Put it into practice: Hitting on the rise with DP

3rd December 2018

The modern game has seen players looking to increase the pace at almost every opportunity. If they’re unable to play a volley then you’ll increasingly see the top pros taking the ball ‘on the rise’.

So what does ‘on the rise’ actually mean? It means that the ball is being hit before the top of the bounce and it can be done from a variety of different positions in the court.

Who better to explain how to start adding this to your own game than one of the game’s greatest coaches, David Pearson.

DP has had a long career that has transcended several generations, and he’s able to pick out some of the player’s who changed the game at various points, from Rodney Martin to Mohammed El Shorbagy.  

There are opportunities to hit the ball on the rise at various different points around the court, whether you’re looking to cut the ball off around the back of the service box, take one step off the T and drive the ball to the back with pace, roll a topspin drop in, or get onto a boast quickly and play a counter drop.

DP covers all of these elements in the series – now it’s time for you to get on court and start experimenting with these different options! It’s a difficult skill to master, as you’re having to hit the ball with less time so don’t be afraid to make mistakes. It’s a challenge that you’ll need to get wrong a few times, before learning to get it right.

The aim of this blog is to help you identify the drills and practices that will allow you to best implement DP’s insights into your game, and provide you with the tools to start incorporating this highly effective tactic into your on-court toolbox.

Try these sessions to improve your ability to take the ball early and hit on the rise

Solo Practice

This 30-minute solo practice will give you the chance to hit lots of balls and understand what it feels like to take the ball before the top of the bounce from the front, middle and back of the court. Check out Paul Coll demonstrating one of his favourite exercises for prepping for modern day squash! 

Pairs Practice

This 45-minute session is designed to get more challenging as the session develops. Start out with simple routines to develop your half volley ability and understand what it’s like to have less time, before opening up into condition games that include no back wall and Egyptian ¾ court. 


Want to add a physical edge?

Getting on the ball quickly around the service box area and not allowing it to get past you to the back wall, requires quick feet and strong lateral movement. Check out this great lateral movement development session from the fitness library on the site, and try incorporating it into your weekly training:


Related content

Check out these other great playlists and further improve your understanding of the game.

hitting on the rise


Speeding up the game with Lee Drew 



hitting on the rise


French movement with Thierry Lincou



Hitting on the rise


Hitting off both legs with Lee Drew



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

Not watched the full playlist yet?

Check out the full series here and learn about hitting on the rise as DP explains in detail its origins as well as its advantages and how its used to inject pace into a game

Watch the playlist in full