by David Heath

Squash is a sport which allows a lot of solo practice and this is an important part of improving your game at any level.

Solo practice is a time to groove your strokes, add new ones and practice different ways of hitting the ball. Try put different grip positions and watch the effect on the ball eg. An open racquet face will give backspin, while a closed face will provide top-spin.

Here are a few different practices you might like to try:


Vary the power and height of the balls you hit. Try to concentrate on playing balls which will be difficult for your opponent to take early on the volley. With an attacking length the ball should be dying on the second bounce at the back wall nick. A more defensive length should bounce onto the back wall after the first bounce.


Practice low shots into the front corners from the middle area of the court. Open the racquet face and take the ball on the top of the bounce.


Like above, take the ball early, open the racquet face and take the pace off the ball.


Stand on the short line, hit the ball just above the tin over and over, practicing the speed of racquet preparation. Repeat for other side.


Stand close to the front wall and volley the ball back to yourself. Move backwards until your confidence is high enough to stand at the back of the ser-vice box and play continuous volleys (both sides). Figure of 8 volleys: Stand on the "T" and volley off the front wall and side wall so the ball comes back to you. If your control is good you should be able to play forehand, then backhand volleys without moving too much from the "T". Volley drops: Stand in the middle of the court, set the ball up and play a volley drop into the corner. Volley kills, straight and cross, can also be practiced like this.


You might like to practice deceptive shots, using the wrist to disguise your intentions. Flick the wrist through quickly in the direction you wish the ball to go. A little pause before you strike the ball is helpful here. Crosscourt flicks and trickle boasts are shots you might like to try.

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