Never underestimate the importance of consistency.
At a club level it is always the player who can consistently hit their back corner targets who will win. Nothing special is required – just nice shots that keep the rally tidy and keep your opponent in the back corners is what wins prizes. Do not fear that your shots do not have enough fade on them, and they are not dying away to a perfect length. If your shots are consistently hitting the back wall after bouncing on the floor, then you are doing your job perfectly. Do not worry if your opponent can get the ball back, the fact that they are consistently behind you and away from the T is enough to win. You will not just wear them down physically and mentally, but you will also create easy chances for yourself to finish the rally with more exciting volley drops.
Players who can sometimes hit a perfect dying length, or an awesome kill shot, or a delightful boast which rolls out the nick, but the rest of the time are hitting drives which are not reaching the back corners, will win some points but not enough to win the match. Always strive to be that guy who consistently hits nice shots into the four corners; the guy who doesn’t get flustered when the ball comes back; the guy who is happy to push one more shot into the back corner without getting annoyed or impatient – be that guy!
Your aim is to practice and practice basic drives until you feel you can hit a decent backhand drive from the front, middle or back of the court that is guaranteed to move your opponent away from the T. It’s not flash and it’s not complicated, but it’s what works. It’s more important than flair, than speed and than endurance. It’s always better to take pace off the ball to ensure it reaches the back corner, than to add pace if there’s a chance it won’t reach the desired destination. Only ever add pace if you know you can control it and that your shot quality will be sufficient – if not, hit softer because remember – consistency is the key!
Ali Farag is a nice example of this. Yes he has speed and endurance, and he can hit a Hollywood cross-court nick sometimes, but mainly he is so good because he hits his back corners consistently and at a consistent pace which he knows he can control, which means he is always in control of the rally. Nothing fancy – just simple accurate squash.