Squash is a great game for beginners to pick up because it builds upon skills learned from other racquet based games like tennis and racquetball. Coming from another sport, squash seems relatively simple. The squash court is smaller than both a racquetball and tennis court, and it appears harder to put the ball out of play in comparison. The average beginner squash will see more advanced players hitting hard shots and decide their best approach is to hit with power. However, these shots won't get you very far against other players. Your best best is to play shots with finesse. Here are a few squash shots that will help you take your beginner game to another level.
The rail shot is a shot that is hit close to the wall that will rebound tight off the wall. The best rail shots will be deep in the corner. It is hard for other beginner squash players to hit shots that are so close to the wall. They will have to let the ball drop in the corner, which is a particularly difficult shot to return as a beginner. The rail shot is a useful shot to play when your opponent plays you into a corner.
A boast shot is a shot that hits a side wall before the front wall. There are two basic types of boast shots: attacking and defensive boasts. The attacking boast is best used when your opponent is behind you. If you receive a shot around the T while your opponent is in the back corner, an offensive boast shot is a good idea. Play the ball off the side wall so it hits the front wall in the center and then bounces twice before hitting the other side wall. Your opponent will have to run a full diagonal to be able to return this shot. The defensive boast is best used when you are behind your opponent in the corner. If you feel you cannot hit a straight rail shot to force your opponent into the corner, the defensive boast is a good call. The key to the defensive boast is to hit the ball at a 45 degree angle off the side wall so it hits the front wall and then hits the space in between the floor and other side wall. This is also called the 3 wall nick. If done correctly, the defensive boast can win you the point.
A drop shot is a common shot across all racquet based games. The objective of the shot is the play a shot with backspin so that the ball will bounce twice before your opponent can reach it. In squash, there are a few variations of drop shots. You will want to play a drop shot just above the tin at an angle so that it falls towards the side wall. If you are in the front of the court, you will want to play a drop shot that bounces first and then clings to the side wall before bouncing twice. If you are at the T, hit the ball off the front wall so that it hits the space in between floor and wall (called the nick) so that the ball has a quick roll out. If you are in the back of the court, it is risky to play a drop shot. You will want to play the ball so that the second bounce hits the nick and rolls out.
Practicing these squash shots will help you develop a keen sense of strategy for the game. Knowing when and how to play these shots simply takes repetition and experience. If you dedicate your time to improving your skills, you will take your game to another level in no time! If you want other tips for improving your squash skills, be sure to check out the rest of our squash articles and coaching resources.
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