We have our own Jesse Engelbrecht back this week, bringing us a great new playlist that focuses on the concept of ‘using the strings’. Jesse’s detailed technical knowledge and analytical mind help make his video series some of the most popular content we feature here on SquashSkills.
‘Using the strings’ may, at first reflection, seem a very obvious point – aside from the occasional mishit off the frame(!), it’s the strings that we of course use to hit every shot. What Jesse is actually discussing in this series however, is how we can ‘use the strings’ to really impart revolutions on the ball, to allow us to get it spinning into difficult areas for our opponent.
Using the strings and getting cut on the ball in an effective manner, is something you will see top professional players doing time after time. Part of what separates top players out and makes them so good, is that ability to get movement on the ball and affect how it comes off of the front wall. Something Jesse looks to also reinforce frequently in this playlist though is knowing WHEN to really actually use that cut. Hitting the ball with a flatter stroke is equally useful at times, so understanding when and how to implement the more open racket face to impart spin is a big part of developing your tactical approach to the game.
Hitting with spin is something that should be considered an option on all shorts, not just when hitting short. Whether it’s a drive, a volley, or a boast, having an awareness of spin can play a crucial role in creating more pressure on your opponent with the outcome of your shots. Jesse talks about this in the playlist, and also goes into some of the errors people make when incorporating spin into their shots including avoiding putting TOO much spin on the ball and turning it into almost a tennis style ‘slice’. So much of this subtlety comes from effective use of the grip, which is key to a lot of what we’re able to do on the squash court.
The aim of this blog is to give you some ideas of the best drills and practices you can use to start working on the primary fundamentals of using the strings and help you become more confident and consistent in this area of your game. Once you start implementing some of the technical aspects that Jesse introduces, you’ll see immediate results in the effectiveness of your shots.
We’ve put together a selection of brand new solo and pairs sessions for you to try, built around the main technical points covered by Jesse in the playlist. Watch through the videos and then click through the links to the integrated sessions below to check them out, and discover how developing a better understanding of using the strings can really add an extra dimension to your game.
Put it into practice
This session contains a series of solo drills to practise on your own, to hone the fundamentals of using the strings and imparting cut on the ball.
This session consists of a selection of pairs drills and conditioned games to practice, to help you work on the key points as discussed by Jesse in the playlists.
Having a good base of strength and stability will help you when you’re working on your skill and ball control, as it’ll allow you to hit from a steadier and more balanced position. Give this strength/stability session a try, working a variety of lunge variants and bodyweight exercises.
Jesse is back to show how to use angles in attacking shots and hit winners more often.
Lee Drew takes us through everything needed to improve your grip, with in-depth demonstrations to help learn the best techniques to improve your game.
Let us know how you get on with the sessions, we’d love to hear your feedback!
Haven't seen the full series yet?
Make sure to check out the series where Jesse Engelbrecht analyses how to use your strings in different scenarios on the squash court.Watch now