There’s a good chance you’re reading this wondering to yourself “What is a drop step?” You’re most certainly not alone. In the gif below, notice how I step out of the second box, and push off with my foot? That’s a drop step.
Some people say they’re okay in certain circumstances, others say that they’re never any good, and somewhat recently I came across an internet argument where people were making all sorts of claims (good and bad) about the drop step.
So, naturally, I figured this would be a great junk science episode.
I threw it out to the Patrons a week or so ago, and asked how I should test it. Initially, I thought I would only need to test it while making a short step into a box. Something with a starting position like “Standing with toes on marks, outside the shooting area”, then on the buzzer, I’d just take a single step into the box.
However, the Patrons brought a great idea that I hadn’t thought about, and that was that it could also be beneficial on longer movement, as it might help you get up to speed faster, so I did another drill with two boxes, one 10’ in front of the other (about 4 steps), and tested the drop step vs. a regular step there too.
Here’s a link to my raw data if you want to nerd out on it. It’s also my terrible chicken scratch, so good luck deciphering it.
Step into box:
Drop Step Average (mean): 1.2527 sec
No Drop Step Average (mean): 1.2427 sec
In this instance, not drop stepping is 1 hundredth of a second faster. Being that this is junk science, that’s basically nothing.
4 Steps into box:
Drop Step Average (mean): 2.1390 sec
No Drop Step Average (mean): 2.1409 sec
2.139 vs. 2.14? Yeah, that’s a wash too.
Hard Left Lean:
Drop Step Average (mean): 4.578 sec
No Drop Step Average (mean): 4.448 sec
Now this is interesting. 0.13 seconds faster by NOT using a drop step? Very interesting. I wonder if it’ll show the same thing going the other direction?
Hard Right Lean:
Drop Step Average (mean): 4.5583 sec
No Drop Step Average (mean): 4.4825 sec
.07 faster again, NOT using a drop step.
This is pretty interesting stuff. When doing the drop step in most every instance, they felt faster, but as we know things that feel fast aren’t always fast.
On this given day, with this given shooter (me) drop steps are basically a wash moving forward, and actually a bit slower on lateral movement.
Have an Idea for a Junk Science episode?
If so, shoot me an email to [email protected], and put the words Junk Science in the subject line.