Getting the biomechanics of your swing working correctly is essential to hitting a successful backhand. In the brand new series on SquashSkills with amateur player, Paul Miles we filmed a one on one coaching session and explained the key elements of the swing that allow you to hit with more pace and accuracy.
The modern game has seen players looking to increase the pace at almost every opportunity. If they’re unable to play a volley then you’ll increasingly see the top pros taking the ball ‘on the rise’.
So what does ‘on the rise’ actually mean? It means that the ball is being hit before the top of the bounce and it can be done from a variety of different positions in the court.
Who better to explain how to start adding this to your own game than one of the game’s greatest coaches, David Pearson.
In this week’s featured playlist, SquashSkills co-founder and legend of the sport Peter Nicol takes us through his guide to the lob.
Australian legend David Palmer joins us on SquashSkills this week, taking us through his thoughts on attacking in the front forehand corner.
We’re delighted to welcome Jesse Engelbrecht back to SquashSkills this week, to offer us his expert insight into one of the key aspects of the modern game – the volley.
We’re delighted to welcome Camille Serme to SquashSkills this week, as she takes us through her approach to the game technically, tactically, physically, and mentally – all of the 4 crucial components of the competitive squash player.
Fresh from another epic battle with Mohamed El Shorbagy in the Super Series final, world no. 2 Ali Farag joins us this week to share his thoughts on the backhand – specifically options from the mid-court area.
We’ve had a fantastic new playlist on the site this week from former South African no. 1 Jesse Engelbrecht.
The grip is an essential component of every player’s technique that should be worked on from the very first moment that a player picks up a racket.
As a player I was driven first and foremost about the outcome of a shot and by extension, the rally. As a coach I have to stop myself getting too caught up in the technical aspects of the game and allow the players I teach to find ways to achieve the desired outcome without too much technical coaching. Obviously, there needs to be some consistency in form and the mechanics have to be correct for the shot to be accurate. However, there as so many ways to reach the same impact point that too much technical focus can be counterproductive.
Whatever standard or level of competition you play at, the game of squash always begins with a knock-up – 5mins of hitting the ball back n forth with your opponent, 2½mins on each side. For many amateur players in particular, this knock-up is nothing more than a necessary evil, used to just briefly get the ball warm before plunging straight into a game. This is a gross oversight however – taken advantage of correctly, the knock-up can be an excellent way to groove in your shots, scope out your opponent, and to properly prepare yourself for the forthcoming match.
In the office we spend a lot of time looking at stills of squash players in action, and there’s one photo that appears over and over again.
Players lunging into the front forehand corner, dropping their hand down the grip and hitting the ball off their right leg.
As a coach, I’m always looking at the differences between amateur and professional players, and to learn from the best – what each of the pro players actually do differently. Watching Amr Shabana followed by James Willstrop at the Tournament of Champions highlighted exactly that – and it was interesting to find such different players utilizing similar techniques, and of course their opposing talents and playing traits.
I’ve always found going short off an easy ball, even with plenty of time, a challenging aspect of my game. Attacking from the middle of the court is much easier for me as I flatten the racquet head and hit through the ball a little harder, leaving my opponent less able to get onto the ball and counter attack due to their positioning and shot type. From the back of the court, I could only ever attack by hitting the ball deep again – my highest quality option being a forehand boast.
You will have heard us use the saying “you’re only as good as your movement” on a number of different occasions here at SquashSkills. We’re firm believers in the fact that to hit a good squash ball you need to be able to get to the ball, in a solid and stable position.
Looking to take your game to the next level? Make sure you’re including these 3 crucial elements in your training.
You only have to look at today’s crop of emerging Egyptian players to realise that the game has changed dramatically since the attritional length battles that were played by legends of the game such as Geoff Hunt and Jonah Barrington. Todays game is filled will flare, angles and a desire to attack the front corners when the opportunity presents itself.
It’s strange to me that we often think about movement to the front and back of the court, rather than concentrating on movement around the middle of the court first.
As much as we’d like to think the standard of our play (and our opponents) means we will always be moving into the corners, the reality is we are more often than not moving around the middle.
As a large proportion of the game is spent in the back corners of the court (even more when losing!), being able to move into that area and still have options is crucial so that you do not get stuck digging the ball out continuously.