are two types of squash strategies. One is the offensive attacking
game, and the other is the patient defensive game. The offensive game
is primarily all imaginable squash shots close to the floor of the
court. The defensive game is primarily all imaginable squash shots
that linger up high in the court. One strategy uses the lower court
area while the other focuses on the upper court area. The lower court
encompasses 75% of all squash shots, while the upper court utilises
only 25% of all squash shots. To build a strong overall squash game,
we need to focus on the often-neglected upper court.
Two things need to be kept in mind when concerning the upper court. The first is learning to utilise the upper area by hitting shots that have high contact points on the front wall. The second is returning a shot that lingers in the upper area of the court. One is execution - the other is retrieving.
The best upper court shot is the lob. Therefore, the lob must be perfected! This shot is best executed from the front of the court. Usually when retrieving a high drop or boast.
When hitting a lob, make sure it makes contact with the front wall approximately one meter above the service line. Also, try to hit crosscourt lobs at first. A good lob has a significant arc. Since the purpose of upper court shots is to extend the time between an exchange, the ball should linger in the air as long as possible. The lobbed ball should deflect off the sidewall one meter from the back wall.
Because the lob can die in the backcorner, the lob can become one of the most devastating shotsin your arsenal. If executed correctly, the lob will get you back to the T. The lob can also break you out of any fast paced rally by abruptly changing the tempo.
The difficulty regarding the lob is that it can't be practiced alone. Of course, one can try, but it should be combined in a sequence of shots using a rail, a boast and then a lob. It's important to keep the ball warm or else your touch will be off. But, practicing with two players is easy. One player boasts while the other lobs. The ball remains warm, and the rapid succession of attempts only improves your accuracy.
The next shot is the crosscourt that deflects high off the sidewall into your opponent. This shot should only be attempted when your opponent is in the backcourt and close to the sidewall. If this type of crosscourt is hit when your opponent is in front, he or she can volley it before the ball reaches the deflection point. Also, if your opponent is not next to the sidewall and more in the middle, he or she can let the ball go to the back wall. If this happens, you become trapped as the path of the ball revolves into the middle of the backcourt.
These are just two examples of the types of shots you can use in the upper area of the court. In short, any high shot that lingers out of your opponent's reach, namely his or her sweet spot, will have the same effect.
The main points are that upper court shots change the pace, get you back in position, and use less energy. In the long run, you'll confuse your opponent, add pressure by getting back to the T more efficiently, and have more stamina for the rest of the match. Although this sounds easy, upper court shots require a great deal of accuracy and timing. Practicing is the first step. The next is to make a conscious effort to use upper court shots during a match.
Remember to stay cool and maintain good concentration at all times. Championship squash starts in your head. Only then can you effectively incorporate tactics.
When attempting upper court shots, notice the lag time between exchanges. Observe how the rhythm is interrupted. Also, become aware of your opponent's reaction. Discover how the soft arc of a lob can add tremendous pressure during a point.
Let's change scenarios. If your opponent attempts to use this strategy against you, remember that upper court shots are your opponent's way of getting back in position. You need to keep yourself out of the danger by reciprocating with an upper court shot yourself. As your opponent tries to buy time and gets you out of position, you need to buy time with a lingering upper court shot to neutralize his or her attempt for control of the rally.
Although, lower court shots like a drop and a boast can slow the pace, upper court shots like the lob and high crosscourts are better ways of getting back to the T after a blistering exchange of fast shots.
Winning a point using devastating power and fast exchanges can feel great. But, keep in mind that the best players can not only hit with sustained fast pace but also can lob and use the upper court to retain position. Besides, Pace falls drastically behind Position by comparison in a squash professional's rulebook. Furthermore, winning a single rally is not the goal - it's winning the match!
So, don't sacrifice 25% of your squash game by neglecting the upper court area. Believe me, it will eventually come back to haunt you. My advice is to build a stronger squash game by using high upper court shots as part of your strategy starting today.