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Backhand problems

Published: 03 Feb 2007 - 04:28 by gregzilla

Updated: 24 Sep 2008 - 16:16

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My backhand drive is by far my worst shot.   Not very accurate, not very much power, etc.  If I am able to be moving forward while hitting it, it is ok.  My backhand drops are good.  Strangely, even when I am digging deep out of the corner, I am usually able to flick it high and tight.  It seems when I am behind the service box and not really able to step into it that it deserts me.  It seems to me that I am either not coming around fast enough or my wrist is bending as most of my bad shots hit the sidewall then the front.  Leaving me high and dry.  Sometimes when I am court alone, I can get into a groove and hit 20 nice ones in a row.  Other times they are all over the place.  I am not sure how I should be holding my wrist.  Looking at shots of the pros, they are doing all sorts of crazy things, my wrist doesn't even bend that way ;).  For example:

Is this a good or bad example?

I saw this shot on the web:

and tried swinging like that.  Felt much better, but maybe slicing too much?  Any assistance from all the fine coaches here would be great :).  This is the biggest hole in my game, I think.  I am usually the first to make a loose shot on the backhand side, then have to run like crazy to make up for it.  I guess that keeps me in shape, but I'd like to running like crazy against better opponents :)

ps Rita, I still can not use the link button.  Using Firefox 2.0 on Mac.

squash game squash extras How to add images to Members' Forum posts and replies here...


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From ralph - 07 Feb 2007 - 00:11

hi gregzilla

just checking to see if the linking tool worls with your set up

here is a drive link

although just checked - this is firefox 1.5 - oops.

i am thinking of changing the text editor - i am trialling another system at the moment which is good but does not have some of the features of this system. in the meantime, try refreshing the page before writing your post or reply

hope it works

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From rippa rit - 04 Feb 2007 - 21:07

greg - all I did with those two links in your post was hit Edit, highlight a link, ctrl C, then the earth link thing, and the box appeared, put cursor in the line and hit ctrl V, then OK and all was fixed as you can see by the link now in your post, as it works.

You better try it again on another post and see how you go.

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From gregzilla - 04 Feb 2007 - 20:01   -   Updated: 06 Feb 2007 - 23:59

Thanks for all the advice.  I think getting some coaching is an excellent idea.  You need to get your strokes grooved so they don't break down in the middle of the game, and i'd like to make sure what i am getting grooved is correct :).  Not very easy to tell if you're doing it right from descriptions or even video sometimes.
Raystach, using the correct button (the earth and a link).  i get the popup but when i fill it in and hit ok, nothing happens.  Can I just put links in with html?  <a href="">this page!</a>.

i guess not ;-)

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From raystrach - 04 Feb 2007 - 18:32


which link button was that? - everything should work with your set up

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From nickhitter - 03 Feb 2007 - 08:10

Aswell as what has been mentioned, it is worth noting that this very site has excellent description and pics of basic strokes in the squash library section.

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From rippa rit - 03 Feb 2007 - 08:10   -   Updated: 03 Feb 2007 - 08:14

Greg - as Sleave said find a coach who knows their stuff to sort the basics.
Referring to the links, Virgin 61, that guy is approaching the ball fast mid court, and is just going to wack the ball cross court, so no technique really required, and letting the swing go loose to get as much power as possible.  Don't try to copy that.

The link Wilstropp/Gough - looks like a controlled hit, he looks a bit close to the ball to be giving the ball a good swing, ( I doubt if he could fake length from that position, and it would have to be a lob with the racket face and arm coming through like that) and the give away is his elbow has come well forward before striking the ball; notice the racket face is still open, therefore it will be a short sharp chip (drop angled) into the front corner for sure. There is no supination of the forearm happening as he is approaching impact indicating it is not a power shot. (By the way who said you could not anticipate what the opponent was going to do, ha!)

So, Greg, copy the controlled action, but for a tight drive wrap the arm around the body (not cramped up) as in the picture which will take the swing around a quarter of a turn, that will give more swing, and then forearm supination from the elbow will give the power; to get the accuracy the racket face will need to be at right angles to the side wall on impact.  So be sure not to take the ball too late (or it will hit the side wall), if you take it too early it will go a little cross court, or even come back to you (stroke). Allow yourself plenty of room to unwind the swing too so you don't end up leaning back onto the back foot.

How to solo practice: 
1.To start, forget standing on top of the wall.  Get away and try to get the swing fluent forgetting about the side wall - line the court boards up as a guide if you want. Don't try to belt the hell out of the ball, just get the swing and ball control happening.
2. Then as the swing and movement starts to get fluent, move further back in the court and try swinging from the back wall to the front wall, as this will test the power swing out . Just throw the ball onto the back wall if you like, let it come out 1m and swing.
3. When you are happy with the swing and accuracy move closer to the side wall.
4. Get your mate and practice a few routines, eg Rally down the backhand wall moving around each other moving through the center of the court.

That's enough to keep you busy away for now...let us know what happens?

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From drop-shot - 03 Feb 2007 - 07:23

Greg, get  a coach. Not a virtual, but real. The sooner the better. Then, watch a DVD from JP called Exposed. He shows pretty well how does the swing look like.

What JBS24 writes is correct, though I would add so called "follow-by" so swing after the racket hit the ball. it has to go with the line of the shot.

Keep on training. Get a coach and then practice alone on court. Good luck

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From hamburglar - 03 Feb 2007 - 06:07   -   Updated: 03 Feb 2007 - 06:11

You should check out
Under Lessons, grip and backhand you'll see a nice demonstration of the classic backhand swing. I would start with the grip since that is the most important part. I see so many players using more of a tennis backhand grip which complicates things since you'll always be hitting the ball way in front of you. What worked for me:

1- adjust grip so that the face is slightly open
2- prepare with elbow and racquet high, wrist cocked. Ricketts shows well how to step in with a cocked wrist. The second picture is sort of mid swing.
3- don't allow the ball to come close to your body. you should be reaching comfortably when you strike the ball
4- strike the ball flat, not really slicing. By starting high and finishing low, backspin will naturally be imparted.

If you're hitting the sidewall, you're probably not swinging correctly. With a good grip and swing, the racquet face should be facing the front wall throughout the swing and it should be easier to hit straight.

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