Use The Front Wall, Luke!

Use The Front Wall, Luke!

Okay, you may not be a Star Wars fan, but hopefully you got the reference in the title.

Where the ball bounces on the floor is key, but it is a secondary target. Players can make the ball bounce in the same point on the floor by hitting it at different speeds and heights on the front wall. So even though it *is* a secondary target it has to be viewed in combination of the speed at which the ball is moving AND the angle it hits the floor.

Phew, that sounds like a lot to worry about when you are running around trying to stay in a rally.

Let’s keep it simple.

Try focusing on where you ball hits the front wall, specifically the height.

You will need to adjust the height based on a number of factors: the time of year, the court temperature, the brand of ball used and the general condition of the court.

I don’t want to go off on too much of a tangent, but this is one aspect of why playing club team squash can be so good for you – you have to learn to adapt to different courts. Playing on the same courts ALL the time is like playing the same person all the time and hitting the ball at the same speed. VARIETY IS THE SPICE OF LIFE!

Back to the front wall.

Start with the cutline – that’s the horizontal line on the front wall. Try hitting it when playing a straight drive using 80% of your power. Where does the ball bounce first? Is the second bounce near the back wall? It should be. If it is too short, hit a little higher next time, if it is too deep, hit a little lower.

It’s not rocket science.

As with a previous article entitled “Hit Every Shot With A Clear Intention”, this process of finding your height and aiming for it will automatically make your drives more consistent.

For crosscourts, you will need to aim a little higher because the ball has further to travel.

Now that you have a solid base to work from you can begin to adjust the speed and height with more confidence.

If you have the opportunity, watch yourself play and mark on a piece of paper where the ball its the wall or better still, get somebody to do it for you from the balcony.

The resultant sheet doesn’t tell the whole picture but it may highlight where you need to improve.

Lastly, what we really need is “Smart Walls” that provide a printout of where the ball hits. Not sure how it would know which shot is from which player but even if it were for both players it would still be very interesting, don’t you think?

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