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Use of Wrists

Published: 25 Feb 2007 - 02:30 by SamBWFC

Updated: 24 Sep 2008 - 16:10

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I've noticed recently that I've been using a lot of wrist action when playing drives, as in turning the wrist a lot when playing the shot, both on forehand and backhand, particularly in the back corners. Is this normal? I don't want to get in any bad habits that's all.


It's helped with my power a bit, and I heard from somewhere that professionals do it a lot.

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From rippa rit - 12 Mar 2007 - 07:37

Watching top players is very motivational.  When you are watching the DVD's keep in mind we have a different status of play with the amateur v the professional.   Just looking at the hours on court v the years the gap gets very wide.

What did the pros do when they had clocked up 1000 hrs of play, which is probably equivalent to about 5 years of the amateur's experience.  What did those players do then, and how did they train, and how did they hit the ball, how much coaching did they have, did they have a long grip, short grip, roll their wrist, use top-spin, etc.  That is probably the video to see to understand the progression that has occurred over many years. .

The pros would clock up 1000/1200 hours of play in one year so you are putting yourselves to a pretty good test if you are trying to follow these guys.
Most of the players have been on court 10 or 12 years before going on the circuit so that makes 100,000 hours and they are starting to follow their dream.  Add another 5 years at least to retirement and the odometer starts to rewind at about 150,000 hours.

The tips I give in this forum, generally are for players who are still trying to make top grade pennant at their club, have a job, have had little coaching, and want to improve their enjoyment and standard of play.  

Better shut up now, as my head is going off in another tangent.


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From SamBWFC - 12 Mar 2007 - 04:21

Thanks for the recommendation on Jonathan Power's DVD, I bought it a few days ago and it looks like a good DVD. I haven't watched much yet but I've put a few drills and tips that Power goes through into practice, and it has really helped my game so far.


I don't know how many people own this DVD but I can write a more in-depth review on it once I've watched it all?

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From rippa rit - 26 Feb 2007 - 08:11   -   Updated: 26 Feb 2007 - 08:13

Sam and Sleave - it can be deceptive watching the wrist of various players.  Of course the body type is something that makes each player look different, eg thick arms, flexible wrist joint.  Some people seem to have rubbery wrists to me!

The wrist action often depends on the backswing as well, eg where the backswings starts, the angle of the racket during the backswing, how much time there is to play the shot, the height of the ball when hitting the shot, etc..

Without taking into account all of these factors it is difficult to say whether using the wrist is a plus or minus in the execution of a particular stroke.

The last thing I glanced through about a swing analysis of the pros swing  said the wrist is usually between 135 and 150 degrees depending on the shot.  That sounds right.
I do know that if you cock the wrist too much the heel of the hand lifts off the grip and that in turn changes things too.

Don't get me wrong the wristy looping action gives power, pity about the control.

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From drop-shot - 25 Feb 2007 - 23:31   -   Updated: 25 Feb 2007 - 23:31

Hello Sam&The others,

first of all, it takes only few seconds to get to (Squash Library/ Squash strokes and movement) to have a good reading on wrist action.

Second of all, I am the believer that squash is not badmington neither table tennis and squash players should not exaggerate with wrist action. What I've learned through years of practice and games is to keep your wrist "cocked" most of the times. My previous coach taught me to add some wrist "snap" after hitting crosscourst (especially  backhand) [you can watch/ learn it on Jonathon Power instructional DVDs]. So, now I do use some "wrist action" with the good effect.

Coming to your question about "pros" -- it varies from player to player. Compare Ashour with Ricketts. You will see what I mean. Ashour plays a lot with his wrist, Ricketts keeps his wrist firm. Compare Gaultier with Palmer... Compare Lincou with White, etc. etc.

... what I mean here is that modern squash players has stretched a lot of rules and they are creative to develop new quality of game, so probably there is no clear answer.




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From rippa rit - 25 Feb 2007 - 07:18

Sam - take a look at the post "Love technique" and when you study the pics you can see what the wrist does, or is supposed to do, when retrieving the ball. Yes/No?
The wrist is like a hinge, not only does it move backwards and forwards, up and down also round and round.
Every time you move the wrist that alters the racket head/face one way or the other.
Sam - do a few experiments and see what answers you get, let me know, eg
  • Get your racket, stand parallel to the wall, and do all of the above wrist actions and observe the movements, and in particular the direction the ball would come off the racket with the various angles;
  • Next mark a spot above the floor about the ball height/bounce, repeat the above exercise;
  • Then try it standing straight without lunging down to the ball and see what the wrist/arm does;
  • Next do the full experiment by marking the ball height, lunge with your racket bringing the swing down to the ball, try the swing using various wrist actions.
What did you find out?
  • Does the wrist alter the shot.
  • Will the wrist moving enhance the shot.
  • How does it affect the angle and direction of the shot.
  • How much power is/or is not generated by using the wrist.
  • Where does the power in the swing come from.
Sam - the wrist and arm are really the "tool of trade" - look at the pics in "love technique" and you can see the "tool" I refer to,  and once you can come to "grips" with that you can start to correct your own shots.

Is it making sense?

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