In this week’s featured playlist, SquashSkills co-founder and legend of the sport Peter Nicol takes us through his guide to the lob.
Peter achieved everything there was to achieve in the sport, and rightly goes down as one of the all time greats with a CV that includes 2 Commonwealth Games gold medals, 1 World Open title, and 2 British Open titles. Peter also held the World No. 1 for a total of 60 months during his career, including a continuous 24-month stint in 2002–2003.
One shot that Peter was particularly adept at was the lob – time and again he was able to escape what looked a desperate situation by getting his racket under the ball and flipping it softly over his opponent’s head, allowing him to regain the T and get a foothold back in the rally.
Of today’s current stars, James Willstrop and Laura Massaro are two of the best exponents of the lob, and it’s well worth watching them play to check out the shot put into action at the highest echelons of the game.
Being able to use the lob confidently in both defence and attack is crucial to being able to control the pace, the flow, and ultimately the outcome of a game of squash. Utilising the entire height of the front wall allows for many more shot options, and confers huge tactical advantages.
The aim of this blog is to help you identify the drills and practices that will allow you to best implement Peter’s insights into the lob, and provide you the tools to start incorporating this highly effective but oft-overlooked shot into your own game.
Try these sessions to practice your lob
This solo practice is perfect to go through for 10mins or so as part of your warm-up before a game or session, as it holds the dual benefits of getting you moving energetically around the court whilst also working on your lob technique
If you have a training partner to work with, try this pairs session practising the lob with a steady progression from basic closed drills to gradually more open routines and conditioned games
To help allow you to get down into a strong and stable position to play an effective lob, check out this great balance/stability based session and try incorporating it into your weekly training programme
Check out these other great playlists and further improve your understanding of the game.
For some great insights from Aussie legend David Palmer, check out this series discussing using height on the front wall
The man they call ‘DP’ has coached some of the greatest English players of recent years, including Peter Nicol, Nick Matthew, and Laura Massaro. Check out this great series offering his views on the lob.
For more help on general lob technique, check out this fantastic in-depth playlist from SquashSkill’s own Welsh Wizard Jethro Binns
Let us know how you get on with the sessions, we’d love to hear your feedback!
Not watched the full playlist yet?
Check out the full series to get all of Peter Nicol’s expert insights!Watch the playlist in full