Practice 4

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Practice 4 - Volley Boast & Drive

The ability to anticipate volleying opportunities and to volley competently so that you can dominate the T are crucial. Volleying skills are easily improved with solo practice and your ability to react to volleying opportunities can be developed with pairs practice. The ability to use the volley in matches can be developed in easier practice games where a player specifically looks for and sets up these opportunities.

An easy way to practice volley opportunities in pairs is to move to the short line (the line that goes across the court) or further forward if necessary and practise volleying across to each other. Initially feed the ball for your partner within reach but clear of the body so you can both get into a rhythm.

Step back from each shot, leave room, bounce on your toes, snap your racket up early, hold it there and then punch with a short swing. Gradually build up pace and vary the shots, perhaps even playing into the side wall or body to test each other’s reactions.

Initially if you are starting out with this practice you may move to the front of the court and see how many you can play together. This is great for concentration and children love it.

One of the things we would like to be able to do in squash is volley straight off crosscourt shots. This needs a little adept positioning to the side of the ball and we must let the ball come to a later impact point than the one for the easier crosscourt volley. You may like to volley straight once or twice off the crosscourt, then volley crosscourt again. One of the really important things you can practise while you do this, is to study your opponent and try to read when the crosscourts are coming – the key is in the ball position in relation to your opponent’s body. Watch both ball and body!

Change your partner into an opponent with the volley crosscourt game. From one back quarter, volley crosscourts to land the ball in the opposite quarter, that is your opponent’s territory. Your opponent volleys to your quarter. If you land the ball within the quarter, that is beat your opponent’s volley, you win a point; if you hit outside it, your opponent wins a point. (The first shot, that is the serve, doesn’t count. Adapt the rules as you wish – maybe you will exclude shots that his the backwall on the full.)


1. Player A boasts;
2. Player B straight drives;
3. Player A boasts;
4. Player B straight drives.

With practice and experience Player A will quickly swivel out of the set-up position and attempt to recover a ready position on the T (that is astride the half court line in front of the lines marking the back of the service boxes), before setting off to boast on the opposite side.


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