What a temptation this shot is! Imagine yourself standing ahead of the cut-line, towards the forehand side, for example. The ball is nice and easy, and you think, “I’m going to turn my body slightly to the left and put this ball away into the nick, thank you, next please”. Well, if you are an expert at this shot, and all goes right, it wasn’t a bad idea after all.


To be on the safe side, this shot is ideally played from the T. So, this is the position, which will be given most consideration.



To see how the shot is executed, view the following video clips. Starting with the forehand, this first clip demonstrates how the shot is played off the "correct" foot. In comparison, this next clip shows the shot played off the other foot.




Even though the player stretches more to reach the ball in the photo on the right, when using the right foot, he occupies the T more effectively. Both images demonstrate how much slice is put into the shot.



Again, on the backhand side, the first video demonstrates how the shot is played off the "correct" foot, while the second clip shows the shot played off the other foot.




 Again, the shot is played with a lot of slice. When the left foot is used, the player does not give up any space on the T.


In both cases the shot is played with a lot of very fine slice. The racket moves quickly across, but the ball moves slowly. The spin on the ball will make it "dip" into the nick as close as possible to the front wall. The quick racket movement also allows the opponent little time to react.


The cross-court drop is best played on the forehand when the opponent is behind the player and slightly to his right side, while on the backhand when he is positioned slightly to the left. It is for this reason that I believe it is best to play the shot on either side by placing the other foot forward. If you examine the above clips closely, you will notice that when the other foot (or "incorrect foot") is used, the striker occupies more room on the T, and the retriever must work harder to move around him. 


Note how the player transfers his weight from one foot to the other during the follow through, without losing correct posture of the upper body. (view again) This side movement makes life harder for the player on the receiving end, but is also perfectly legal. The striker does not shift his feet to block the runner's path. In this case, if there is any interference, it is the opponent who has initially created it with his loose ball.


Now let us go back to the rarer choice of playing the shot from a position near the front corners, knowing all the tactical disadvantages that may arise. If all doesn’t fall into place and you fail to hit the nick, an opponent who reaches that ball would have the court wide open.


You are slightly turned to the left, and your position gives a hint to the other guy. He now knows that you are about to go for this shot. Even worse, you know that he knows. This may mount pressure onto you. See game psychology. Click here. Your shot doesn’t go into the nick and your opponent has a quick straight line onto the ball. He is there before you make it to the T. You are now in big trouble. You have left the court wide open on the backhand side.




The player in the light shorts has just played a cross-court drop, which did not land in the nick and was read by the opponent. He has out-positioned himself.



The gap down the wall is obvious and the opponent has made full use. His power drive easily reaches the back and dies in the corner.


The opponent may drive hard and win the rally. play video Or, you may decide to take a further step towards the T, despite your opponent being half way through his shot and risk being wrong-footed. play video  play video   In these clips, the player goes to cover the backhand when it is too late and suffers the consequences.




The player in the light shorts makes an all out effort and rushes to cover the left side of the court only to be wrong-footed. The opponent's cross or boast, leave him struggling.


To find out more, turn to the section on tactics. To know how the situation could be improved, see the section on deception by clicking here.


For now, only the technical aspects of the shot shall be considered. The shot played from the front forehand side can be viewed here. In both cases the shot is easier when played off the other ("incorrect foot") as demonstrated. The use of this foot allows the player to reach further and get the racket head around the ball, to achieve the correct trajectory angle. The follow-through is also longer and uninhibited. It is important to note how the racket swing must be slow  with less slice on the ball when executing the shot from far up the court, near the front wall. 




The two photos demonstrate how early, and the extent to which the wrist must work to float the ball across the front wall. The further up the court, the slower the ball must travel.



The same shot played on the backhand can be viewed in this clip. The wrist plays a most important role in bringing round the racket head. On impact with the ball, the racket points towards the front left corner of the court. Look at the shot in slow motion. The wrist action occurs very early to get the racket into the correct position. It is then the arm, which controls the racket's speed through the ball.








If you are very talented and have endless time and patience, you may practice this shot and adopt it while playing. This shot is very difficult to get right with consistency, and if not played very well, will leave you in a very compromised position.


Before even thinking of going for this shot, you have to be absolutely sure that the other player’s shot will be bouncing far out of the back corner so that it is possible to get your racket around the ball.


It is possible to achieve similar results with the use of the boast. That is, the possibility of sending the ball in the same court area with a greater guarantee of success. However, the cross-court drop reaches its target more immediately and may take the adversary by surprise.





Always remember to see how training with Shot Squash 2000 will help you improve your shots