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How to stop the opponent playing drops

Published: 24 Jul 2004 - 18:11 by rippa rit

Updated: 15 May 2010 - 07:26

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Rippa Rita`s championship squash tip

Firstly, to play touch shots accurately, the opponent needs time.  It is easier to execute drops from the front of the court.  It is necessary to take away the opportunities from the opponent, and if you cannot do that successfully, be sure to move forward every time the ball lands in the front of the court, expecting the drop.


  • To play touch shots the opponent needs to be in front.
  • Touch shots from the back will have a higher error rate.

So what can be done to take the drops out of the opponent's armoury?

    • Increase the tempo of the game - attack. If increasing the tempo of the game results in a loss of accuracy, slow down enough to gain control of the ball, and keep the ball tight to the side walls.
    • Concentrate on keeping the opponent in the back of the court (watch for the boast from the back).
    • And, if your return lands short, be ready to R U N.

More about drop shot technique
Read about shot selection

In this video notice how controlled the footwork and racket has to be to accurately Drop shot.

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From HOT TUNA - 15 May 2010 - 07:26

Your links to you other articles are 404ing (:

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From rippa rit - 19 Dec 2005 - 08:03

Slavi - I have added a couple of links to the article to refresh on the basics of the drop shot. 
It is easy to get a penalty stroke when playing a drop too, so the footwork and approach when playing the drop is important.

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From drop-shot - 16 Dec 2005 - 23:53

Well, just to add few cents to the "drop" topic, I think it is very important to know how to hit that shot and how to reply to that shot, but what is more important, you should learn when is the best moment to use it...

Answering the "camping" opponent ... I mean that he is stuck on the back wall waiting for your line shots - well if you are persistantly feeding him with his backhand drive, he will fail finally. And just for surprise you can feed him with counter drop then. As Rita is perfectly descibing that scenario ...

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From rippa rit - 16 Dec 2005 - 20:27   -   Updated: 16 Dec 2005 - 20:32

Slavi - yes, you do get my drift. 
I am trying to explain that if a shot is "cutting" you up, you must try to limit the opponent's opportunity to play the shot.  Every game is different of course, and has to be evaluated.
  • With drops, you may even get them back, but if you are getting knackered from chasing them, that will eventually catch up with you. If you are gaining some ultimate advantage, the drops are ok to accept.
  • The delicate thing is, it is important to keep the opponent moving, but to keep hitting the ball to the back all the time means that opponent will camp at the back after a while, so it is necessary to mix it up, so the short shot has to come after the opponent gets into the idea that it is not necessary to cover the front of the court. 
  • Also if you get caught enough with drops, click in the idea "move forward 1m at the T" so that then gives you a better opportunity.  Summarising:-
    • Tight length whether it be hard or soft is critical to all tactics.
    • Vary the reply to the drop can also work, so long as you can read it and return it ok, eg drop off drop, tickle boast off drop, cross court lob off drop, cross court drop off drop.
    • To really change, or work around this problem whether it be a drop or any other shot, is to keep changing the strategy until you get the right answer. 
    • Something as simple as drop off drop can make the opponent change, especially if the drop is recovered, and hit to length, causing them some pain.
  • This really re-enforces the need to train using specific strategies, so when required, it is possible to vary the tactic as necessary.
  • Then, of course, what worked yesterday with one opponent will not necessarily work with another, which also further re-enforces the need to build up such a variety of tactics.
This all might sound double dutch to some who watch the top pro videos - as what I have said probably is not in any way evident in a squash match at that world class level. These top players on tour must know each others games backwards so that presents another problem......

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From drop-shot - 16 Dec 2005 - 19:34

Hello Rita, your favorite student takes the floor as you miss some action here ;-)
So, if you ask "How to stop the opponent playing drops",
the simplest answer is "Do not let him play the drops".

The more advanced answer for more advanced players and readers may be based on keeping the opponent behind you all the time, incerasing the tempo and hitting tight balls. No way to hit drop from the back corner, huh? At least no way for us, we are not Jonathon Power...
What you need to be able to hit properly the drop is time and control. It's a soft touch shot. So, if your opponent will be running and running and searching for balls, he will forget he can use drop.

And maybe the most important thing to remeber is again – use the adventage of T. If you're there and if you watch the ball, you have three steps (two steps and a lounge) to answer the drop. Obviously you can answer with counter drop, cross court lob would be the best, but if you are there quick enough and your body is prepared, your arsenal is wide...

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