I see pro squash players, in a match, making many repetitive shots along the side wall, cycling in and out of position. At times, it almost looks like they're doing a drill, not actually trying to win the point. In my own games with my longtime partner, I frequently try to win a point with a kill shot off his serve, or otherwise try to win the point as quickly as possible. Our rallies often last only a few shots.

I guess my question is almost about the philosophy of the game. If elite players (not me!!) are capable of making a well-placed drop shot and ending the rally, why don't they? Or is their opponent's shot so difficult that they are only able to barely make a return shot?

2 Answers 2


Take a look how quick professional players are on the T and fast they move around the court. They are well-trained top athletes and can easily reach all four corners from the T.

Against players on this level a drop shot is a high risk shot to play if the opponent is in front of you on the T. The opponent has a short way to the ball, probably even shorter than your way back to the T. If your drop-shot isn't inch-perfect it'll backfire: You'll either get a counter-drop or a straight/cross drive against the direction of your movement, and suddenly find yourself under pressure.

Even worse, your drop shot might go wrong and end up in the tin or bouncing back towards the T and your opponent. These are gifts to your opponent (in the latter case the opponent will hold on the ball until you've committed to a corner, then send the ball another way, beyond your reach); your attack gave the opponent a cheap and easy point.

Hence the "drill-like" length game you'll typically see on professional games. It's goal is to move the opponent out of T position: If you hit a perfect length the opponent will have to move deep into the back corner and struggle to play a good return, at which point you can attack towards the front wall with a drop shot and force your opponent go a long way at least.


Some Pro players will indeed attempt a kill shot on the return. But not a drop shot, as there is essentially no way that it can be played tightly enough that a fellow pro, in position on the 'T' following their serve, will not only retrieve it but get to the drop sufficiently comfortably that it will gift them control of the rally.

The kills you will see tried are looking to put the ball across court, short and into the nick (this is key), but it's played as a power rather than a touch shot (also vital). This is a shot a number of the leading Egyptian players, male and female, go for fairly often. And me, sometimes, at my much lower club level of play with consequently much reduced success! ;-)

As for the philosophy part, the biggest difference between the pros and amateurs is not shot-making but fitness and movement. Their shots might be only twice as good (four times, five times, whatever) as a club player, with their speed around court five, ten, twenty times improved. That makes it a lot harder for pros to play a winning shot against each other. So in response to the specific question "If elite players (not me!!) are capable of making a well-placed drop shot and ending the rally, why don't they?" - they do, whenever they can! But they (or more like their opponents) are in a position to allow a winning shot, any winning shot, much less often than club players.

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