What is it?
Unlike sports such as golf or cricket, squash players are faced with the need to develop two swings, one on the forehand and one on the backhand.
Why is it important?
Generally, the forehand swing is considered easier to get started with whilst the backhand swing becomes easier to master over time. If you’re brand new to the game focus on hitting on the forehand to build some confidence but do ensure that you pay equal attention to the backhand as this is where the more of the game tends to get played as you become more proficient.
Both the forehand and backhand basic techniques are covered in this video here.
As mentioned in a previous video, it’s worth paying attention to your movement, particularly the way that you transfer your weight into the shot. This is covered in more detail in the next article where we focus in on straight drives.
How to practice
Solo practice is an excellent way to work on your basics, as long as you feel confident that you are using the right technique. If you are brand new to the game you may want to focus on just hitting consecutive shots near the front wall to prevent rallies from breaking down.
As your ability and confidence grow, straight drives will form the basis of the technical work during solo practice – this will be looked at in more detail in the next article.
Here’s a good basic solo session you can try, that allows you to work on your foundation technique across a selection of base shots. Alternatively, get on court with a partner and practice some basic drills such as drop-drive, boast-drive, and boast-crosscourt.
During the very early stages of your squash career, it may also be worth getting a few sessions with a coach that can offer a trained eye to help you to iron out any specific flaws in your swing, as you look to build a solid foundation.
Other alternatives to in-person coaching include filming yourself and comparing the footage to that of the pros here on SquashSkills or using the excellent remote coaching service with Jesse himself that will help you to identify problem areas and resolve them quickly.
Additional useful content
This is a really helpful analogy from SquashSkills founder, Jethro Binns that highlights the similarity between the forehand swing and the motion of skimming stones across a lake.
An excellent series from former World Number One, Peter Nicol on general forehand technique.
In this series, Jethro really emphasizes the importance of upper body rotation and offers up in-depth analysis on the backhand diamond starting position.
In this series, Peter Nicol explains the basic backhand technique.
Common Amateur faults and self-diagnosis
- Dragging the ball into the middle: If you find yourself giving strokes away or pulling the ball into the middle of the court, then it’s possible you may be over-rotating at the end of your swing or letting your follow through come too far around your body.
- Hitting the side wall: It’s likely that if your drives are hitting the side wall, then you could be getting too close to the ball. Focus on staying away from the ball and getting into the locked out position, whilst also paying attention to your contact point.
- Not generating enough power: It’s likely that you are not linking your movement to your shot, and not generating enough rotation at the beginning of your backswing.
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