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chocking up the grip

Published: 23 Jul 2008 - 04:34 by aprice1985

Updated: 28 Jul 2008 - 07:48

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Today i tried gripping the racquet further up the shaft and while i did win i noticed a number of things and was wondering if people could expand on the reasons why and also ways to improve (other than practice which i try to do). (rita you may want to paste this to other posts i know exist on this topic but again have no time to find)

1) the drop shots and power shots are so much more accurate, even straight drives, there is a lot more head control

2) there is little or no change in the amount of power generated

3) lobs are easier, not harder due to having to reach more

4)serves become more difficult (please someone explain why)

5)high/overhead volleys and smashes become a lot more difficult

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From rippa rit - 28 Jul 2008 - 07:32   -   Updated: 28 Jul 2008 - 07:48

aprice - back to basics I think.  The key words need to be in your head, and, yes I know it sounds as though there are too many rules; just take one at a time, do the solo hits to start to get the muscle memory going.  Probably as soon as you start moving everything starts to go hay-wire, so get the static swing right, then gradually start to do the continuous hits.  Look at the Squash Library for more ideas.

About your straight volleys:

  • Shoulder to the target (the target to be about 1/2 to 1m from the corner), the height will depend on the amount of power generated by the swing. It is more a punch for a hard volley.
  • Keep side on to the ball, so the line between your side-on stance,  and the ball  end up at a rightangle, in relation to the side wall,  as you strike the ball  If the ball is in front of your body the shot  cannot end up to be a perpendicular hit (unless you fiddle with your swing). When you are playing a game this is probably where it is letting you down so check on your footwork/movement.
  • Swing parallel to the side wall to keep the ball parallel.
  • If your body is front -on you will need more flexion in the hips to get the shoulder around, relax.


About the cross court volley:

  • If you take the ball in front of your body the angle of the shot will tend to go towards the middle of the court making a cross court. 
  • Don't run/move straight to the ball, but leave at least  a metre to adjust your footwork (if you get too close to the ball the swing will be cramped up)
  • Prepare your racket early, and control the wrist.movement.

Try to control the hit, with a gentle controlled hit, standing closer to the front wall, and then gradually move back.  The volley is easier to hit from a hard ball (as the ball already has power).  Trying to hit hard from a soft ball is much more difficult, especialy overhead (leave those for now).

Keep playing those videos that have volleys in them to get a good picture in your mind of the volley technique.


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From aprice1985 - 28 Jul 2008 - 04:24

The volleying was still bad, i can just about now put one striaght and deep but slow like a lob, cant hit a killer low on the front wall or hit a powerful one deep.  The serve picked up a bit though.  I think i need to get my head in more than the strokes though, how frustrating is it to be telling yourself hit straight and then you watch your arm hit cross court?

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From aprice1985 - 24 Jul 2008 - 23:46

Both sides not so good, forehand worse than back, forehand serve on forehand side, i vary the serves normally going for a middle of the road serve almost chipped onto the front wall and hitting side wall where my opponenet wants to volley but not quite high enough to be a lob which is my normal variation.

My return is normally straight drive off the back wall for a harder serve volleying if it is in the open, straight or crosscourt volley for the lob serve, reaching up high to take it

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From Adz - 24 Jul 2008 - 18:31

Aprice, when it comes to the serve, are you having difficulties with the forehand side, backhand side or both? Do you use a backhand serve when you serve off your forehand side? What type of serves do you use - lob from low contact, smash from high contact, float from mid contact?


When it comes to returning serve, what type of returns do you use?


Lots of questions I know, but if the change in grip is causing you a weakness it would help to understand how before we can suggest a solution. It sounds like it might just be some teething problems with the new grip, but some solo practise might help you out with that.





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From rippa rit - 24 Jul 2008 - 15:20   -   Updated: 24 Jul 2008 - 16:09

aprice - here is the link to LibraryStrokes Movement/Serve. There are diagrams etc there. Also click on "discuss this topic" for a bit more info.

The lower  the ball toss drops the more difficult to get under the ball, do a little experiment.


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From aprice1985 - 24 Jul 2008 - 09:00

when you taalk about the high ball toss, while throw it above my shoulder, should i be hitting it that high or waiting for it to come back down to chest/stomach hight before hitting?

