There are a few reasons for using a drop shot in table tennis. The first is where the ball is dropped so short that the lobbing opponent cannot reach the ball at all, winning the point. Even when this is not the case, often a good drop shot will force the opponent to run in very quickly and have to lunge off-balance to return the ball, which can then be hit hard at the opponent, who will be having trouble regaining his balance and ready position. This tactic can be very effective against players who retreat from the table and try to wear down their opponent with high, spinny topspins.
Points to look for:
- The player is in the middle of a rally, having forced his opponent away from the table with a strong attack. His opponent has lobbed the ball, and the player has decided the ball will land mid-table, short enough to play a drop shot, and that the opponent is expecting another attack and is moving further backwards, making a drop shot a good choice.
- Currently the player is watching the ball, which is about head height judging from his gaze. He could choose to play a smash, loop kill or drop shot at this point in time.