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When playing squash, sometimes I can get my forehand and backhand shots to go straight and close to the wall. Other times, I get the timing slightly off, and they either go away from the wall, or bounce off it on their way to the front. Either way, they end up more towards the middle of the court than planned.

When I watch professional matches, I see that they (almost) always get their shots to go very straight and tight to the wall. All their practice has paid off! While I doubt I'll ever attain their levels, I'd like to improve, and ideally improve faster than just playing the game will give me. So, I believe I'll need to spend time doing dedicated exercises / training routines / practices, I've just no idea what they should be!

Are there any practice/training exercises I can do, either on my own or with a friend, which will help me to get the timing better, to play shots more close and parallel to the wall?

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2 Answers 2

Well, in fact there is no simple answer to this question as this is the ultimate target for every squash player out there. However, if you follow some basic principles, such as good timing, good space from the ball while you hit and your position, you will feel that you will hit close to the wall eventually. Watch how Pro-squash players hit the ball (you can search youtube for low motion videos or slow the video down) and try to mimic them.

However, keep in mind that this is a life-long education, you will learn new everytime you train.

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I'm ideally after some practices / exercises / drills which can help with improving those basic principles. I realise it's not a 5 minute job! –  Gagravarr Feb 15 at 12:04

As far as I know, there are no specific drills that will help you improve the "lens-shots" (I think they're called that in English). It'll come naturally as you spend more and more hours on the court. However, some exercises can help you more than others.

(1) Boast-straights One player plays in front of the T, and the other one behind it. Of course, both must always try to get back to the T after making a shot. The back-court player makes boasts (shots against the side wall from the back corner, aimed at the opposite side front corner) and the front-court player returns the ball with a straight lens. This is a good exercise for developing your straight shots from the front wall to the rear. It can also be done with 3 players (usually brings a better rythm as well) by having one player in the front and two in the rear (one on each side).

(2) "The German" Can be played by any number of players, but only two will be active. The players line up as usual for the serve, but as soon as the serve is done the quarter that the ball was served from becomes a "dead zone". Thus, you will only use three quarters of the court, and a lot of lens-shots will have to be made. Boasts are another option, when really pressed in the back corner.

(3) One quarter long ball I just made the name up, but as it suggests - you only use one of the back quarters for playing. All balls must be hit from, and end up in, that quarter (although it is wise to keep on playing even if a ball ends up somewhere else). Variations can be made, such as switching quarter after a number of successful shots.

(4) Going solo! Simply just play the ball back-and-forth by yourself, and try to make it stick to the wall. The downside of this exercise is that you wont have time to move back to the T, thus not making it very match-like. However, it's always good to be able to practise the fundamentals, without having to run around like a headless chicken (which is often the case when I'm playing!). After all, one has to be able to do it without the pressure of a match situation before one will be able to do it in a sharp situation!

Good luck, and hang in there!

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