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One Person Squash Training Drills


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Start off with just one hit, until you get consistent with the stroke. Then try for consecutive hits.  If you are having problems try:

  • Getting closer to the front wall of the Squash court or
  • Hitting the ball softer and higher.
  • Adjust position in between hits with fluid foot movement
  • Resist the temptation to spend more time on the "favourite" side - spend at least as much or more on the weaker side.
  • Keep a diary of your efforts recording details/statistics of drills over time.

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PSA Squash TV - CIMB Malaysian Open 2012

Solo Practice

  • It is a good idea to practice by yourself at least once a week, even if it is just for 15 minutes, to take the time to pay attention to the technique.
  • Any bad habits that have been developed over time tend to creep back into the strokes, and this will keep re-enforcing the correct stroking.
  • Monitor how accurate the shot is during this practise to guage if the shot is performing well.
  • The key teaching points for the stroke will assist hone in the skill

Basic Swing Technique

Squashgame Gold: Advanced Text and Video Content

Video clip Solo Kill Drill

Looking at the technique for a kill shot
Take up a comfortable position, and feel balanced, so as to generate the power necessary in the swing.
Because this shot is usually done when the opponent has hit a defensive shot, there will be time to prepare for the footwork and swing, and usually this position holds the opponent behind until you have in fact executed the shot, leaving little time to recover the ball.
In the video notice:
  • Balance and footwork/stance
  • Racket preparation
  • Open racket face, with the swing coming down at an angle into the front wall, aiming about half a racket length from the corner.
  • It is this angle that will take the ball into the nick.
  • The swing is relative short and sharp but generating the maximum amount of power to get the ball away quickly.
Learning how to finish off a rally.
It is a big advantage to be able to step in when there is time, and hit the ball with authority.  Things to look for in this video:
  • The angle of the hit into the nick.
  • Hitting the ball at the top of the bounce taking advantage of the height of the bounce.
  • Opening the racket face and slicing the ball into the nick.

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Video Continuous solo volley practice

Solo volley practice has many benefits:
  • It tunes up the reflexes
  • It makes the eyes focus on the ball.
  • It highlights any flaws in the racket work.
Volley chipping drill.
This would be the best drill to start off learning the volley.  If, standing
near the side wall makes it too difficult, step towards the center of the court where there is more room.
Only hit the ball as fast/hard as you can control the ball, starting with one or two continuous volleys until you are able to get ten consecutive hits, then increase the pace.
Volleys Figure of 8
This drill requires a very high level of skill, and patience as well as: 
  • hand eye co-ordination
  • racket work
  • ball control
  • speed control
  • judgement
  • anticipation
  • fluent swing
  • wrist control
Start the exercise slowly, aiming around the cutline.

If you have difficulty with the angle of the figure of 8 volley, commence with the drive figure of 8, and when you feel confident progress to the volley.

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Video Drive Length Drives

Drives to Length
Solo practice is the best way to hone in on the swing.
Pick a target on the front wall, say, one racket length from the side wall and between the "tin" and "cut line". 
To adjust the length:
  • Aim higher to get the ball deeper.
  • Aim lower if  he ball is over hitting.

To adjust the tightness:
  • Aim closer to the corner to take the ball closer along the wall.
  • Aim further across to get the ball to carry to the back corner before hitting the side wall.
To hit a soft shot to length:
  • Hit the ball high on the front wall.
  • Hit the ball softly
This drill requires patience.  Start the drill slowly and gradually increase the speed as you become more consistent.

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Video clip drop shot drill

A drop shot played well landing right in the corner takes a lot of practice. 
Some points to assist:
  • Use the open racket face to slow the ball down.
  • Use a slicing or cutting action to undercut the ball.
  • The backspin makes the ball sit down.
  • The best drop shot tends to follow the wall.

Video Resources

Video clip Solo Volley Nick

Self feed solo Volley Nick
The Volley Nick works well from the center court position, particularly if played while intercepting a cross court.  Why?
  • The wide angle makes it easier to get the ball to sit into the nick.
  • The shot is executed very quickly giving the opponent less time to get to the ball.
The main things to think of are:
  • Open racket and back spin the ball so it sits down into the nick.
  • Move the feet and shoulders into position to get the tight angle into the corner.
  • Try to take the ball early, as the height is an advantage in cutting the ball into the nick.
  • Move into the shot .

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Video Overhead Smash

The overhead smash will limit the amount of time the opponent has to recover to the T.

