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Boast Help

Published: 23 Jan 2008 - 08:47 by aprice1985

Updated: 03 Feb 2008 - 20:54

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I know there are other posts on this but couldn't find them.  At the moment my boasts are horrifically inaccurate.  From the front court they all sit up and back court they might be up, down or very rarely perfect!  I find that hitting with a more closed face seems to ensure they get to the front wall but alos that they will sit up.  A more open face give a chance of a good boast but with no consistency.  My grip is normally slightly but not very open and my only thought is that my follow through is the problem, otherwise i am now at a loss as they are even bad in practice.squash game squash extras How to add images to Members' Forum posts and replies here...


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From SamBWFC - 03 Feb 2008 - 20:54

Shib, just a quick pointer in regards to you saying you do not have enough time to get to a boast.

You have more time than you think.

Seriously, unless the ball lands in the nick from the boast, you have a fair bit of time to get to the ball. If you move early, and you 'smoothly' move to the ball and wait for it to come away from the side wall, you'll have no problem with this. Don't run like a mad man to the ball because it's low, because that will just cause you problems, take your time. It only takes 3/4 steps from the T to move to a boast and then you can do what you want, although I do advise a nice easy lob to get you back in position.

Also another quick pointer, don't worry if the opponent smashes a boast, this is bound to give you more time as it will bounce off the side wall further, it's the cheeky little floaters you have to worry about!!!

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From rippa rit - 25 Jan 2008 - 07:48

shib - there is plenty of info under "relevant content" on the top lefthand column, just run the cursor over that section for some topics.

If you are being caught with the boast you are probably:

  • not watching the ball
  • back pedalling from the front of the court

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From Adz - 24 Jan 2008 - 00:49


Using my rough descriptions earlier in the thread, can you describe a bit about which type of boast keeps catching you out? I would guess that you mean attacking boasts are getting you? Which is of course what they are designed to do.

Personally I'd start by looking at my own movements before, during and after my opponents shot (boast). Where are you on the court when they play the boast? Which directions are you travelling in? Try breaking the court into six sections. Front left and right. Middile Left and Right and Back left and right. Middle left and right is where you have to learn to dominate an opponent. You don't want to be going forward except to attack and you never want to be going backwards if you can help it.

To cover the boast you need to be ideally between your opponent and the section that they are going to hit the ball into, close enough to be able to move into that section and play the ball with a good shot. Boasts are tricky, because to play an attacking boast you should really be in the middle sections with your opponent on the same hand (left side or right side) that you are on. The idea being to draw the opponent in and to play the ball away. If this is where you are getting stuck then you need to look at how well you are reading your opponents game, where you are positioned and how fluidly you can move to retrieve that ball when the opponent strikes it.

The ideal position relative to a defending opponent is to be between their position at the T, ready to move to the destination of their shot (so if they're boasting then you need to be able to reach the opposite front corner from where they are standing, without leaving too much channel for them to drive or crosscourt in).

The ideal position relative to an attacking opponent becomes much more difficult to calculate. I am assuming that this is the situation that you are describing? Here you have to look at many different factors. Firstly, which shots can my opponent play that will put me under pressure. You can work this out from which way they are facing, which is their normal shot selection, how is the ball travelling to them, where are they on the court, where do they THINK I'm going to travel to? This will give you a selection of shots that you know your opponent can play (note that at higher levels or with better shot players, this selection is greater than a lesser able opponent). Now work out which one of these shots is the most likely, 2nd most, 3rd most etc. You have to cover the most probable shot selections well, whilst covering all other shot selections to a reasonable ability.

At this point many people reading this will be thinking "My god this is really complicated and loads to think about for just ONE shot!". Yes, I agree, this is very complicated, and it makes you appreciate how difficult the sport is when you have given your opponent the chance to attack! RULE ONE: Don't give them easy chances to attack and that will lessen their selection of shots!!

So back to your predicament...... you've looked at where you're standing and got into the best position to cover the ball from the likely shots that they can play. Just as they strike the ball you need to move quickly and think quickly about which shot you are now going to play (but that wasn't the question for this thread - just a thinking point for the next one!!).

So...... In summary, to defend the boast.....

