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Badminton Drop Shot – The 5 Types of Drop Shot & How to Perform them

Performing a drop shot is one of the most difficult actions in badminton. When done properly, the drop shot will be able to help you keep the initiative while not putting yourself into a risky position. When done excellently, it can be converted into a winner time and again.

The drops shot is very difficult to perform perfectly, but can help to win points and matches

One of the most important parts of the drop shot and what makes it so difficult to perform is that it needs to look like you are about to perform a clear or smash almost until the moment you hit the shuttle. This might sound easy in theory, but it is very challenging in practice because, while in a clear or smash you are hitting the shuttle hard, in a drop shot you need to hit the shuttle softly.

This key point is what makes a drop shot successful and what also makes it so tricky because you need to hide it until the last moment in order to make it effective. Before we get into details, though, let’s first cover some basics.

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What is a badminton drop shot?

A drop shot is the name given to the badminton shot that you perform when you are in the back of your court and you hit the shuttle so it lands in the front part of your opponent’s side (near the net).

As we will see below, there are several different types of drop shots, all with their own characteristics, but what they all share in common is the position where they are hit from (backcourt) and the position where the shuttle lands (front court).

Which are the different types of badminton drop shot?

There are five types of badminton drop shot.

  • Basic or slow forehand drop shot
  • Slice or fast forehand drop shot
  • Reverse slice drop shot
  • Basic backhand drop shot
  • Slice backhand drop shot

Basic or slow forehand drop shot

The basic or slow forehand drop shot is the most common of the badminton drop shots. In this type of shot, you will hit the shuttle with the racket head flat and the shuttle will travel slowly to the other side of the court, landing very close to the net. It is important that the shuttle doesn’t travel too high or too far away from the net because, as the shot is slow, you cannot give enough time to your opponent to reach the shuttle when it is still up. Otherwise, he will easily finish the rally.

As with the slice forehand drop shot and the reverse slice drop shot, you need to use a forehand grip to perform this shot. If you are not sure what a forehand grip is, we recommend that you read our extensive badminton grip guide where we explain all there is to know about the badminton grip, including the “trick” positions so you can easily remember how each grip has to be performed.

Below is a step by step guide on how to perform the basic forehand drop shot.

Step 1 – Getting ready

The first step is the preparation of the shot or the position you are in before you start with the motion to hit the shuttle. In this position, you should be standing with your non-racket foot forward and your racket foot on the back. Which is your racket foot? If you are right-handed, your right foot is your racket foot. If you are left-handed, your left foot is your racket foot.

In both cases, you have to be facing sideways and not facing the net. This might seem a bit counterintuitive at first and difficult to do, but it is key in order to keep a consistent ready position for all your shots. As we said before, one of the most important characteristics of a badminton drop shot is that your opponent doesn’t know this shot is coming, so you need a consistent ready position for all your shots. Make sure you keep your weight on your back foot.

In addition to the position of your legs, your non-racket arm should be up and in front of you in order to generate balance. The exact position of the arm will depend on your own feeling, as each person is different and you might feel more comfortable with the arm more or less raised.

Regarding your racket arm, your elbow should be forming roughly a ninety degrees angles.

Step 2 – Moving towards the shuttle

Step two is what could be also called the movement itself. It is the process between your “ready” position and when you hit the shuttle.

In here, especially for beginners, you will probably start diverging your movement from that of your smash or your clear. It should be your aim through training, though, to keep this as similar to the other shots as possible.

During the movement phase, you should be bringing the racket up using your elbow, so that the racket goes over your head. While you do that, it is also important to start switching the body weight from the back foot to the front foot and start moving towards the front.

Step 3 – Hit the shuttle

The last step is hitting the shuttle. In the most perfect badminton drop shot, this will be the only moment where the movement will change from that of a badminton smash or a badminton clear.

Here, you finalize the whole process by hitting the shuttle gently with the wrist still. It is very important to keep your wrist still because otherwise, it will be very difficult for you to control the shot.

You should be contacting the shuttle at the highest point possible, with the racket head horizontally flat or facing downwards.

