At last, we have some warm weather in England! This means squash courts turn into a hot, bouncy “sweat box”. I personally love playing when it’s warm on court and the ball is bouncy. I have spoken before about how bouncy balls provide a new challenge, and that is the challenge of control. It is much more difficult to control a bouncy ball than a cold one, hence why it is good practice to play on a warm squash court, not to mention the extra aerobic workout you get from longer rallies. But this blog is about something slightly different…
While coaching this last week I’ve noticed that judgement is something which has been a struggle for most. Even before they were getting the chance to practice their control of hitting a good length with a bouncy ball, they were mis-hitting the ball because they did not adjust their timing.
When the ball is bouncier than normal, the ball bounces higher and either further forwards or backwards. Especially when playing drives off the back wall, players were not allowing for the extra bounce and the result was they were hitting the ball too far in front of their body. You must be ready that the ball will come further forward from the back wall, so you need to adjust you feet too.
To hit a good straight drive you generally need to strike the ball either when it is central to your body or level with your front leg. If you strike the ball ahead of your front leg you will hit a loose drive or be forced to hit cross-court. So, I am saying that with a bouncy ball you need to pay extra attention to where you strike the ball in relation to your body. This is normally an aspect of your shot you can take for granted, but in hot conditions you must adjust. Really watch carefully. Watch the bounce and watch the ball on to your strings with much more scrutiny than usual. Do this in the knock-up then hopefully by the time the first rally starts you have made the adjustment and you can focus on you shot selection.