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.
Being able to volley confidently and effectively is one of the primary skills that separates out higher level players. The ability to take the ball earlier and more aggressively is a great way to take your opponent’s time away from them, and give yourself increased opportunities to apply pressure and create openings.
Jesse has put together a fantastic playlist for us, taking an in-depth look at this critical part of the game – covering a variety of elements including T position, weighing up risk, and the concept of ‘springing the trap’ and capitalising on a loose ball.
It’s a typical theme between two evenly matched players that the one who spends the most time in the middle of court volleying, will most likely be the winner of the match. In a game such as squash that is so often decided by such fine margins, taking the time to develop your volleying skill and awareness can thus pay huge dividends
The aim of this blog is to help you identify the practices that will allow you to best implement Jesse’s ideas into your game, and provide you with the tools to start to really dominate your opponents with positive, tactically astute volleying.
Try these sessions to practice your volleying
Check out this 40-minute solo session looking at developing your basic volleying technique and consistency. Try not to make the exercises too static, make the effort to stay mobile and light on your feet.
If you have a training partner to work with, have a go at this session with a series of progressive practices and condition games bringing the volley into a more realistic rally-based context
To allow you to step in and take the ball early on the volley, the ability to be strong and fast across the middle of the court is crucial – check out our lateral movement development session to improve that mid-court speed and agility
Check out these other great playlists and further improve your understanding of the game.
Lee Drew offers up a fantastic series of videos where he explores the mindset associated with the volley as well as patterns of play that create opportunities to take the ball early.
One volley that players often struggle with is the backhand return of serve. Get to grips with the basics of this crucial part of the game here.
The French players are incredibly effective at moving across the middle of the court and cutting the ball off before the back wall. This is primarily down to their movement. Who better to find out more about it than the legendary Thierry Lincou.
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 where Jesse dives into the subject of volleying and explains how to do it betterWatch the playlist in full