What Is a Drop Shot in Badminton?

I was looking online for a good definition of what a drop shot in badminton is but I couldn’t find it, so I decided to create this post to answer the question precisely and thoroughly.

So, what is a drop shot in badminton? A drop shot in badminton is an offensive shot performed from the back part of the court. It has a downwards and curved trajectory, directed to the front of the court of your opponent.

In the image below you can see a drawing of the trajectory of a badminton drop. If you want to learn a bit more about what a badminton drop is or when to use one, be sure to read on.

Trajectory drop shot
This is the standard trajectory of a badminton drop

What is a drop shot in badminton? The in-depth answer

As I said before, a drop shot in badminton is an offensive shot that is hit usually at the back of the court and that has a downwards and curved trajectory, landing in the front of the court of the other player.

The trajectory is downwards because this is an offensive shot so the main goal is for the shuttle to reach the floor as fast as possible.

The trajectory is curved because drops need to land as close to the net as possible. As a result, the shuttle needs to take on a curved trajectory in order to fall as fast as possible once it has passed over the net.

Depending on the type of drop shot, the landing will be closer to the net or to the service line, but it is always in the front part of the court.

The badminton drop shot is an offensive shot which is mostly used in singles. In singles, it is used to move the opponent around. If done correctly, it is an excellent way to even finish points, but it is mostly used as a way to gain advantage until your opponent returns a weak shot and you can smash it.

In doubles, it is used more like a surprising tool whenever the opponents are defending too far from the net. It can also be used to change a bit the rhythm of the rally or if the player on the back is tired of smashing and needs a short break.

In the following sections, we will explore a bit more about what types of drop shots can be found in badminton. We will also see when you should use a drop shot in badminton and where you should direct it to.

What are the different types of drop shots in badminton?

The drop shot can be divided into five types:

  • Basic or slow forehand drop shot
  • Slice or fast forehand drop shot
  • Overhead 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 done with the forehand grip, on the racket side of the body.

If you are new to badminton and you are not sure what a forehand grip is, you can check our badminton grip post, where we explain it in detail.

The aim of this shot is for the shuttle to land as close to the net as possible. Therefore, the shuttle needs to go slow so that when it passes the net, it is almost on a free fall and not moving forward. The main risk with this shot is that it can pass too high from the net and, if your opponent is fast, he might be able to attack it.

Slice or fast forehand drop shot

The slice or fast forehand drop shot is done with the forehand grip, on the racket side of the body.

In this case, the shuttle travels faster so it lands further away from the net. If done correctly, this can be a deadly shot because you can perform it as you would do with a smash. The only difference is that, by slicing the shuttle, it goes slower than in a smash and lands closer to the net. However, by the time your opponent realizes that it is a drop and not a smash, the shuttle might be on the floor and the point on your score.

The only downside is that it is a very difficult shot to perform, so if you don’t train it a lot, you will not be able to pull it off.

Overhead slice drop shot

The overhead slice drop shot is a drop done with the forehand grip, on the non-racket side of the body. It is the preferred approach whenever a drop shot is done on the non-racket side of the body. This is because it is easier to perform than a backhand drop shot.

In this shot, the idea is the same as the forehand basic or slow drop shot, with the difference that the shuttle is on the other side of the body. Therefore, your racket will go over your head in order to hit the shuttle.

Basic or slow backhand drop shot

The basic or slow backhand drop shot is done with a backhand grip, on the non-racket side of the body.

This is a good solution if your backhand is not strong enough to return a clear, but you are forced to use the backhand. In this case, having a good backhand drop will help you lessen the pressure your opponent is putting on you.

Slice or fast backhand drop shot

The slice or fast backhand drop shot is done with a backhand grip, on the non-racket side of the body.

This is a good solution if your backhand is not strong enough to return a clear, but you are forced to use the backhand. This is a shot I use a lot. Because it is a fast drop shot, my opponents have a hard time keeping the initiative after I have performed it, so I usually manage to get out of a tricky situation with it.

If you are curious about how you should be performing these shots, check our Badminton drop shot post, where I give you a step-by-step guide on how to perform each of the shots.

When to use the drop shot in badminton?

Now that you know what a drop shot in badminton is and which types there are, it is a good moment to talk about when it is a good idea to use the drop shot in badminton.

When to use the drop shot in singles?

In singles, drop shots are an important part of the game. They are used mostly to move your opponent around until you find a weak spot you can attack. If performed correctly, they can also be winners.

So it is good to use them often in singles and a variation between the two main types (fast and slow) will make it even better. The more you can vary the type of shot and the less your opponent knows which shot you are going to use next, the better.

When to use the drop shot in doubles?

In doubles, the story is very different. As we mentioned in our badminton tactics post, tactics in doubles are based on having and keeping the initiative of the point. Therefore, the main shot that you need to be performing from the back of the court is the smash.

So, in doubles, you should be using the drop shot only under certain circumstances.

First, you can use it as a surprise shot if your opponents are defending from very back in the court. In this case, a slow drop shot that lands very close to the net is the best option.

With this, if they were very far from the net, they might have a hard time returning a shot and, if they do, it might leave them in a very exposed situation. However, it is easier to lose the initiative of the point with a drop shot, so be careful using it.

Second, you can use it if you have done a few smashes in a row and you feel you need to change a bit the rhythm and the position of the opponents on the court. In this case, a fast drop shot that doesn’t give them much opportunity to attack is the best option.

With this, you will manage to move them a bit outside of their current position but will not give them a lot of openings for gaining the initiative.

Where to send your drop shot in badminton?

Now that you know what a drop shot is and when you should be using it, it is time to learn where to send the shuttle.

As we have explained, there are mostly two types of drop shot, fast and slow. Now let’s see where within the width of the court we have to send these shots.

In singles, it doesn’t matter so much where you send the shuttle (at beginners level). Varying your shots will make your opponent move more around the court and you will be getting more advantages.

Having said that, please be aware that diagonal shots are always riskier because it involves you having to travel a larger distance to reach the most comfortable shot for your opponent (a parallel shot). Therefore, always use the parallel shots as a default option, but sprinkle some diagonal ones instead to keep your opponent moving all around the court.

If instead, you are in the center of the court, it does not matter so much where you send it. It will mostly depend on your specific skill set and that of your opponent. It is worth noting that you should always be aiming for the corners. Doing a drop shot to the middle of the court is not something very common or useful.

In doubles, also try to keep your drop shots parallel whenever you use them. The only exception here would be if you want to switch sides because the opponent that is diagonal to you has a much weaker defense. In that case, a diagonal drop shot might be a good idea, but please bear in mind that it will be much easier for them to return a parallel drive and that you might lose the initiative because of you being in the other corner and not being able to reach the shuttle in time to attack it.

Final words

And with this, we have arrived at the end of this post. Do you still have any doubts about what a drop shot in badminton is and what are the different types of drop shots? Or about when is it a good idea to perform a drop shot and where you should direct it? If so, let me know in the comments below and I will do my best to clarify it.

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