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Stop me boasting please!

Published: 29 Nov 2007 - 21:24 by aprice1985

Updated: 24 Sep 2008 - 17:06

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Hi, has anyone any advice on how to stop me continually boasting off the backhand once the ball has moved past the half court line?  I tend to boast off my opponent's straight drives which leaves me in a more difficult position, sometimes it is a good tactic but i seem to be addicted and after i play the shot i always end up thinking, why did i boast an easy drive?  I drive all the ones i do with my coach but come to a game i bugger it up.

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From rippa rit - 01 Dec 2007 - 09:50   -   Updated: 01 Dec 2007 - 10:03

aprice - I guess the skill is to take the necessary or appropriate bits from each video, and taking balls from behind come in various heights, angles and speed, and then the person is approaching the ball from various angles, positions, and heights too making each shot a bit different.

This video shows Craig taking  a Backhand off the back wall
Craig hitting a ball down the line.

Craig could have easily hit a boast off this shot (by choice) but more importantly, he waited so he could drive the ball. However, if he had stepped in too close to the back corner, got a bit panicky as the ball got close to the side wall, did not bend his knees and open up his base of support to give him the balance to swing through the ball, and follow the ball he would have got a different result.

This video shows a solo driving drill from deep.
This shot is not all that different from a player coming from the T and chasing a ball to the back of the court as the same principles apply.

In all of these shots there is a very common element as shown by the key words. Here is the Library link for revision.

I just read you post again about the compact swing, etc.  Remember, we have the basics of the swing, and then as soon as that swing requires to happen in various situations, eg low, high, close to the wall, rebounding off the back wall, there are other key elements required so that the swing can perform correctly, eg distance from the ball, angle of approach to the ball, height of the ball, shot selection, etc. If we do not allow for these things the swing goes wooppee on us so the wrist will drop, the swing will be cramped up, the racket face cannot open up, we have no balance, and so on.

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From aprice1985 - 30 Nov 2007 - 22:10

Dont suppose you have a similar picture for the backhand Rita?  My backhand swing is quite compact, occasionally i dont keep the head up as i wait for the opponent's shot, the one thing i do is i seem to close off the racquet head a lot which causes some shots to go down.  Also what sparty said about the squirt boast is very true, i keep hitting them as i take the ball fractionally too early off the back wall.

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From nickhitter - 30 Nov 2007 - 19:44

The majority of people who do this have the problem that Fatness described, however it is also caused by having a too 'twiddly' or complicated backhand swing that isn't quick enough to take back into the ready position in order to hit down the line (especially if the opponent has played a good length that you have to take before it comes off the back wall) you end up hitting the ball a fraction too late causing either a boast proper, or worst still the 'squirt' boast ! That annoying one that is neither a boast nor a drive and comes straight back into the middle for the other guy to punish. 

The reason it's only happening in a game is because you are under more pressure usually, and it's the basics that go first. Think racket up/back and arc to the ball and you will find hitting a drive easier.

I don't believe that the problem is caused by habit, so punishing one self with taps on legs or kicking the wall will no doubt be a waste of time and pain!

If you have a twiddly swing (and even some top players do and get away with it) then it is worth talking to a coach about making it more efficient, in fact this is what Ong Beng Hee once claimed was stopping him progessing higher in the world rankings, and had to re-work his technique from the ground up. Unfortunately it means there will be a little regression in standard at first until you get used to a compact and quick swing. A REALLY good example of perfectly executed compact backhand with no uneccesary looping or twiddling ( and textbook technique in general for that matter) is to watch Thierry Lincou.


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From fatness - 30 Nov 2007 - 17:31

Had the exact same problem a few years ago actually. the local squash coach told me that I was running directly to the ball from the T, thus narrowing my choice of shot down to a boast only. What happens to you when you move directly to the ball is that the ball is taken too late in the stance and also you will be facing the back wall too much, which forces a boast. I was told that your first movement from the T is either forwards or backwards, then move to a position where you end up at the side of the ball with plenty of space to play any shot that you want to, drive or boast. My coach told me to always move in right angles on the court or in an "L" pattern from the T, if you understand what i mean.

Hope this helps, it definetly helped me a lot. what do you think Rita?

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From rippa rit - 30 Nov 2007 - 17:17

arthur - the process is the way to go with all things, not the outcome - and I hope you can understand that in your profession! Breaking your knuckles will not fix it, nor will doing 12 pushups as a penalty.

Here is a link to a post I put in a few days ago Back Court Retrieval which shows beautifully how to return a ball that has gone deep behind you and you want to be able to hit it down the line to length (and you can hit it onto the back wall or boast it if you so desire). This is a perfect approach in terms of racket work, and movement, and the vital thing is to wait for the ball to be opposite either foot (while you wait keep getting lower to the ball); do not rush and panic and shuffle and swipe at the ball with fear it will be unplayable.  The longer you wait for the ball, the more chance you have of returning it down the line - the ball must come opposite your body/foot and if hit before it reaches that spot you will automatically boast it, as the ball is behind you.  Give yourself plenty of room too for movement and adjustment while setting yourself up for the return.

Adz has given good training ideas, and I must say so many times I see players training and they do not return to the T, which immediately means they are always able to return the ball comfortably, as they are usually not chasing it to the back wall, but arriving alongside of it....or even running too close to the ball making the shot too early, as if they waited any longer for the ball it would probably hit them or leave no room to swing.

A solo drill would be to throw the ball onto the backwall (about a metre high), while standing at the corner of the service box, and w-a-i-t for the ball (or step towards the back wall a little), and drive the ball down the wall.

Give it a further try....experiment a bit, and let me know if you can get the idea.

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From aprice1985 - 30 Nov 2007 - 00:10

Already tried punching the wall, just risked fracturing my hand, not good in the middle of a game!  Currently i find it hard enough to get league matches arranged let alone friendlies but the restricted game idea sounds good.

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From mike - 29 Nov 2007 - 23:11

Hit yourself, hard, in the leg with your racquet every time you do an inappropriate boast. That'll learn ya.

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From Adz - 29 Nov 2007 - 22:16

Tough one to fix!

The problem lies in your own mind and none of us can change it for you. You need to force yourself into playing straight drives. Get some friendly matches arranged against players who are a similar standard to you and just hit the ball to straight length, crosscourt length or straight drop. NOTHING ELSE! Expect to get beaten, as you won't feel comfortable, but doing this will bring you out of the habbit of boasting all the time. Coaching is great help to perfect the drive, but it won't stop your shot selection unless you do some specific routines. Stick with condition games where you can only play straight, or back court games where everything has to come back over the half court line.

Not really much else I can think of other than that!


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