Practice 5

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Practice 5 - Drop & Drive: Boast
Practise one of your key winning opportunities
One of your most important scoring opportunities in a match is to play a drop shot off a boast. Perhaps your opponent has been forced to boast out of the back corner or had to scramble back a pressure shot. You will judge whether a quick drop can be executed and will die before he can recover it or whether it is best to hold and disguise the shot, stopping your opponent and then forcing him to get under way  again. Maybe your opponent has been put in a position where a quick recovery from the shot is difficult – in this situation disguise is not important but quick execution of the shot is.
Whichever drop is the more appropriate – the quick drop or the disguised one – it is so easy to practice that this attacking opportunity should be a basic weapon of most players.
To practise it player A front court straight drops and then straight drives and player B behind boasts. This practice incorporates all the advantages of the two boast and drive practices we have covered before – Practice No. 3: Boast and Drive (Issue 2004/3, and No.4: Volley Boast and Drive (Issue 2005/1).
Its key advantages are that it allows movement, the ball is kept warm, both players are practising and working and it is repetition of a tactically important combination. It is important for player A to push back from each shot towards the T so that the movement to the set-up position can be practised and the player is not standing upright on top of the ball and just dabbing at it.
Try preparing as for a drive as you move to position – turn the body and the shoulder and take the racket back. Perhaps hold this position and cut the drop down so you have some disguise on the shot and are using a similar set-up for both drive and drop. Don’t use a full swing for all your drops. Adapt your swing size to the kind of ball and the time you have. Use a short swing for touch, to lift a low ball and to play is quickly. Target your straight drops to cling and use a second set-up drop or feeding shot if it is too tight to drive back to your partner.
One thing this exercise does is allow time for the backcourt player (B) , (as A is playing two shots), to push up to the T. The recovery step is part of the shot. Be on the way to the T as you exit your shot.

  • Use the Drop & Drive: Boast practice to practise your drop and the attacking combination: Drop off the Boast.

  • When boasting turn or swivel towards the T as you exit the shot.

  • Try playing some drops where you are preparing for both the drop and drive.



1. Player A plays a two-wall forehand boast;
2. Player B frontcourt plays a straight drop and then; 3. straight drives (sometimes B may drop again or play a little feeding shot to himself to allow the drive if the clinging ball is difficult)
4. B boasts then pushes up on the T ­­– over the line joining the back of the service boxes.
5. Player A drops and 6. drives. 7. Player B boasts and so on.



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