Put it into practice: Nick Matthew’s guide to volleying – Part 1 for beginners

10th June 2019

We’re excited to introduce our brand new comprehensive series on volleying to the site this week – and who better to take us on this journey, than 3 x World Champion and legend of the game Nick Matthew!

[Editor’s Note: This article is based on the SquashSkills’ series on volleying, presented by Nick Matthew. Watch the full series: Nick Matthew’s Ultimate Guide To Volleying Video Series.]

The volley is a crucially important shot in squash and becoming more adept at utilising it is often one of the key techniques that separates less-experienced players from the next level up. As Nick explains in the video, a good volleyer can really control the pace and pattern of rallies in a match and give themselves a huge advantage.

At the peak of his career, Nick was known as perhaps the finest exponent of the volley in the sport. Equally able to cut in wicked drops or punch the ball to a dying length, many an opponent wilted under the sheer physical pressure Nick was able to create through his expert ability to take the ball early before the bounce around the middle of the court.

The purpose of this blog is to give you some suggestions on sessions you can use to best take on board some of Nick’s super-insightful tips on the technique, tactics, and mindset of the volley that he discusses in this first part of the series.

Featured most prominently in this initial beginner-focused playlist are the basics on drives, returns of serve, and drops. Nick also discusses some of the most common technical issues amongst less-experienced players trying to improve their volleying skills, and goes into some depth around spacing and the use of the non-playing arm during the shot.

To start to groove in some of Nick’s expert ideas and suggestions for boosting your volleying skills, check out below some of our specially created solo and pairs sessions. These are complemented by Nick’s own video in the playlist, where he discusses some of his personal favourite solo drills.

READ MORE: 10 Tips To Improve Your Volley


Put it into practice

Solo practice

This session is built around a selection of foundational solo drills, working on self-feeds and hitting back to yourself to improve your consistency.


learning journeyPairs practice

This pairs session works through a series of simple drills/routines, allowing you to move into more of a rally base and add in your volleys from there.


Fitness session

Being an effective volleyer relies heavily on being a good lateral mover, to allow you to stalk that mid-court short line throughout every rally. Check out this on-court conditioning session to help you really start developing this physical proficiency.


READ PART 2: Nick Matthew’s Guide to Volleying (Intermediate)

Related content

Volleying with Jesse Engelbrecht

In this playlist, Jesse dives into the subject of volleying and explains how to do it better.


Zero to Hero: Mindset

In this playlist, Jesse discusses the importance of mindset when playing squash and how to focus on the different areas when in a game.


The evolution of Nick Matthew

In this playlist, David Pearson analyses Nick Matthew’s technique.



Let us know how you get on with the sessions, we’d love to hear your feedback!

Haven't seen the full playlist yet?

In this playlist, Nick covers the basics and explains the fundamental elements that allow beginners to volley effectively.

Watch the playlist in full