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Spin for rookies

Published: 17 Aug 2006 - 14:23 by Enkeli

Updated: 18 Aug 2006 - 15:33

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Hi to everybody this is my first post, and I need your coaching tips.


Slice, Top spin, Side spin, Back spin...something else with spin out there?

Can you explain me  where and how to hit the ball and what will happen with it?   


Thanks for your answer.

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From rippa rit - 18 Aug 2006 - 15:31   -   Updated: 18 Aug 2006 - 15:33

Enkeli - there is nothing wrong with what others have said on this subject at all, but , but ......when you are as good as the top players you can try anything, including screw serves, back-the-front boasts, nick kill, the lot, including topspin backhands.

Being curious is good, and questioning is also good.  However, my advice is, if you are still learning to use the basic strokes, forget the fancy stuff and deception.  How often do you actually use the shot in comparison to the basic strokes is another question to consider, I think.

Most of the way the spin is actually imparted to the ball depends on the height of the ball at the point of execution, eg

  • for a drop shot the spin comes under the ball to get  the elevation (since a drop is generally done from a low ball, or a ball that is low by the time the person gets to actually hit the ball).  Where would the ball end up if you did the side spin?!  Where would it end up if you did top spin?!!
  • an overhead  volley has the side spin because of the height, and has the follow through going in a different direction to a drop shot...all about the height of the ball in relation to the "Tin".  Where would the overhead volley go if you hit it with underspin? 
  • a shot hit with side spin across the ball (could also be deceptive, as you sort of don't hit where you are looking) is different also to a side spin hit going downward.
  • a shoulder or waist high volley can have underspin, and that turns it into a drop volley.
  • a top spin drop has to be executed off a ball that has bounced reasonably high (or is executed reasosnably high before it drops), and could have probably easily been hit as a drive - then it becomes deception to the opponent.  Fancy stuff really.  In a match how many are actually attempted?
I guess unless you hit the ball like swatting a fly, most shots have got some kind of spin imparted onto the ball.  Also,  the amount of spin, and speed of the swing, will to a great extent, depend on how far the ball has to travel to reach the front wall.

Squash is an interesting game really when you think about it. That is why you will never stop learning.

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From raystrach - 18 Aug 2006 - 09:55

a good example of outside spin is on the overhead volley. becase the racket is quite vertical when the shot is hit, if the face is open, it will result in outside spin.

this is useful when going short and straight with this volley as the ball is drawn towards the side wall. this keeps the ball from bouncing too far back into the court

try this link to carify what i am talking about

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From Enkeli - 18 Aug 2006 - 09:35

Thanks Slavy and Rippa for your answers; this week finally I got Jonathon`s video and that`s why I am asking.  No doubts about top and back spin ...but he said about inside and outside spin, and my doubt is: inside and outside but hitting with top spin? I understand like that.

for example going for a back hand toss moving: forward preparing the raquet and when striking give and outside spin crossing the court and bouncing and moving to the backwall. thats a good example of outside spin? 

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From drop-shot - 18 Aug 2006 - 00:41   -   Updated: 18 Aug 2006 - 00:43

More about spin strokes in squash:
The master of topspin drop, very deceptive hit was Jonathon Power. If you have a chance, watch his instructional DVD. During the practice you see what he's doing with his wrist. It's such a genius shot. But in the game ref called "down" as he was totally confused with the mastery of that shot.

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From rippa rit - 17 Aug 2006 - 15:00   -   Updated: 17 Aug 2006 - 16:18

Enkeli - Welcome to the forum.  My explanation to you about spin, if I can put it simply as I know how!  Here goes.

Slice - This is the spin that probably refers to playing squash.  If you undercut (slice) the ball, the ball backspins - it sort of sits down more with the backspin and does not bounce up so much.  It also means you can hit the ball with more force and it will not travel so fast since the racket is not in contact with much of the ball surface.  Does that make sense?
The main shots requiring undercut are drop shots.  Just because you have an open face racket when striking, the ball does not mean it will always spin either, eg a lob, boast.

Top Spin - I see that mostly at tennis, and more particularly when players use the western grip.  Yes the ball hits the ground and really lifts into the air, making shots from the back line hard to reach/hit.

Side Spin - I relate that more to table tennis players when serving.  Probably used at tennis when using the continental grip, and using the same grip for forehand and backhand.  When players who spin have been on court  there is yellow fluff all over the place from the strings of the racket giving the ball a haircut so to speak.

Thinking about a tennis serve, you can do all of the above (except undercut/slice) depending on the type of serve, eg one that is powerful, one that kicks up, one that gradually glides away  as it is coming through the air, sort of goes sideways when it hits the ground.

The best way to experiment would be to stand 2m from the front wall of the squash court, and try out the various types of spin/slice, and just for fun using different grips as well, and observe the different characteristics of the ball.  

Finally, playing with a racket and ball, is a bit like playing a musical instrument; and some people can play a better tune than others!

About the Strokes, here is the link taken from the Library on the Home page

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