It can be seen how taking the ball before it hits the back wall can quickly move the opponent away from the T and allowing more control within the court.

The smash is not an easy shot as it required power to get the ball away early and quickly.  The next best option would be to volley lob the  ball to the back corner allowing recovery to the T and putting the opponent behind.

Start practicing this shot from mid court and gradually move back.  Watch the ball carefully to judge  the speed, angle and height of the ball will assist timing.
 

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Video Backhand Continuous attacking volley including top spin variety

Attacking volley skills from mid court
Start practicing this drill slowly and gradually increase the speed of the hit.  Once in the center of the court volleys hit with authority put a lot of pressure on the opponent and can force errors.

Leave practicing the top spin volley until you are confident with your volleying.

Attacking volleys  practice from  back court
This is an advanced skill and will take time to develop the racket control and reflex.  It is a skill worth persisting with as it will improve many other elements of the game during play.

Video Resources

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Solo Drills

Straight Drive
Click on the Drill required to activate the frame on the right.

More Pics...

Down & Across (solo)
Short & Long Chipping
Alternate Long Chipping
Kill Shot & Recovery

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Shadow play

Ghosting is a progression from squash technique exercises where the movements in the exercises are put together in a sequence of movement.  By continually practicing these two aspects gradually fluent swinging, balance, and movement will develop.

By then using this movement in a pretend playing situation court movement will become very smooth.

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Shadow Play

Until there is a specific ghosting video, set up a series of balls on the court and play a pretend game, using this video as a guide.
Firstly, start with just one stroke, eg forehand drive from the front of the court, moving from the T to the ball, swing, and recover to the T and repeat several times.
Secondly, introduce a backhand shot, placing a ball around the service box, and now shadow play between these two shots concentrating on your racket work and movement, and swing technique.
Thirdly, take your time, and as you get better rhythm and fluent movement, and then introduce a third ball position.

Use this video as a guide to your movement and racket work.

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Honing the skills

Squash technique exercises help get the muscles used to the movements required when performing all of the skills required to play, eg
  • Swinging the racket
  • Using the correct grip
  • Pronation/supination of the forearm
  • Footwork and body movement
  • Sequence of movement
  • Speed of movement
  • Balance
  • Take off and recovery
  • Overhead hitting and returning service
  • Spatial awareness moving within a confined space with an opponent
  • Reacting quickly to cues
  • Rebounding skills
all of which can be practiced each day at home or prior to a squash game.

Squashgame Gold: Advanced Text and Video Content

Wrist Movement

  • 1. Clench the fist firmly, then rotate the wrist from side to side - keep the wrist firm
  • 2.  Hold the correct  grip in front of the body (facing a mirror may be helpful).
  • 3. Rotate the forearm from side to side, holding the racket firmly.

Forearm Rotation
  • 1. Hold the racket with the correct grip.
  • 2. Lay the racket head back so the end of the racket points, with the shaft parallel to the floor.
  • 3. Rotate the forearm from horizontal to vertical, holding the wrist firmly - this will resemble a forehand and backhand rotation..

Figure of 8
  • Taking the rotation a step further, as described above, and adding a loop into the forehand and backhand movement - this should resemble a figure of 8 (laying on its side of course). 
Movement and technique
  • Running on the spot with the racket held in the correct grip, wrist firm, perform a chipping movement with the racket while running on the spot.
  • This might resemble an exercise like rub your belly and pat your head.

Court Movement and racket technique
  • Starting at the front wall of the court (facing the back wall),  moving towards the back wall, lunge to the forehand side as if to get the body into a forehand swing position, pivot to the backhand side, as if to get the body and racket into a backhand swing position.
  • During this movement keep the racket and swing in the "ready position" and move the feet and shoulders into the "hitting position".
  • Repeat this movement continually.
  • Strive to be balanced, taking the weight on both legs.
  • Strive for a fluent movement by keeping the feet apart, with no hopping and skippy steps.
Court movement and swinging technique
  • Starting with a drive movement and swing, imagine the ball to be about as high as the knee, flex the knees, and swing as if to strike the ball with the -
    • correct grip
    • correct "ready position"
    • correct forearm rotation - swing.
    • correct footwork, and body rotation
    • feel balanced, swing freely
  • Now, or when you feel comfortable move onto other strokes, eg Volley, lob, drop shot, etc
Things to note:  Stop like a statue while performing these actions, look at the grip, racket position, backswing, forearm rotation, follow through and correct where necessary.

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