For those starting out, getting to know the different types of strokes, stances, terms, grips, etc. in tennis can feel over-whelming. Not to worry, we have your back! In our new teaching series titled, “The Beginner’s Guide” (fitting, right?) we’ve enlisted some of Canada’s top instructors to provide us with their expert steps and hot tips on how to approach the various basics of tennis. A free lesson? Pretty sweet, right? This class: Mastering the drop shot.
Background: A Level 3 certified coach with a BA in Kinesiology, Robichaud honed his skills at a number of academies and clubs including: the Cloutier-Jousselin Tennis Academy, the MRTC and the Robby Menard academy, before joining Tennis Canada to take on the role of National Coach. He also serves as captain and coach of Canada’s junior Davis Cup team.
The drop shot is most effective when your opponent isn’t expecting it! To achieve this element of surprise, coach Robichaud says to add an element of disguise to your shot by pretending you’re about to hit the ball really hard. At the last minute, shorten up your backswing, in a similar position to the one you would hold for a volley, and brush down the back of the ball to add spin.
According to Robichaud, the purpose of the drop shot is to hit short, so he advises not to aim too close to the doubles alley. “Hitting wide is a big mistake,” he advises, so do your very best to keep it inside the court!
The most ideal time to hit the drop shot is when you’re in an offensive position (inside the court) and your opponent is in the defensive position (further back from the baseline). In other words, you want to see your opponent run!
Make sure you give yourself enough time to hit the drop shot (if the ball comes fast, it is difficult to control and hit a drop shot). Also, if you are far from the baseline, the ball will travel longer in the air which will give more running time to your opponent to get to the ball.
As much you’re going to want to sit back and admire your work and wait to see if your opponent reaches your shot, don’t even think about it! “Take a second to analyze the play and then get into position for your next shot,” says Robichaud; getting caught just standing in the middle of the court could prove to be a very dangerous position for you and beneficial to your opponent’s next play.
Class dismissed! Go on, what are you waiting for! Pick up that racquet!
Get down with the basics:
Take a few tips from some pros during play:
The master of disguise, here are a ways to trick your opponent just like Novak Djokovic does!