after it bounces. This is what’s called side spin. So if you hit a
drop shot correctly this way there’s a very high chance that you’re going to
hit a drop shot winner of this type of shot. And here are the mistakes that I see at
the recreational level when it comes to hitting drop shots. Number one, you have
to realize that the drop shot is an offensive shot and not a defensive shot.
In other words, you should never hit a drop shot when you were behind the
baseline or if you get pushed wide on the run for example. I see a lot of
players start drop shotting in defensive situations and it works very
seldomly. What you should do instead is drop shot when you’re in an offensive
position in the court, inside the baseline when you have the other person
on the run ideally pushed behind the baseline, this is
when you can utilize a drop shot and in this case the drop shot doesn’t even
have to be this good, it doesn’t have to be that close to the net and you can
still hit a winner of this type of shot. Another very common drop shot mistake at
the rec level is players try to drop shot low balls. So you should never take a
drop shot that falls below your hip level because what’s gonna happen if I
hit a ball let’s say at my knee level here I’m going to have to hit up on the
drop shot and it’s gonna make it sit up on the other side of the court. Remember
the drop shot is hit high to low and the racket needs to continue to go down
after contact. So if there’s a low ball it’s very difficult to hit down a low
ball because it’s gonna be tough for you to make the ball go over the net. So
naturally on low balls we start hitting up on the ball and that is not a
good thing if you’re trying to execute a drop shot. And finally, it’s very important for you
to not fall in love with the drop-shot. I see at the recreational level many
players overuse the drop shot. So they do it every other shot, now what happens as a
result of that the opponent starts expecting drop shots and therefore the
dropshot becomes less efficient. Make sure to utilize your drop shot very
specific situations in a match and use it seldomly maybe once every two games
and therefore the opponent’s is not going to be expecting a drop shot and
it’s therefore going to be a lot more efficient. So make the drop shot as part
of your game, it is a fantastic shot that is so much fun when you execute it
properly. If you have any questions please write a comment in the section
below I’ll be happy to respond. Hit that like button and subscribe if you haven’t
already. I’ll see you next time.

15 thoughts on “How To Hit Drop Shots | Tennis Technique

  1. Learn the fundamentals of the drop shot and use it sparingly in matches. Do not fall in love with the drop shot. If you do here’s what will happen:
    🎾 Your opponent starts expecting it
    🎾 You consequently start making the dropper “extra short”
    🎾 You therefore make more errors
    Use the dropper every now and then, in the right circumstances with the correct technique and your opponent will be caught off guard.

  2. Hi thank you whith this high value content. Although it would be great to make a video to how to combat a drop shot because I struggle to be effective when I run forward and most of my shots goes into the net. There is obviously something that I am doing wrong.

  3. Hi Nikola. Excellent video and instructions! Especially NOT to use a drop shot on a low ball. I never before paid attention to this aspect of the drop shot. Now I will.

    Thank you!

  4. Thanks Coach! Great video. Any tips for practicing drop shots during wall practice (to use the incoming pace of the ball)?

  5. Nikola is the coach I've always dreamt to learn from. The guy just explain you the hardest shots in tennis and make you feel like "oh sure, I can do it". Awesome

  6. Great video as always! I have problems imparting backspin on the ball. Do you have any more hints/drills to help us feel how to impart backspin?

  7. Nice video, Nick. Up to your usual high standard.
    What do you think of using the wall to practice the drop shot? For me, spending a couple of minutes hitting drop shots on the wall before a match seems to work well.
    What are your thoughts on drop shots hit lower but a bit deeper vs drop shots hit higher but a bit closer to the net (like yours in the video)?

  8. Hi Nikola,

    Just wondering if you have any video or textual instruction on anticipation and how to read opponents posture or ball trajectory (in early phase while on opponents side of the court) in order to position yourself better.

  9. Thanks for the very informative video. With a drop shot you need to have the racket face more open than with a normal backhand slice, so is it also the case that you should be hitting the ball slightly earlier so that the racket face opens naturally without having to think about it? You make the point in your backhand slice video that contact should be late to avoid racket face opening, so I'm assuming the opposite is the case for the drop shot and contact should be earlier?

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