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The Squash Lob or Toss


members/images/fhtoss1.jpg
  • The squash lob or toss is played soft and high to the front wall to go over the opponents head and deep in the court
  • A good lob/ toss gives a player time to recover.
  • A successful squash lob/toss "dies" in the back corner of the court.
  • Squashgame.info refers to a squash lob as being from the back of the court and a squash  toss from the front of the court.

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PSA Squash TV - CIMB Malaysian Open 2012

Lob/Toss Definition

squash lob trajectory
To ensure that terminology is consistent SquashGame uses the following:
  • The Lob is hit from the back or mid court
  • The Toss is hit from the front court

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Squash toss trajectory - diagram

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Basic Lob/Toss Technique

The key points when playing a lob/toss are:
  • Use an open face to get under the ball.
  • Lift/Hit upwards to a very high target on the front wall
  • These are soft shots.

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  • The lob or toss is different to most other shots in that there is no rotation of the forearm, and the racket head direction is usually up, not through.
  • It is soft shot, lifting the ball upwards to a target very high on the front wall.
  • Ensure that the racket face remains very open.
  • Bring the racket underneath the ball and lift to the target point (usually no more than 0.5 metre from the front out line).
  • No rotation of the forearm.
  • Control racket head speed (to control the speed of the shot)to hit front wall and landing targets.
  • Continue the follow through up towards the target. Recover quickly to the T area.
  • A lob should be hit so that it cannot be intercepted before it reaches the back of the court.

Video clip Getting the Toss to die

How to get the toss to "die"
  • A lob will become much more successful as footwork and movement become fluent.
  • All shots requiring good placement require a steady stance and good balance.
  • Any excessive movement in the arm, wrist, racket, and swing can be enough to over-hit a lob.
  • It takes a lot of practice to move quickly, but remain steady enough, to strike the ball with control.  Any excessive speed in the racket head will be enough to take the lob out of control.
  • While practicing routines, eg drive/boast/cross court lob take the time to just "stop" during the swinging action and observe the feet, racket face angle in relation to the front wall target, length of the swing, etc.
How to get the ball over the opponents head so it can "die" is another consideration
To get the ball high enough, preventing the opponent from volleying requires some further detail:
  • Move towards the ball with long low strides.
  • Take the racket face low and get it under the ball to give a lifting action.
  • Make certain the front wall target is very high, as that is what will give the height to the shot as it travels overhead.

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Toss from the Front Court

Front court Squash toss technique
Toss from the Front Court requires:
  • Wide lunging steps.
  •  Open racket face coming under the ball.
  • Soft shot, lifting the ball high on the front wall.
  • The Toss is an ideal return when under pressure at the front of the court.
  • A lob can be a good shot in general play, but needs elevation to be effective.
  • Ideal when ball is tight to the side wall.

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  • Aim high on the front wall.
  • Bend the knees and lunge to get the swing low.
  • Bring the open racket face under the ball.
  • A lob can be a good shot in general play, but needs elevation to be effective. Ideal when ball is tight to the side wall.

How do I know if the lob is any good

How successful is your Lob?

Good Bad
The lob is going over my opponent's head The lob is being intercepted
The shot is dying in the back corner Is bouncing off the back wall far enough to be driven
Is giving me time to get into position Is being hit when I am in an attacking position
Is breaking up the game Is giving my opponent too much time
Is conserving energy Is not putting enough pressure on my opponent
Is clinging to the side wall Is able to be struck before reaching the back of the court

Video clip Toss from front court

Toss from  the front of the court
This can be an excellent choice of shot from the front of the court.  Why?
  • It gives time to recover to the T or center court.
  • It prevents the opponent coming in and looking for a "stroke" as the ball is well out of reach.
  • A tight soft toss will be difficult to return in an attacking way.
  • The opponent is forced into the back corner.
  • It also changes the pace of the game.
Be sure to get the ball high on the front wall to get out of the opponent's reach.    This shot played often, at the right time, to a fast attacking opponent, can really frustrate their mind.

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Lob from Mid-Court

Forehand Squash lob technique
  • Swing under and through the ball. Keep the racket face a little more open and increase racket head speed compared to a front court lob.
  • No forearm rotation.
  • Follow through to the target.
  • Aim about 30cm from the front outline and one racket head from side wall for a straight lob Keep the swing parallel to the side wall
  • For a cross court lob, aim to hit high on the opposite side wall about a 1.5 metres behind the back of the service box.
  • Bend the knees and lunge to get the swing low.
  • Bring the open racket face under the ball.
  • A lob can be a good shot in general play, but needs elevation to be effective. Ideal when ball is tight to the side wall.

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Lob from the Back Court

Backhand Squash lob technique
  • Keep away from the corners and walls.
  •  Approach the ball with plenty of room to swing.
  • Keep a low center of gravity moving into the corner of the court.
  • An excellent choice to gain recovery time.
  • Use it when it is difficult to get the opponent behind you.

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  • Swing under and through the ball.
  • Keep the racket face a little more open and increase racket head speed slightly.
  • A little more speed is required when swinging as it is necessary to take the ball from the back wall to the front wall, and rebound in the back corner.
  • No forearm rotation.
  • Follow through to the target.
  • Aim about 30cm from the front outline and a racket head away from side wall for a straight lob.
  • Swing parallel to side wall for a straight shot.
  • For a cross court lob aim to hit high on the opposite side wall and about a metre and a half behind the back of the service box.
  • Be sure to get down to the ball especially when the ball comes off the back wall.

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