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Figure of 8s and Thanks

Published: 07 Jun 2008 - 01:19 by scar

Updated: 25 Sep 2008 - 20:25

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Thank you very very much.

Now - reason for thanks, I think I have made some headway. I could do around 12-16 non stop volley figure of 8s a couple of times over the last 2 days. It is not as if I had been practicing those - I had been working on my grip/swing/backhand/forehand technique (intensively for the past 3-4 months with lots of solo practice). Then I went ahead and tried those two days ago, and was able to get into some kind of a rhythm - keeping a firm wrist and racquet head up/back helped do it. I have also been practicing volleys like crazy. Now I know that this may not be anything special for all the excellent players here, but for me (have been playing for 3-4 years now, and high B/low A player) it means a lot as I never used to be able to do even three of those. I think that it had to do with my swing/grip approach.  I will continue my practice, but just wanted to share my joy with you. Suddenly seeing the ball come onto my racquet and go right through, and that flow going really amazed me.  I just feel that I have somewhat more control over the racquet head than I did before.

I definitely am hungry for more - and even more motivated. For all of you out here - I will let you know my experience with the pro at my club. No offence - he is a nice guy and a good player. I told him that I wanted to learn and improve and wanted his guidance in making sure I was doing things right (Right kind of practice makes perfect). I was asking him about swing/grip/wrist breaking. His response was - you are getting too caught up in  small details. I have seen millions of guys like you taking these small things seriously and not getting better over years while everyone else overtakes them. It shocked me to hear those things from him. He was so discouraging - and I did tell him that in a nice way, but it did hurt me.

Anyway - I have stuck to all the pointers I got from Rita/Ray, and you guys. Reading/re reading posts on swing/grip/technique etc. Posts by everyone like Adz/Bosartek/Sparty and lots of other people. I continue to do that as my journey is nowhere near its end:) I am sure you guys understand.

Thank you all very much for the motivation and technical guidance. I think both of those are important. Whilst self motivation is there - hearing a good word and sharing the same passion definitely helps. I will continue to update you guys on my progress.

Thank you again

p.s. I am also currently doing an exercise for increasing racquet head speed/readiness. Quick volley pats into any of the front corners. It is a lot of fun.

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From rippa rit - 07 Jun 2008 - 21:08

Scar - good to hear you are pleased with your progress.

Once you can understand the fundamentals that will help a lot too, and you will be able to self-coach. Knowing what the function of each component is within the stroke means you will go straight to the problem, making it easier to solve.    Take a good look at the Gold Troubleshooting for a bit of help.You will notice the key words are similar for a lot of the shots, except that the order of priority can change, eg

  • get under the ball (the open racket is vital);
  • keep the ball tight; (angle of the racket face to side wall is vital)
  • power (pronation/supination is vital);
  • need more time, (control the hit, is vital)  etc.

Good luck with your coaching lessons.


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From mike - 07 Jun 2008 - 10:03

That's great scar.

Although I've never managed more than 3 volleyed figure eights I have an idea of what you felt. I've recently gone from being able to hit about 3 straight volleys to about 12 and the extra control feels really good. It definitely leads to calmer volleying and better control during a match.

In a way I can understand where your pro is coming from. When I was younger I used to occassionally  go to the golf driving range with my dad, and I didn't really like the fact that there where a thousand points of technique to learn before you could hit a golf ball. Squash was fun straight away and certainly easier to get the ball away (not to say I was playing well !)

I imagine for many casual squash players looking to improve they don't really want to go down the golf route of detailed technical instruction.

Having said that there is no doubt that the "boring" fundamentals are a critical base to build on.


Regarding exercises for racquet head speed - there is a drill on Jonathan Power's Exposed DVD he calls short hitting. You stand just on the half court line, or slightly in front, and continuously hit just above the tin, then take the ball off the bounce to continue. You have to hit fairly low so the ball doesn't come back too deep, and your head speed must be fast to be ready for the next shot. I found this drill really helped me in a match when I needed to hit a quick soft kill.

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Thanks so much for your time and patience and good customer service.

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