If you have been playing squash for a while and consider yourself a good club-level player, you may want to read on. For a start, your style of play may fall into one of two that get talked about in squash circles – the English style or the Egyptian style. If your game involves long rallies, consistent good length shots and patience, your style of play would be considered the former. If your style is more aggressive with attacking volleys and deceptive shots that are often played in the fore-court, your style would be considered the latter. Whether your style fits one of the above styles or a combination thereof, it is worth checking out how you fare in the following aspects of the sport.
Do you have the same backswing irrespective of the shot you play? Simple as this technique may sound, this is one that clearly differentiates an advanced player from an intermediate one. Advertising your shots help your opponents anticipate the direction of your shot giving them an advantage. So, do you have the same backswing whether you are driving, dropping, boasting or lobbing?
Does your good-length shot hit the back wall as it drops down after the bounce? Most of us know that hitting a good-length rail shot is integral to the game of squash. But, are you able to hit the ball in such a way that it contacts the back wall as it drops after the first bounce as opposed to on the rise?
Does your lob/toss catch the front wall a foot or two below the top out line? A good lob can be one of the best defensive shots of the game, often giving you enough time to recover from a good drop or boast by your opponent. Done right, it could land and die in the back court forcing your opponent to try to dig it out. How often are you able to hit a lob that your opponent is unable to intercept before it hits the back wall?
Do you change your serve based on where your opponent is standing? While this one may seem obvious, the subtleties of positioning the serve are often overlooked by most players. If you are trying to ace your opponent, you should be on the tennis court. Do you try to beat your opponent with your serve, or do you focus on where he/she is likely to return the serve? Follow this link to some good info on how to choose your serve in squash.
Can you hit a kill shot that catches the nick? Technically a hard hit shot that ends the rally would be deemed a kill shot. Whether the shot catches the nick and ends the rally, or bounces off the side wall as a fat shot differentiates the level of play. Intermediate players often give up positions of advantage by over hitting shots that put the ball back in play. So, are you able to hit kill shots that catch the nick at least fifty percent of the time? Check out this link for Nicol David’s tips on how to hit the kill shot.
So how did you fare? If you feel that you have some more work to do, you can start by adopting the philosophy of never giving up. Making your opponent play one more shot may help you win your next match, even when your technique is not perfect!