Squash Coaching Blog: The Importance Of A Good Length

posted in: Coaching, Performance | 0

The importance of a good length

Hitting a consistently good length is so vital to playing quality squash and winning matches. I’ve just been watching a top level match in the Asian Championships and it was so obvious that when either player was not hitting their targets in the back corners they would lose the rally, and if both players were not hitting their targets at the same time, the rallies were incredibly scrappy and a free-for-all.

A good length enables you to control the front and the middle of the court and volley more, so therefore dictating the rally which puts you in a perfect position to win the rally. Obviously a really good length can win you the rally outright.

What is a good length? You need to be hitting the back of the service box line, ideally within a 4 floor board width to the side wall. The prefect drive runs parallel to the side wall, not one that hits into the side wall, as pace will come off the ball which will usually mean the ball will stop too short giving advantage to your opponent.

Obviously you want to hit this back of the service box target every time, but it is better to hit too long than too short. A slightly over-hit length still moves your opponent off the ‘T’ even though their shot is not too difficult, but a drive that lands too short does not achieve anything apart from putting yourself in trouble!

A Cross-court length varies depending on where you are on the court, but irrelevant of where you are on the court and what type of cross-court length you are hitting the goal is the same – to get the ball to evade your opponents volley and all the way into the back corner. It is no good to evade your opponents volley by hitting especially low or wide but the ball still ends up in the middle of the court (by this I mean bouncing around the service box). Your cross-court must bounce behind the back of the service box.

So, a consistent good length opens up all possibilities for you. A consistently short length, or even one length which is too short or too wide (or both) will put you on the back foot and enable your opponent to dominate.

Summary. Perfection is difficult (obviously!), but it is also better to hit too long than too short.

Coaching - Length