How to start your practice sessions.
So, you have a practice partner and you’re both keen and disciplined enough to dedicate time to routines to further your improvement. That’s absolutely great, but what should you be doing in your 40 minute session?
Whatever your overall goal, whether or not you have a specific one in mind, always start the same way. Do not start with ‘boast and drive’ like almost everybody does. In general I would advise avoiding this routine, unless you are both taking two shots at a time. By this I mean the player at the front drops to themselves and then drives. The player at the back will drive straight and then boast.
I am not too keen on normal ‘boast and drive’ because for personal experience it encourages you to boast too much when you play match, putting you in trouble over and over again, and it can be bizarrely hard to stop. Progressions of ‘boast and drive’ are much more useful for both players. I will address these in Friday’s blog.
I would suggest starting any practice session with straight drives, or an ‘alley rally’, whatever you call it. This is the best and most productive way to begin after the knock up. If you and your partner feel you are not yet good enough to have a tidy rally up and down the same side wall, then start with ‘drop drive’, where the player at the back straight drops and the player at the front straight drives. These routines promote great control and tidy squash. Your aim on every straight shot is to try to make the ball run parallel along the side wall, or as close to the wall as possible. You do not want to hit into the side wall, because it will make the ball stop too shot near the middle of the court.
Once you have spent some good time doing either an ‘alley rally’ or ‘drop drive’ or both, and on both sides, then you can move on to try other routines which may include different shots you want to practice, or more movement.