Tag Archives: balance

Head Heavy, Head Light, or Even Balanced: What Should I Use?

When planning on buying a squash racquet there are many things to take into consideration:

  • how it will fit your game
  • the weight of the racquet
  • the type of throat
  • the balance

The choice of balance in a squash racquet depends on the type of player and I believe that many players have a hard time knowing which balance fits their game best. I will talk about the balance of squash racquets and how each type fits different types of players.

Head Light BalanceHead light racquets, as the name indicates, have lighter heads and thus the weight is balanced towards the handle of the racquet. Here, maneuverability is the key element of the racquet and thus it is excellent for aggressive players who like to attack with volleys, players who have short swings, and players who are yet to develop more wrist strength. If a player likes to volley a lot, a head light racquet will be beneficial due to the fact that it has increased maneuverability. A player will be able to bring the racquet up faster which is the most essential movement when it comes to attacking with a volley. For players with short swings, fast racquet speed is a must and a head light balance will help greatly with this as it is easier to swing. However, this type of player has to be sure that they can generate enough power by themselves (i.e. without the help of the racquet) to ensure enough ball speed. If a player doesn’t have a strong wrist yet, they should consider a more head light racquet as it will be easier to maneuver with less strength. Head light racquets will often be heavier in order to help generate power; but, if increased power with decreased overall weight is what a player is looking for, a head heavy racquet is the best choice.

Head Heavy Squash Racquet

A head heavy racquet will have most of its weight towards the head. Having a head heavy balance will help the racquet move through the ball easier and thus it best suits more patient players who like to play a solid length game, players with more fluid swings, and players that have a hard time generating power by themselves. A patient, length game is a great game strategy and players who like to implement it should consider a head heavy racquet. The reason is that, since it helps to generate power, less effort is needed to get the ball to the back of the court hence saving the player more energy which is needed to keep up the longer rallies that arise from such strategy. For the same reason, a player with a more fluid swing will find this balance helpful. A player that can’t generate enough power by themselves can swing slower but still generate enough power; this is common among young players who are yet to develop more strength. Head heavy racquets are great for players who like to have a more patient and fluid game, and/or young players who need aid in generating power. If a player is looking for a combination of the previous two types of balances, they should consider even balanced racquets.

An even balanced racquet will have a relatively equal weight distribution. This type of balance is considered to be more flexible and will fit players who like to volley while generating a decent amount of power. A player who likes to ‘switch’ up their strategy mid-rally will find this type of racquet helpful. It is maneuverable enough to be able to provide good racquet preparation speed as well as good swing speed and powerful enough to generate good power on more fluid swings. This balance I believe is helpful when a player likes to change the pace in the middle of the point.

Any player who is considering getting a new racquet should look well into the balance of the racquet and which type fits them better. However, the choice of balance should not be dictated solely on a player’s type of game; personal preference is top priority here. Having said this I strongly encourage players to try out all three types of balances before acquiring a new racquet. Here at Control the ‘T’ Sports we have a wide variety of squash racquets that you can take a look at.

If you would like to read more about how to choose a squash racquet please download our guide to buying a squash racquet by filling out the form below.

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Good Balance Leads to Great Shots

Balance is a very important part of the game when it comes to hitting good shots. You need good balance in order to get a solid hit on the ball, and to be able to stay quick on your feet for the next one. Recently I have concentrated on this and I have found that the results are great. I am finding myself hitting more accurate and more powerful shots thus helping me win more points. Here are ways that good balance will help you hit better shots and be quicker when getting back to the ‘T’.

I play varsity squash and the other day I was playing a match against one of my teammates. Our coach was watching and after the first game he gave me some tips on how to hit better shots. He told me that whenever I had time to hit a good shot I was rushing to the ball and thus hitting it when I was off balance. He said I had to take my time, make sure I was balanced and well positioned, and then go on to hit the shot. So I jumped on court for the second game and concentrated on what he told me. So whenever I had time to I made sure I had good footwork in order to position myself with good balance in front of the ball. I placed myself on my normal hitting position but I made sure that my feet were planted solid on the ground; I made sure I used good strength to keep my legs and torso still through my shot. Having done this I was able to hit much more solid and accurate shots. It worked really well for me.

The reason for good balance leading to good shots is the fact that you are able to hit your shots on the racquet’s ‘sweet spot’ more often. If you are off balance previous to hitting a shot, your torso will move around and hence your shoulder as well; all this affects your swing and where you hit the ball. For example, on one shot when playing against my teammate, I tried to hit a straight length as my torso was moving backwards and I ended pulling the ball across resulting a shot right down the middle. So, if you manage to stay balanced leading to the shot, your torso is stable thus giving your arm all the strength and accuracy needed to hit a solid shot. You will also be able to control your shots better since there is no ‘extra’ movement from your body being off balance. In other words, your whole movement will be concentrated solely on your swing leading to more ‘sweet spot’ shots.

Good balance is also an advantage when it comes to the aftermath of the shot; you need it in order to get back to the ‘T’ quick. If you are off balance there is a need for extra movement to get your body back into balance so you can get back into a good position on the ‘T’. For example, after hitting a shot at the front of the court you will use your back foot to propel yourself back to the ‘T’ but, if you drag it too much as you are hitting the shot, you will need to position that foot on the back again to be able to start your movement to the ‘T’; this will cost you around one second which doesn’t seem like much, but when it comes to this game this is very valuable time. Therefore, if you keep your balance through your shot and your legs are stuck on the ground, you can put all the strength on that back foot to get you back on the ‘T’ ready for the next shot.

Good shots are built upon many different things and balance is one of the most important ones. Having good balance will help you hit better shots regardless of what shot it is or where on the court you are. It will also give you the benefit of getting back on the ‘T’ faster thus giving you more time to react against your opponent’s next shot. Get your feet on the ground and get ready to hit great shots!

Also, here is a video of a rally between Mohamed El Shorbagy and Ramy Ashour. Notice how on every shot,even under pressure, they are able to plant their feet and keep their balance concentrating only on their swing and what shot they want to make:

 

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