Upon contact with the shuttle, you should be stepping forward with what was your back leg. By this time, your weight should be in what was your back leg and is now your front leg.

For an audiovisual guide, KC Badminton has a very good resource that you can see below.

KC Badminton has a very good guide on how to perform a basic forehand drop shot.

Slice or fast forehand drop shot

The slice or fast forehand drop shot has a few differences with the basic or slow forehand drop shot. The slice or fast forehand drop shot, as the name indicates, will travel fast to the other side of the net. Because it travels fast to the net, the landing point of the shuttle is usually around the front service line, so not as close to the net as with the basic or slow forehand drop shot.

Starting with a forehand grip and the same ready position, what changes in this shot is how you hit the shuttle. Because this is a faster shot, it is also easier to keep the same movement that you perform when smashing than it is with the basic drop shot.

Step 1 – Getting ready

Same as with the basic forehand drop shot.

Step 2 – Moving towards the shuttle

Same as with the basic forehand drop shot.

Step 3 – Hit the shuttle

The last step is hitting the shuttle. In the most perfect badminton slice drop shot, your opponent will not realize this is a drop shot until the moment the shuttle has left your racket, as it is very easy to perform the same movement than that of a badminton smash.

Here, you finalize the whole process by hitting the shuttle with a slicing motion. You don’t need to apply as much strength to the shot as you apply when smashing, but, as we said, you need to apply more strength than with the basic drop shot, so faking a smash or clear shot is much easier here.

You should be contacting the shuttle at the highest point possible, with the racket head horizontally flat or facing downwards, but vertically turned inwards so the slicing motion can be applied.

Upon contact with the shuttle, you should be stepping forward with what was your back leg. By this time, your weight should be in what was your back leg and is now your front leg.

For an audiovisual guide, KC Badminton has also a very good resource for this shot.

KC Badminton has a very good guide on how to perform a slice forehand drop shot.

Reverse slice forehand drop shot

The reverse slice forehand drop shot (long name!) is quite similar to the slice forehand drop shot. The difference is the orientation of the racket when hitting the shuttle. Instead of slicing the shuttle with your racket turned inwards, you slice the shuttle with your racket turned outwards.

This shot is best performed to send the shuttle diagonally when played from the backhand corner or to send the shuttle parallel when played from the forehand corner.

The grip to be used and steps 1 and 2 are the same as with the previous shots.

Step 3 – Hit the shuttle

When hitting the shuttle, as we said before, the shot changes. As with the slice forehand drop shot, in a perfect shot, your opponent will not realize this is a drop shot until the moment the shuttle has left your racket, as it is very easy to perform the same movement than that of a badminton smash.

Here, you finalize the whole process by hitting the shuttle with a slicing motion. You also don’t need to apply as much strength to the shot as you apply when smashing.

You should be contacting the shuttle at the highest point possible, with the racket head horizontally flat or facing downwards, but vertically turned outwards so the slicing motion can be applied and the shuttle is directed to the intended corner.

Upon contact with the shuttle, you should be stepping forward with what was your back leg. By this time, your weight should be in what was your back leg and is now your front leg.

For an audiovisual guide, KC Badminton has also a good resource for this shot.

KC Badminton has a very good guide on how to perform a slice forehand drop shot.

Basic backhand drop shot

Until now we have talked about the forehand drop shots. These are the ones you should always aim to be using in the match. However, there might be instances were, in your backhand back corner, you will be forced to use a backhand shot. A good way to go out of this pressure situation, specially if your backhand clear is not very good, is to do a backhand drop shot. This, if done correctly, will give you some time to recover.

The basic backhand drop shot is a parallel shot and it is the easiest one of the two backhand drop shots to perform.

As with the slice backhand drop shot, you will use a backhand grip to perform this shot. If you are not sure what a backhand grip is, we recommend that you read our extensive badminton grip guide where we explain all there is to know about the badminton grip, including the “trick” positions so you can easily remember how each grip has to be performed.

