The ugly duckling of the squash world is arguably our counter drop. We’ll applaud the rolling cross court volley nick or get enthusiastic about a perfect length drive, but play a counter drop winner and only Mom claps.
Firstly, for those who haven’t been playing along at home… a counter drop may be defined as a straight drop played off any short ball. Not rocket science and the counter-drop is groovy for a bundle of reasons, we’ll quickly nail down three of them.
The counter drop is quite a reliable way to take the ball short. Long story short, you’re within touching distance to the front wall, even if you close your eyes we can still put the ball in there! Think of throwing that piece of paper into a waste paper basket, if you’re standing over it, then it’ll be comparatively easy. So keep in mind, it’s safe and reliable.
Another lovely point of our new favorite shot is that it ensures your opponent runs the same distance as you do. Picture a scenario whereby the opponent boasts you up to the front of the court. If you drive, they may volley from the mid third of the court and you’re run all the way to the front wall, then back to the back wall and they’ve, well, they’ve almost stood still. Not groovy. If we put in that counter, then they have to run up there, they move as much as you move and wow, all that great fitness work you’ve put in means that you run the opponent into the proverbial ground. Yay you!
Another fun point… you know you’re not hitting the ball to your opponent, by definition they’re not in front of you! This sounds remarkably simple, but candidly the sheer volume of players belting the ball straight back to their opponents is not inconsiderable… and if you noticed the Coach’s hair turning slightly more gray then you might guess why!
We promised three, but we got excited! The counter gives you an opportunity to improve your drive! Simply put, if your opponent has to cover a counter drop, they must, by definition, take a slightly more aggressive T. The payoff comes when you come in and crush the ball to a length, it is that much more effective because they were further forward than perhaps they wanted to be!
Finally, let us all raise a Gatorade in tribute to the ugly duckling of the shot world, the counter drop! Let’s make counter dropping great again… or maybe for the first time!