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Hearing a pro speak

Published: 16 Jul 2008 - 22:38 by doubleDOT

Updated: 26 Jul 2008 - 08:44

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I was in the court the other day and I had a chance to play with a very good player (Because he didn't have a ball and I had one :P ) who is thinking of taking squash up professionaly . Anyway afterwards he gave me some tips which I thought I'd put up here to get your opinion


1. He told me that when attacking from midcourt I should try to slice the ball so as to not let the opponent know I'm playing a drop.

     I already knew this but what I didn't know was how to slice the ball properly. Well, he told me that when playing a normal shot we try and hit the ball with the gut but to play a slice we should aim to hit the ball with the edge of the racket. That slices the ball. I haven't tried this in the court yet.


2. Second, about movement, he said that my initial reaction should always be to move forward after the opponent has played a shot. That is, I should expect my opponent to play a drop off every shot.



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From rippa rit - 26 Jul 2008 - 08:44

DD - watch your opponent like a hawk when they are in front of you, keep those eyes wide, take in all the cues, eg height of the ball, length of the lunge, nearness to the walls, speed of the ball on the rebound, depth within the court, length of the swing, angle of the racket face, be ready to run forward, and have the racket ready to volley all at the same time.  Sometimes it is worth taking a calculated guess.  Why?  If you stand there flat-footed you will not have any chance!

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From rippa rit - 18 Jul 2008 - 08:10

DD - you know often a pro coach can say little things that are supposed to help get the drop shot, eg "slice the bum off the ball". And the player will say OK, and then you say "do you understand what I mean", yes is the reply. Then two weeks later they turn around and say, "I heard what you said the other day,  but now I know what you mean".  My point is,  everyone relates to different  key words slightly differently until something  gels, and then all of a sudden bingo, they get it.

Good luck



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From rippa rit - 17 Jul 2008 - 08:21   -   Updated: 17 Jul 2008 - 08:32

DD - there is a lot of trial and error in developing your individual method of accomplishing your goals, eg  drop shot  try:

  • slice under the ball,
  • slice on the side of the ball to get angle as required
  • cut the base of the ball
  • contact the ball at 25 past on the face of the ball
  • hit the ball with small amount of strings
  • consider the ball to be a leg of ham, and slice a bit off for a sandwich
  • hit hard drops if the ball is higher than the "tin"
  • hit softer slices with an upwards plain when the ball is lower than the "tin"

Drop shotting from midcourt I would give a miss for now, as if your opponent is any good should be ready to get it back; and if you have not mastered the slice bit, the drop will not sit down in the corner and against the wall tight enough, and you will be in trouble.

Drop shotting from the back court is not a percentage shot.  However, a back court drop still has to have the slice/cut and a very controlled full swing to carry the ball onto the front wall, as well as a very controlled angle - if you cannot do these things the opponent will punish the shot big time.

DD - until you can get a really good feel of the ball onto your racket, a sensation that will go from your racket hand, right the way to your brain, you are better to stick to the front court drops, and use the boasts as a running shot to move the opponent around the court.  Boasts are probably an easier option, and you can get them to be very low, very accurate into the front courner, very hard for your opponent to attack, and put heaps of pressure on your opponent with movement, etc.

By all means solo practice drops from all over the court, including cross court drops, but do not be in a big hurry to rely on them during a full on competitive game.  Eventually that "feel" will come, and when it does that is the time to use the drop in a broader sense.   Patience.....

The other point - you never hit the ball and stand and just look, no matter what, and at what level you play.  You must move quickly to take up a central position on court, as far as practical, after all shots, and of course the further you move forward the more strokes you need to your squash armoury, eg volley and lob.  Smart players soon sus out if their opponent can drop, and if they cannot they then hang back a big further; if their opponent has a good front court game they soon realise they have to move forward further to cover the front court; if a ball goes past and they do not volley, well they are laughing all the way.  Imagine playing a person with no drop and no volley, that would make for a much easier encounter.  Problem, if you cannot volley, you will feel mightly uncomfortable standing up close at the T, and then that makes the recovery shots from the back corners more difficult.....heavens, I am just a "sad" person to ask about this, sorry for the bad news


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From mike - 17 Jul 2008 - 08:03

I think the advice depends on your level of squash and the opponents you're likely to encounter.

For example, moving forward off every ball to be ready to pickup a drop might be a good idea against high level players who can play a good drop from any position, with a full swing and without giving you much warning. If they decide to play length instead you'll probably still get to it, because the length shots often bounce off the back wall. The length seems to be more about containing the opponent rather than putting them under a lot of pressure.

Against lower level players though it may not be so important. The possibility of a drop is always there, but I bet you'll anticipate it a lot more often from a C grade player than an aspiring Pro.

Having said that, there is no harm in trying to introduce the habbits of top players to your own game

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From Adz - 16 Jul 2008 - 23:36

I have to say it depends greatly on your style of play and natural movement type.


It was solid advice off him, but might not suit everyone's game, especially the bit about the slicing the ball. I've seen players who can effectively hit a hard drop-shot by getting the ball to die off the side wall. Tough to master but very effective from mid-court and back-court positions.

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