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From rippa rit - 24 Jul 2008 - 07:54

arthur it sounds like you are onto something new and if it works more consistently that is a good thing. Understanding the pros and cons will help you adjust. 

It might be an idea to go back to the Squash Library/Serves and revise a few of the vital key points. especially the ball toss and the angle of the ball toss, the distance you throw the ball toss from your body, etc.

Let's know how it pans out in a few weeks.

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From aprice1985 - 23 Jul 2008 - 21:19

glad to see someone thinkns that thinking about things and understanding them is good, my assessors dont!  Just learn it is their attitude.  God bless squash and all it stands for.

On a more sensible note, the principles of work and force make sense, bring back horrible memories of A level maths but do make sense.  The idea of a lever is a good one for power and also the thoughts of loss of control i find, long lever leads to ability to put in more power for less personal effort but also the power is harder to control.

The serves were all the serves, there was more problem with the harder hit ones than the softer hit lobs.  It just didn't feel as natural to be hitting the ball at the same place, is it just a matter of finding a new "groove" for the serve with this grip.  One hard serve ended up coming almost straight back to me, i was playing a bit of a prat who couldn't resist making comments when i tinned the ball or mis-hit, it felt good to win!  His last comment was off my reaction volley drop which was perfect "How often does that happen", i resisted the comment of "quite a bit if you are good"!

On the volley, return of serve was a nightmare so in the end i did just revert back to the old grip for that and then adjust but most of my volleys in rallies are reaction shots i think so it is harder to do then..  I may have been wrapping the racquet around the ball a lot as that tends to work with the longer grip, is it now a case of cutting the ball more for a volley kill?

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From rippa rit - 23 Jul 2008 - 07:58   -   Updated: 23 Jul 2008 - 08:04

aprice - it is good to see you are questioning what you are doing to get a better understanding.  Bio-mechanics in squash is interesting.  By shortening the grip, the lever becomes shorter. The two main things in the swing I see as important are leverage and force, plus the individual variables  of rhythm/timing/momentum, speed, all happening during the course of a stroke.

Here is a definition of "leverage":

"Leverage is a factor by which a lever multiplies a force - it is therefore related to mechanical advantage. The useful work done is the energy applied, which is force times distance. Therefore a small force applied over a long distance is the same amount of work as a large force applied over a small distance. The trick is converting the one into the other."

Here is a definition of "force".

"In physics, force is what causes a mass to accelerate. It may be experienced as a twist, a push, or a pull. The acceleration of a body is proportional to the vector sum of all forces acting on it (known as the net force or resultant force). In an extended body, force may also cause rotation, deformation, or a change in pressure. Rotational effects are determined by the torques, while deformation and pressure are determined by the stresses that the forces create.

Net force is mathematically equal to the time rate of change of the momentum of the body on which it acts. Since momentum is a vector quantity (i.e., it has both a magnitude and direction), force also is a vector quantity."

So, you are probably thinking  what the heck has this got to do with it.  How does this equate to your shots?  The shorter the lever the more control over the racket head as it feels more like an extension of the hand.  The racket and the backswing is the "tool" so if control of the "tool" is lost by excessive wrist and arm movement there will be a loss of accuracy.   The power generated running forward may be from the body momentum moving into the shot, as opposed from a static stance where hip flexion, body rotation, and leverage will be more applicable. 

About the serves - I assume they are lob serves. You are standing static, the lever is shorter and that has probably altered the angle and height slightly.  Either serve as previously, then adjust the grip, or practice till you can adjust using the basic key words of height, and front wall targets, and maybe some slight feet adjustment, and I assume you are already tossing the ball at shoulder height.

With the volleys, and the other shots for that matter, follow through taking the racket head through in direction of the target and don't wrap the racket around which is something to be careful of with the shorter grip.

If you cannot get your volleys up to par after looking at the swing maybe you can lengthen the grip for those shots, if you are fast enough.

I hope this has clarified your problem and not confused you too much....more to think about

Here is a Gold video of Craig Rowland hitting a high overhead volley.

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After reading your hints and tips on serving, footwork, strokes, my game is becoming more and more professional and my coach is shocked with the development I've made.

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