Below is a step by step guide on how to perform the basic forehand drop shot.

Step 1 – Getting ready

As this is a backhand shot, the whole process is very different from what we indicated before. First of all, and most importantly, the grip is different. For this shot, you need to use a backhand grip instead of a forehand one. Then, when you are moving towards the shuttle, you need to start already positioning yourself. This is because, with backhand shots, you want to finish your footwork movement at the same time as you finish your shot movement.

So, once you are moving, you need to keep your elbow separated from your body while doing the backhand corner footwork movement. If you are not sure how to perform this footwork, I recommend that you visit our badminton footwork guide, where you will learn how to move effectively towards and back from the six corners of the court.

Step 2 – Finishing the movement to hit the shuttle

Once you are about to reach the corner and about to hit the shuttle, it is time to finish the movement to hit the shuttle. In here, you need to use your non-racket arm for balance.

You will also pull this arm in front of your body when hitting so that you help your body rotate easily towards the center of the court. You need to time the movement of your upper body so that you hit the shuttle at the same time that your racket foot is hitting the court.

Step 3 – Hit the shuttle

Due to the position of disadvantage you are in when performing this shot, it is recommended to make it as fast as possible. For this reason, we recommend that you slice the shuttle even in the basic backhand drop shot. However, this slice will not be very pronounced because you want to keep the shuttle on the parallel side of the court.

In order to hit the shuttle with the perfect slice, you need to check that the strings of the rackets are facing you when you are finishing the movement to hit the shuttle. With this and the standard backhand grip as explained in our guide, the shuttle will go to the parallel corner of the court, with the correct arch and enough speed so that the opponent cannot attack the shot.

In the video below, Badminton Exercises have created a very good tutorial that explains how to perform this shot.

Very good audiovisual guide on how to perform the basic backhand drop shot.

Cross court slice backhand drop shot

The process for this shot is quite similar to the basic backhand drop shot. In here, you will also need a backhand grip, but it needs to be adapted slightly. Starting from the standard backhand grip, you need to rotate the racket counter clock-wise for around 80-90 degrees. This is done in order to be able to slice the shuttle enough to send it to the other side of the court.

At a high level, you will change the grip at the last moment so your opponent doesn’t know what you are about to do. When starting to learn the shot, though, you can change the grip from a basic backhand to this specific backhand before you start practicing the shot.

Step 1 – Getting ready

As with the basic backhand drop shot, you need to start already positioning yourself when you start the movement towards the shuttle from your waiting position. This is because, with backhand shots, you want to finish your footwork movement at the same time as you finish your shot movement.

So, once you are moving, you need to keep your elbow separated from your body as with the basic backhand drop shot.

Step 2 – Finishing the movement to hit the shuttle

Once you are about to reach the corner and about to hit the shuttle, it is time to finish the movement to hit the shuttle. In here, you need to use your non-racket arm for balance.

You will also pull this arm in front of your body when hitting so that you help your body rotate easily towards the center of the court. You need to time the movement of your upper body so that you hit the shuttle at the same time that your racket foot is hitting the court.

Step 3 – Hit the shuttle

Due to the position of disadvantage you are in when performing this shot, it is recommended to make it as fast as possible. The movement is exactly the same as with the basic backhand drop shot but, because we have rotated the grip, the shuttle will travel towards the other corner.

In order to hit the shuttle with the perfect slice, you need to check that the strings of the rackets are facing you when you are finishing the movement to hit the shuttle. You also need to hit the shuttle powerfully because, due to the change of grip, the shuttle will need that power to travel to the other side of the court with a good arch and a good speed.

In the video below, Badminton Exercises have created a very good tutorial that explains how to perform this shot.

Very good audiovisual guide on how to perform the cross court backhand drop shot.

Final words

And with this, we have arrived at the end of this drop shot post. In this post, we have explained what a drop shot is and how many and which types of drop shots there are. After that, we have gone into detail to explain how to perform each different type of drop shot.

Have we missed any drop shot that you think is useful? Is there anything you would like to see added? Then let us know in the comments below!

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