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Tennis Footwork: Drop Step


The drop step is used in tennis to step backward so a player can absorb pace or depth from their opponent or to create space on a ball hit directly at them.  The technique involves opening the hip backward from a split-step and then either planting to hit the ball or continuing back and then planting to hit.  The Athletes Edge Tennis Performance Training Program concentrates heavily on hip stability and hip mobility which are required for the drop step.

In this drill top-10 USTA junior Ally Miller-Krasilnikov working on her drop step after recovering from a wide groundstroke.  To perform the drill, start with a crossover-step from the sideline, shuffle to the middle, split-step and then drop step.  In this drill Ally continues back after her drop step with a smooth crossover-step and then she plants her back foot to hit.

Her left hip must open enough to allow her drop step to clear her left side for the right foot to crossover.  If the step is too narrow she will not get back quickly or efficiently.  Notice her shoulders are in front of her hips; a good hitting position.

For more on this drill or more information on the complete AE Tennis Performance Training Program, please contact Richard Woodroof, Director of Tennis Performance Training at 954.406.0716.  Follow us on Twitter @AthletesEdgeTen

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