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How to Drop Shot in Table Tennis

Today, let’s learn the drop shot technique with Lin Shidong (林诗栋) and Kuaiman (蒯曼). Lin Shidong is a very talented young player from the Chinese National Team.


In table tennis, what does “drop shot” mean?

A drop shot is a type of shot in table tennis in which the ball is hit softly and lands near the net.

Table tennis is a sport that has a type of shot called “drop shots.” These shots are hit softly and with a lot of touches, so the ball just clears the net and stays short. Ideally, it should bounce low and at least twice on the table.

The ball should bounce several times on the table
The ball should bounce several times on the table


When should you use the drop shot?

If your opponents are far away from the table, or if they are moving away from the table, you should use the drop shot.

Watch this video to learn how to perform the drop shot technique:

how to drop shot
Watch this video: “how to drop shot”

Does it make you angry when other people leave the table and lob the ball?

Well, this shot is for you. In table tennis, the drop shot is a very good shot to use when you have your opponent back from the table.

It can stop the flow of the point and make your opponent hesitate.

This shot can be hard to learn at first, but once you get the feeling of it, it will be a great tool for your game.

Feeling is the key to learn the drop shot technique
Feeling is the key to learn the drop shot technique


How to Make a Drop Shot

Has your opponent ever made the ball land so close to the net that you can’t reach it? A well-hit drop shot can help you win the point directly. This shot is very deceptive because it looks like it has a lot of power, but in the end, it just bounces on the table.



The drop shot takes advantage of the opponent’s distance. The drop shot sends the ball just out of the opponent’s reach, even though it is still in the play area. The best thing about it is that it can be done by any player. The key is the timing and the feeling.

1. You can only use the drop shot when your opponent isn’t near the table. This would happen when he is getting ready for a powerful shot, so he is moving too far from the table.

Using drop shot when the opponent is far away
Using drop shot when the opponent is far away

2. The stance: To make a good drop shot, you need to use very little force, but you also need to know where the ball is going to be. You would need to move closer to the table as soon as your opponent played, and keep your upper body low to the table.

Keep your stance low and near the net
Keep your stance low and near the net

3. The wrist. It’s important to keep your wrist loose for the shot. That way, you would take in most of the energy of the ball before it hit your racket.

Relax your wrist to absorb the energy of the ball
Relax your wrist to absorb the energy of the ball

In order to make sure you can do the shot well enough, you should practice it a lot.

It’s important to keep your drop shot as close to the net as possible when you push your opponent away from the table.

You should try to get the ball as close to the net as you can, even if it goes up a little. That means they have to go a longer way to get to the ball.


To smash or to drop shot

People try to stay as far away from the table as possible when we smash (normally with the forehand).

If the opponent is strong to lob the ball, similar to Xu Xin’s style, then you should learn the drop shot.

Putting a little sidespin on the ball helps keep the ball short at the other end.

Xu Xin is very strong at lobbing the ball
Xu Xin is very strong at lobbing the ball

Another important thing to do is to keep your hand soft and relaxed.

If your hand is tight, the ball will go a little farther.

So if you keep your hand soft, you can slow down some of the speed and keep the ball close to the net.


How to return a drop shot

People smash when they side onto the table and farther away from the table to make their smash. They hit the ball at a high position.

When you see that the opponent is touching the ball very low, then it would be a drop shot.

As soon as you see the ball dropping short, you need to quickly approach the table.

Run to the table when you see the drop shot
Run to the table when you see the drop shot


The best player with the drop shot skills

The best player who can make a drop shot perfectly is Ma Lin. Ma Lin is known for his amazing soft touch skills.

Ma Lin has an amazing feeling to drop shot
Ma Lin has an amazing feeling to drop shot


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Table tennis coach in France since 2012, founder of pingsunday.com (the best online coaching program for table tennis players). Born in Vietnam in 1983, Ph.D. in Université Pierre Marie Curie. Read more about him.

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