Squash Coaching Blog: Back Up Your Volley

posted in: Coaching | 0

Back Up Your Volley

So often I see a player hit a volley (either they have played it to the front or to the back) and then retreat / step back from ‘The T’. Hitting one volley is not good enough, you must hold your position in the middle of the court and look to play another volley immediately after.

David Palmer volley

If you have played a volley drop shot, you must stay in the middle of the court leaning forward. Ideally you want to volley your next shot to the back of the court, so your opponent has had to move from the back of the court to the front, and then to the back again. To play a volley off your opponents drive from the front, it is easiest if you are in the very middle of the court. If you are further back there is more chance of your opponents cross-court evading your reach (as the further back you are the wider the ball travels. You need to stand forward to narrow the angle, like a goalkeeper coming off his goal-line to reduce the target area of the goal). You also need to lean forward in your central position to be able to cover the front corners in case your opponent hits a counter drop or trickle boast.

If you have played a volley to the back of the court, you must stay in the middle of the court because you need to be looking to play a second volley in a row, and again this volley can go to the back again if you like. Any volley shot which heads toward any of the four corners is an attacking shot. 2 volleys in a row is a very attacking combination, as it deprives your opponent of recovery time. There is no point in playing a volley and then giving away your initiative by standing too far back in the court; that way you are allowing your opponent to get themselves out of trouble to easily.

Volleys in a rally ideally need to be played when you are stood in the middle of the court. If you play your volley when your back leg is on or close to ‘The T’, then your opponent cannot be on ‘The T’ (because you’re there), which means they are not in a good position to cover the court, so you simply volley in to the space. If you volley from deeper in the court (eg. anywhere behind the back of the service box) your opponent will be in front of you, so it is basically crazy to attack from here. You can still volley from here but it has to go to the back.

Summary: Always look to volley 2 or 3 times in a row. Hold your ground in the middle of the court after you have played a volley, and try to back it up with another volley. Always try to volley from the middle of the court. Here you have options to hit aggressively to the front or back. If you volley from further back in the court you can only hit a more conservative volley to the back.