Friday’s Practice: Straight Volleys Across the Court.

Friday’s Practice: Straight Volleys Across the Court.

Starting about 2 metres away from the frontwall and face the side wall and stand close to it.

start to hit some volleys to yourself (forehands if you are right-handed, backhands if you are left-handed).

Keep you writs firm and make the shoulder do the work. Hit about five and start to slowly move away from the sidewall but parallel with the frontwall.

When you get near the left sidewall wall, move a little further away from the frontwall and then start to move forward again.

All this time you should be volleying the ball.

If you make a mistake, go back to the beginning.

Your objective is to make it past the short line, so about mid court.

Advanced players should be able to make it all the wall to the back wall.

This is a touch exercise, both mentally and for your shoulders.

Give yourself 5 minutes break by doing something else and then try it on the other side.

Keep a not of how many volleys you do without a mistake.

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Fridays Practice: Variable Length Parallels.

Time to start a new min-series to join “Mondays Mental Imagery Exercises” and “Wednesdays Equipment Spotlights”.

From now on we will have “Fridays Practice” – a series of solo practice exercises.

As with all these articles, the practices assume you are a club player who has a basic command of the ball.

Variable Length Parallels.

It is better to start with a warm ball but this could be perform as a warm up too.

Standing just behind the service box hit a forehand drive back to yourself.

Do this 5 or 6 times and then move a step closer to the front wall.

As you move forwards, reduce the height and speed of the shot.

Again, hit 5 or 6 shots and move closer to the front wall.

Keep doing this until you are very close to the front wall, then begin to move towards the back wall.

As you move backwards, increase the height and speed of the shot.

Get all the way into the corner and hit 5 or 6 shots with the ball coming off the back wall.

That’s one Set. Do at least 3 sets on both sides.

As you get better, reduce the number of shots from 6 to 3.

Over time and with regular practice, you should be able to move forwards and backwards while completely controlling the ball.

The objective of this exercise is to learn how to vary your length with height and speed.

Cooperate – Cooperate/Compete – Compete

This is the order you should be performing when doing routines.

As I said yesterday, make sure you fully understand EXACTLY what you should be doing.

After that start cooperatively. See how many you can do without mistakes. Keep a record. As time goes on, decrease the acceptable area of where the ball must bounce or hit.

Next, one of you must work cooperatively, while the other is trying to win. There still needs to be limits to where the ball can bounce or hit and perhaps the person who is trying to win has a smaller area. Score it and keep a note of the scores.

Finally comes both players competing against each other, but within the limits of the routine.

This process can be done over one training session or spread out of a few weeks.

Also, don’t think that once you have started to compete, you shouldn’t go back to the beginning and be cooperative, you can.

As you get better, decreases the acceptable area.

If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to ask.

Understand the objective of ANY routine you do.

Make sure you really understand the objective of ANY exercise or routine you do.
Boast and Drive has to be one of the most, if not the most, performed practices in squash. The problem is that I rarely see it performed properly.

I am not going to detail that routine here because a video is a much better medium for that, but in general the boaster is trying to hit a low, fading boast that takes its second bounce in the nick and the driver is trying to wait until the moment the ball is very close to the sidewall and then hitting a parallel drive along the wall with the second bounce hitting the backwall a racket’s head height.

That’s not even talking about the players’ movement.

Now, the key is to know these kinds of things before you do the routine, because if you don’t, at best you might be wasting your and your partner’s time and at worst creating really bad habits.

If you don’t know what you should be doing, ask and ask people you trust, ideally your coach or mentor. If not those, ask me.

I’ll be coming back to routines in pairs soon.