Developing an effective squash technique: single vs. multiple swings

October 13 2023

Before exploring the intricacies of a squash swing, let's be clear: there is no one-size-fits-all solution to hitting a squash ball effectively. Squash players might be accustomed to the conventional wisdom of having a cocked wrist and a racket held high, but it's time to explore the nuances. Whilst foundational skills are crucial, as players progress the game becomes more intricate. Beyond the basics of ‘racket back, wrist up,’ there lies a world of advanced techniques, including timing, variation, pattern creation and most importantly the art of employing multiple swings to deceive your opponent.

The use of multiple swings is a divisive topic in the world of squash. While some squash coaches adhere strictly to orthodox teaching methods, others embrace a more innovative approach. Regardless of background, it’s important for squash players consider the advantages and challenges of incorporating multiple swings into their game.

One compelling advantage of employing multiple swings is the disruptive effect it has on an opponent. Imagine facing an opponent who can execute the same shots, like a straight drop or a drive, with different swings. The challenge of anticipating their moves becomes formidable, leaving a player unsettled on the 'T.' Meanwhile, a player wielding this repertoire exudes confidence and fluidity on the court.

However, developing consistency while making dynamic swing adjustments is a demanding task. A simple, traditional squash swing offers reliability because it minimises the chances of errors. Yet, when squash players find themselves out of position, a common occurrence in squash, their standard squash swing and traditional squash grip can restrict their shot options.

Here's a step-by-step approach to what squash players can do to strike the right balance between consistency and deception in their game.

Step 1: Establish a solid foundation through low-pressure pattern drills. These drills, such as drop-drives and boasts, reduces randomness and help attain favourable positions while honing traditional technique.

Step 2: Gradually expand the comfort zone by experimenting with different swings during low-pressure solo practice.

Step 3: Apply newfound skills and creativity in pattern drills, as mentioned in step 1.

Step 4: Players should challenge themselves with in conditioned games, where predictability is lower, but not the entire squash court is in play, for example, a length game.

Step 5: Over time, integrate players should evolve their skills and creativity into regular full-court gameplay.

Setting Realistic Expectations: players should remember that a journey of improvement will have its ups and downs. To gauge progress, squash players should consider this learning model:

Unconscious Incompetence: the stage where squash players don't even know what they don't know.

Conscious Incompetence: where squash players become aware of their limitations, like discovering the concept of different swings.

Conscious Competence: the phase where squash players can execute a skill with conscious effort and thought.

Unconscious Competence: the pinnacle where squash players perform a skill dynamically, without conscious thought, requiring extensive, deliberate practice.

In order to accelerate improvement, squash players should embrace the learning process, maintain a beginner's curiosity, and cultivate creativity in their squash training. By enjoying the journey and developing their skills, squash players can naturally unlock their full squash playing potential.