An Open Face is a Winner
Start the swing with an open face so that the contact point is still open
Published: 23 Nov 2004 - 18:30 by theguru
Updated: 07 May 2007 - 23:53
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My Mother and Father were not aware of the game of Squash when they told me this otherwise they would have had the difficulty of explaining why it does NOT apply when playing.
In the game of Squash, it is truly a battle of survival, where there can only be one winner. It is a game of cunning and deception, of endurance and stamina, but most of all, a battle of wills. Therefore, to show one's hand or to show any compassion for an opponent can be seen as a sign of weakness.
But of course, the face my good parents were talking about was that which sits in front of the ears, not the one that sits at the end of a Squash racket.
Those who have studied these things know that the vast majority of Squash professionals hit the ball with an open face racket (see diagram). So why is it that those of us with only a fraction of the talent and skills continue to insist on hitting the ball with a closed racket face?
Do they want to hear the sharp crack emitted from the ball hitting the racket's flat face?(only to see it career into the tin!)
Do they want to feel the exhilaration of seeing the ball travel at up to 200 km per hr? (to be followed by it bouncing towards the center of the court.)
Yes, it is true that the closed racket face generates more power, but the open face provides more accuracy. Refine your technique sufficiently and you will have the power as well.
It is also true that it is far easier to put down other members of the human race rather than lift them up. And so it is with Squash. It is far easier to hit the ball into the tin rather than with sufficient height to get length. Do we take the easy path?
So how do we achieve this open face technique? First we must start with an open face preparation. Without this there is almost no way we can strike the ball with an open face. There are a number of ways of finding the solution. Choose one or all to help you:
- Lay the racket back in your racket preparation
- Have the palm of the hand facing upwards on the forehand and downwards on the backhand.
- Start the downswing with the butt of the racket handle moving towards the ball.
- Have your elbow pointed towards the floor, NOT towards the wall, on the backswing (otherwise you will look like you are about to fly. The last person to believe that man could fly was Leonardo da Vinci. He was not able to do it, neither will you!)
All these things will result in an open face preparation and downswing. Be sure you do not rotate your forearm too much. Swing straight through the ball and your task will be achieved.
As for the result, if you can achieve this, your open face racket will provide greater attack, better defence and more cunning deception. While this would not make my dear departed parents happy, you can smile and say 'Sorry' after you have won the match.
And why, do you ask, does an open face help with deception? The answer can be made at another time when the Guru speaks.
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