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HUMAN KINETICS

Excerpts

Enhance your squash serve

By Philip Yarrow and Aidan Harrison


Hard-Hit Serve

For the hard-hit serve, use a motion similar to what you use for your stock serve, but this time swing through faster and hit a little lower on the front wall. It sometimes helps to strike the ball a little higher in the air as well. This serve is particularly effective when directed down the middle of the court straight at your opponent’s body. The object of the hard-hit serve is to surprise your opponent and force a rushed return from an off-balance position. Don’t overuse this shot or you’ll lose the element of surprise.

Preparation

1. Stand in same position as for stock serve

2. Keep racket high

3. Throw ball slightly higher than stock serve

Execution

1. Step same way as for stock serve

2. Strike ball higher in air

3. Swing through quickly

4. Hit lower on front wall

5. Aim shot down middle of court



 

Backhand Serve

 

The backhand serve is useful from the right box (the left box for a left-handed player), but has very few advantages from the left box. From the right box, using the backhand changes the angle of the serve, often making it easier to keep the ball close to the side wall. It also allows you to see where your opponent is standing for the return and enables you to move smoothly and quickly to the T.

 

Execute the serve similar to the way you perform a forehand serve from the left side. Begin by facing the opposite side wall with your racket prepared for a backhand. Throw the ball out to your side, cross your left arm under your right arm, and step across the court with your front foot. Turn your front shoulder toward the back corner so that you can get some power in the shot from the backswing. Hit the ball the same way you hit a backhand drive.

 

Preparation

 

1. Face opposite side wall

 

2. Prepare with racket face behind head

 

3. Keep elbow close to body

 

4. Throw ball underneath right elbow

 

Execution

 

1. Turn front shoulder toward back corner

 

2. Step across on front foot

 

3. Swing through

 

4. Keep body still

 


 

Serve Drill 1. Throw and Hit

The purpose of this drill is to practice the motion of throwing and hitting the ball before it bounces without having to worry about where you are standing or aiming the shot.

 

Stand in the middle of the court. Throw the ball in the air about 3 to 4 feet (1 to 1.2 m) from your body and hit it against the front wall. Let the ball drop to about waist height before making contact, and hit the ball with a forehand swing. Aim to hit your shot high in the center of the front wall.

 

To Increase Difficulty

Aim your shots to hit above the service line and bounce past the short line.

Stand in the service box and hit the ball into the opposite back quarter of the court.

 

To Decrease Difficulty

Stand closer to the front wall and use a shorter backswing.

 

Success Check

Use a forehand swing.

Let the ball drop to waist height.

Watch the ball onto the racket face.

 

Score Your Success

10 consecutive hits against the front wall = 5 points

Your score ___

 

Serve Drill 2. Basic Serve Practice

On your own, practice hitting basic serves from both the left and right service boxes. Consider a successful serve one that hits the side wall at or behind the back of the service box. Hit 10 serves from the right box and 10 serves from the left box.

 

Success Check

Prepare the racket before throwing the ball.

Take a small step before swinging.

Strike the ball as you would the forehand.

 

Score Your Success

8 to 10 successful serves from the right box = 5 points

6 or 7 successful serves from the right box = 3 points

4 or 5 successful serves from the right box = 1 point

8 to 10 successful serves from the left box = 5 points

6 or 7 successful serves from the left box = 3 points

4 or 5 successful serves from the left box = 1 point

Your score ___

 

Serve Drill 3. Advanced Serve Practice

On your own, practice hitting advanced serves from the right service box. Remember to begin by facing the side wall nearer you with your back foot in the box. Work on turning your body to an open position and stepping across with your front foot toward the T as you strike the ball. Consider a successful serve one that hits the front wall and then the side wall at or behind the back of the service box. Hit 10 advanced serves.

 

To Decrease Difficulty

Begin with your body facing the front wall instead of the side wall.

 

Success Check

Begin by facing the side wall.

Step across toward the T.

Turn your body to the front wall when making contact.

 

Score Your Success

8 to 10 successful serves = 5 points

6 or 7 successful serves = 3 points

4 or 5 successful serves = 1 point

Your score ___

 

This is an excerpt from Squash: Steps to Success, Second Edition.



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