1) Get into the right position RELATIVE to your opponent

2) Be prepared to move to cover ALL shots that you think they can play

3) (not mentioned above) LEARN TO PLAY BOASTS

I left number 3 til last becuase I find it incredibly important. I once told a student of mine that if you can't play the shot, you can't see the shot coming against you. I proved my point loads of times in the following game by catching them out with volley-boasts time and time again. It was because they just couldn't see it coming and as expected, they didn't have a clue how to the play the shot effectively. After learning the shot they very rarely get caught out now. Learn toplay the boasts and your brain will begin to spot the tell-tale signs of someone who is about to boast the ball. You'll defend it better without even realising it!!



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From shib - 23 Jan 2008 - 22:38

I keep getting wrong footed by my opponents on the boast and cannot get there in time. Is there anything I can do to improve on this?

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From Adz - 23 Jan 2008 - 20:25


Back in work after my horrific business trip (delays, delays and more delays!). So, boasting...... I used to have awful problems with boasting. Even as a junior I remember trying to get things right for hours on court with little success (maybe my coach wasn't instructing correctly, maybe I was just useless?!?!).

The important thing to think of is that there is more than 1 type of boast. MUCH more!You need to first know WHEN to boast and then WHICH boast to use to the best effect. So even though there are many more variations, these are the boasts that I have found work to the best effect:

1) Floating boast (2 wall)

This is the type of boast which is hit quite softly with a small amount of lift on the side wall with the aim to die in the front corner as closely to the corner as you can get it. It can be primarily used to work your opponent to the front of the court, and for some reason the float of the ball seems to make players hesitate slightly and might force them into poor making a bad decision, whilst giving you a bit of extra time to recover. Performed correctly this is a great strategic shot, performed incorrectly and the opponent not only gets to it, but has plenty of time to do something with the ball. NOT a shot to play against a fast player!

2) Recovery boast (2 / 3 wall)

This is the basic type of boast to play when you have no other option but to hope to stay in the point. Obviously you're aiming for a nick at this point, but getting the ball near to the floor off the third wall is reasonably effective. This is designed to save your skin at the back of the court when you're under pressure. A purely DEFENSIVE shot due to the position the ball ends up relative to your position and your opponents.

3) Backwall Boast (called by different names)

This is touch on in detail on another post, so you need to find that to learn more. Once again a purely DEFENSIVE shot.

4) Trickle / Tickle boast

This is a really nice shot to play against overly fast players. You fake a drop shot at the front and hold the shot to give your opponent time to move in for the drop. Bend your hand backwards (by dipping your wrist forwards) and this will cause the racquet head to tilt backwards, opening up the face ready to play the low boast off the side wall and across the front wall. Get the timing right to send your over eager opponent in for the drop whilst sending the ball the other way for a winner! Definately used as an ATTACKING shot, but needs to played correctly or you'll be stuck in the front corner whilst your opponent drives the ball down the opposite wall!! Also helps to have strong wrists to get the best "flick" on the ball to cover the most sideways distance on the front wall.

5) Hard / Attacking boast

As the name suggests this shot is primarily used for attack! Best played from about the back of the service boxes and hit low and hard off two walls to end close to the front corners. This is the attacking boast you see used by most professional players. Very hard to get right, but when played as your opponent is"drifting" backwards out of position, it can force a winner due to its low and hard nature.

6) Volley boast

This is mostly an ATTACKING shot. Best played to force the opponent to make quick decision at to put them under pressure whilst giving you both time and power-play. You need to play the ball from a high position to a low, hard attacking boast. The angle needs to bring the ball into the opposite corner at pace to force your opponent under pressure.

Apologies that these last two descriptions at a little rushed, but I have a meeting to go into now but will write more about these areas again!




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From aprice1985 - 23 Jan 2008 - 20:17

yeah, managed to find the gold discussions, thanks for putting up Rita's tip again, i forgot to look in them!

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From raystrach - 23 Jan 2008 - 09:47   -   Updated: 23 Jan 2008 - 10:55

hi ap

use the relevant tag/content menu top left to see what else is available

also gold members can access more technical discussion on the library page dicsussion here

let us know how you go.

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