Squash is a bit of a funny game when it comes to where you are trying to hit the ball. Most of the time you are trying to hit the ball off of the front wall so that it goes past you in to one of the back corners. Hitting the ball in to the back corner so that it does not come out is your objective but should it be your target?
Your target should actually be a spot on the front wall. You are hitting at the front wall with the objective of having the ball go to the back corner. The actual target you are hitting at though should be the spot on the front wall you need to hit to get the ball there. If you focus on figuring out where on the front wall you need to hit to get the ball to go where you want it gives you a target you can see and try to hit.
Let’s look at a straight length shot. The objective is to get the second bounce to die in to the nick at the back wall. Where on the front wall you need to hit to get that to happen will depend on a lot of different factors. The court temperature, the speed of the court you are playing on, the ball, and how hard you are going to hit it. In warm-up it makes sense to try and figure out how high on the front wall your normal drive needs to be to get the ball to die in the back. Pick a target on the front wall and keep adjusting it to you find the correct spot to get the ball to die in the back. If you are going to vary the pace of your drive you will need to move your target higher or lower on the front wall depending on whether you are hitting softer or harder. You also have to pay attention to how wide the shot it is. Making sure the shot is wide enough so that your opponent will not be able to volley needs to be considered when picking your target on the front wall.
Width is extremely important on cross court drives. Proper width will vary a great deal depending on your opponent. If your opponent is playing a high ‘T’ position your ball needs to be at its widest going in to the service box. This will ensure your opponent can’t volley the ball. Once again though getting the ball wide enough to get past your opponent is the objective but your actual target is a spot on the front wall. You need to find the spot on the front wall that will give you the angle to get the ball to be wide enough to be out of your opponents reach.
I believe where this is most important though is with the swing itself. You will read or hear often the concept of hitting through to the target in squash. For that to be possible you need to have a target to hit at! The squash racquet head should travel a straight a path through the hitting zone to the target on the front wall for as long as possible. This will increase power and accuracy. If your racquet is travelling on a line straight through the hitting zone to your target it will ensure that when the ball does make contact with the strings it ends up going to your target.
Remember while your objective in squash is to hit the ball to a specific area on court your target is a spot on the front wall. Find that target and hit through the ball while keeping your racquet going to the target for as long as possible will help ensure you get the ball to end up where you want.
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