Drop-ins can be a mixed bag. Some good and some bad. Even if you know the people in the drop-in you are going to find yourself in a variety of games.
Punching Above Your Weight
If you find yourself in a drop-in and find yourself the target consider this an opportunity to analyze how your game stacks up and understand what’s next for you. Are they picking on your backhand, attacking you with speed ups, always trying to drive your partner back. In any scenario it’s great because you are going to get better. You are going to play the ball a lot and have a chance to compete. Be opportunistic with your chances and if all else fails play the safe shot that can’t be attacked easily – extend the points and make someone else make the mistake.
This is obviously the sweet spot, a game of evenly matched teams where players are playing the right shot versus aggressively attacking their competition. Play your game, look for holes in the opponent’s games and try to attack to win points and the game.
Try to go into the game with some ideas. Check out our KISS blog for some of the keys we recommend.
When you find yourself in a situation where you are the dominant player or you have a very weak teammate can be the least satisfying. You aren’t going to get a lot of balls and you are probably going to lose. What should you do about it?
- Court Coverage – Slide over and try to involve yourself in more of the action, poach respectfully
- Speed it Up – When you have your chances be aggressive with winners
- Serve and Return of Serve – Take the chance to make sure you play your serve and return of serve deep. You are going to get your chances and make sure these count in a game where the result doesn’t matter
- Have Some Fun – Do you feel like you could try to Erne more, maybe go around the post? Try some things and learn.
In the clip above you can see a lot of a little. It was a somewhat lopsided matchup for the team on the near side of the court. That team also likes to Erne…A LOT. We will get there, but first:
- Return of Serve – Needs to be driven deeper, especially off an average serve
- Cross Court Dink (1) – Decent dink and helps settle into the point
- Cross Court Dink (2) – Not great, needs to be played lower with the placement
- Erne Effort – Wasn’t the right ball given its height, but timing was good. Effort definitely impacted player into leaving it high.
- Putaway – Good coverage by sliding over with the pop up trying to put it down the middle.
A big step for players is going from being in an equal game to being able to carry a team where you get so few touches. Work on being a good teammate while inserting yourself into the game.
At the end of the day try to get the most out of your drop-in and just remember you have a chance to get some exercise and improve your game.