Squash Coaching Blog: Back Not Up

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I’ve spoken about this before but it’s definitely worth re-visiting as a reminder.

Rosner – Steep Back-Swing
Ramy – Low Back-Swing

On your back-swing, you want to bring your racket back, not up. You do not want to approach your shot with a very steep swing, it will make your attacking shots very error prone. Simon Rosner and Nick Matthew have particularly steep back-swings but I would say they tend to be the exception. If you look at players like James Willstrop, Mohamed ElShorbagy, Ali Farag, Karim Gawad, Daryl Selby and Ramy Ashour; they all have a back-swing which is generally between hip and shoulder height. When they have more time on the volley or off the back wall they can build their swing slightly higher for more power – but their default back-swing is lower than what you might expect.

This allows options to hit through the ball, or to build up in order to slice down on the ball when time permits. It also increases reaction time. Gregory Gaultier is another good example. His back-swing is reasonably big but it’s big and back, not big and high. He can slice the ball into all four corners and also hit a flatter power drive, and we know he can react to low drives too.

If you do find yourself constantly coming down on the ball from a high back-swing, their is the constant danger you will hit down into the tin. If your default back-swing is up (not back) then you can find hard low shots difficult to get back because of the length of time it takes to get your racket down to the ground from way up high.

So, have a look at your back-swing in a mirror and see how high it is. You might notice it’s higher than you realized, so then it would be worth taking it back lower to see how it feels and how it looks in the mirror. Imagine yourself playing a range of shots and hopefully you will see a lower back-swing gives you more options with a faster reaction time.

James – Low Back-Swing