The Underappreciated 4th Shot
Whether it’s a drive or a drop, the third shot gets all the love. But how teams respond with the fourth shot is a major factor in determining how the rally will develop. You will need to consider what your opponents want and give them something else. When the third shot is a drive, your opponents are hoping that you miss the shot or pop up a high ball for them to attack. So, respond to a third shot drive with a low volley. Don’t worry about hitting a winner or counterattacking. Aim to keep the ball low so that the other team has to hit the ball up.
Against a drop, the priorities change. When a team plays a drop, they are hoping that you will pop the ball up for them so that they can hit it back down at you. Speed control is critical. Focus on forcing an upward hit with a good dink. Think less about offensive shots and more about neutralizing the other team.
Key to the Fourth Shot: Anticipate what your opponents want, and do the opposite.
Key Technical Skills:
The skills vary based on what your opponents give you. Be flexible and ready to give them what they do not want.