Use this weapon wisely and you can raise your game to a whole new level. Win matches in three short sweet games against the same opponents that in the past forced you into tight long drawn out battles. Strategy is such an inherent and important part of this incredible game-squash and the drop shot is an integral piece of an elegant winning strategy.
Great length and width into the back court will gradually push your opponents T position progressively deeper and deeper eventually to the point where your deep shots become ineffective-you will in fact simply be hitting the ball straight back to your opponent; however, use drop shots effectively and you will capitalizing on the space and the openings that your deep game has created you.
Lets break the court into sections (See diagram) and discuss where best to play drops from and the conditions that should dictate your decision to drop or not.
This is the area most players prefer to drop from and are comfortable to drop from. While it is easy to play a drop from this area because of how close it is to the front wall this can be a dangerous choice unless you drop with the following condition:
- You are on the ball quickly and you know your opponent is in the T or behind the T-if your opponent has come up with you (behind you) a drop will make you vulnerable to a stroke or a deep attack from your opponent with you stuck in the front
This is the area most players do not drop from and for good reason. Their opponents are in front of them and it’s challenging to drop from the back with accuracy. While it is difficult to drop from this area there are conditions that can make the drop from the back the perfect shot choice just consider these conditions:
- You have the skill to execute this shot with confidence and accuracy
- Your opponent is tiring and not returning to a T position where they can cover your drop-best way to feel this is if you are bumping and getting tangled together after your straight drives from the back and your opponent is having little difficulty with your good length shots
Mid Side Court
Drops from this area require great footwork, speed and accuracy but the rewards are indisputable and many; particularly in a long match. While the ability to hit both drops and drives with deception and disguise from this area can dramatically pressure and tire an opponent it is important to consider these conditions:
- You have the skill to execute this shot with confidence, and accuracy
- You are mixing up your choices between drops and drives and your opponents are unable to anticipate your choices
Center Mid Court-THE GO ZONE
This is the area where drops are most productive-if not ending the point certainly this should be the beginning of a rally that works an opponent extremely hard. Your opponent has a long way to run to fetch your drop and since you are in the T you are less vulnerable to a counter attack. This is the area all players should master and drop from instinctively with the following conditions:
- Most importantly your opponent is behind you-if you don’t see your opponent then play your drop-he is behind you!
- Should your opponent be in front or move from behind you, crossed your hip then and only then should you take the ball deep to length
We have covered the Drop Shot–When and Why our next piece will cover the technique and types of drop shots that can be used from each location. Strong technique will keep your drop tight and above the tin even in your toughest matches.