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Wide Forehand Swing?

Correct Squash Grip

Correct Squash Grip

Published: 07 Dec 2004 - 15:24 by rippa rit

Updated: 27 Mar 2008 - 19:32

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Habits can be hard to break.  Often tennis players change to squash and that usually requires a big adjustment to the forehand, as well as a change of grip.

Without bending the elbow the swing is probably excessive.

  • Remember excessive swing is dangerous play.
  •  Mind you, it will be hard to adjust while participating in both sports at the same time.
  • Here are some ideas on how to adjust the swing:-
    • Change the grip (that is vital).
    •  Practice the arm action (swing) which is a rotation/pronation of the forearm by:-
      • Skimming a stone along the water.
      • Side-arm throw as in softball or cricket.
    • Solo practice by standing still, throw the squash ball gently onto the side wall, let it bounce, then drive it with the correct grip and side-arm swinging action.
  • There are a lot of benefits in getting this right, for example:-
    • drop shots and boasts will be easier to retrieve as the racket face opens.
    • shots that land in the corners can be returned with confidence as attacking drives or boasts.
    • lobs will lift over the opponent's head.

To have a wide swing would make the variety of shots, as shown in this Gold Video, impossible.

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From rippa rit - 02 Feb 2007 - 16:35

iamspartacus - Yes, I see what you are saying but I think the important thing here is , eg
  • Racket UP  (that means it is never down and below you knees so to speak).
  • Racket BACK (so if the racket is up, and you turn your body to address the ball, your racket is automatically back, and then needs a little bit more adjustment and it is ready to hit the ball).
From what you described about JP it sounds to me as though he has his racket in such a position to be following the pathway of the ball (racket out and away from his body) which at the same time puts his feet/body in the right hitting position, minimising the amount of racket and feet movement/adjustment when preparing to hit the ball.

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From nickhitter - 16 Oct 2006 - 09:43

there's a couple of points that I feel are valid here with regard to the backswing in particular. and although my technique is far from perfect, these ideas definitely improved my game.

compared to say tennis, squash is much more 'wristy' (although less so than badminton)and less reliant on a long arm action and more on wrist snap to generate power, but this is seen in some players more than others. Greg gaultiers technique is very wristy for example, compared to say john white or david palmer.

in squash you tend to hear 'racket UP' and not 'racket BACK' as describing good technique. although the two are a little interchangable I guess. As one way of having less swing 'real estate' is to bring your racket from a higher angle than is usual at tennis.

If you watch jonathon power's (who has what I consider to be perfect technique) backhand technique you'll notice that at the top of his backswing his racket is pointing towards the sidewall, and not anywhere near behind him or over his shoulder as is common in other racket sports, or even many squash players  This is because he breaks his wrist at the top so his palm is pointing upwards. this gives not only less chance on hitting the backwall on tight shots at the back, but gives a much more compact swing which is more economical with motion, and therefore saves energy. So my point is that having a compact well honed technique is good for you aswell as saving your opponent a black eye!

just my two cents....


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From raystrach - 05 Apr 2005 - 23:22

Hi aprice

generally, your follow through should finish with a bent elbow. this means it will be reasonably close to the body (yours that is!) .

The elbow will be bent on the backswing, it will straighten somewhat at the point of impact, then bend again as the follow through is completed.

If you do this, you should be right most times.

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From rippa rit - 05 Apr 2005 - 07:11

aprice, I think you have a good idea now of what is acceptable. However, go to the Library/Strokes & Movement, and you will get a clearer picture of the correct technique. Footwork does play a part too. Any player who plays the strokes front on to the front wall makes the "excessive" swing more pronounced. Keep working at it and you will get in.

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From aprice1985 - 05 Apr 2005 - 01:19

So provided I bend my arm or wrist to place a curve in the line of arm and raquet I am ok?

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From rippa rit - 04 Apr 2005 - 08:46

aprice the following is quoted from the Rules section and probably explains the situation better than I could:-

Freedom of stroke - Excessive backswing
Excessive backswing is described as a racket arm extended towards a straight arm position and/or with the shaft of the racket approximately horizontal. Excessive backswing may cause interference, even though the opponent has made every effort to get out of the way.
If the player with excessive backswing appeals for a let, he shall not be awarded a stroke.

Freedom of Stroke - Excessive follow through
Excessive follow through is one in which the player's racket arm is extended towards a straight arm position with the shaft horizontal, particularly when extended for a short period of time. An excessive follow through is constituted when the arm extends with a wider arc than the continued line of flight of the ball.

Under Rule 12 interference occurs when a player has to wait for an excessive swing. If it is considered to be dangerous the Referee shall apply Rule 17 (Conduct Warning, etc.) to control the situation.

I hope this clarifies the "excessive" word.

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From aprice1985 - 04 Apr 2005 - 06:16

Hi have you any tips on how big a swing is to be excessive. I have hit my main opponent twice now but feel it was more cause he was in my way but am wrried that at times I use too big a swing, how can I tell?

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great advice from everyone, thanks a million

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