23 May 2022 / 3-Min Read / Translate↗
Hitting the ball hard in squash is not about how strong you are, it’s about using the right muscles at the right time. That said, being strong in the right places also helps.
Another requirement of being able to hit the squash ball hard AND accurately is good technique. Squash, like other racket sports, has its own technique that minimizes the effort needed to hit the ball at the maximum speed in the minimum space available. You can’t use a tennis swing on a squash court, not if you want to remain safe and effective.
You also can’t use a badminton wrist flick either because squash rackets are just too heavy. So that leaves good squash technique.
I’m not going to discuss the specific swing technique used for forehand or backhand squash swings, but I do want to talk about timing. Timing is the ability to use the right muscles at the right time and of course that is highly connected with swing technique, so make sure you get some lessons. The first thing you need to do when trying to hit the ball is relax!
Yes, that sounds counter-intuitive, but if you are tensing the wrong muscles you will be inhibiting the natural flow of you body. The next thing you should do is learn to transfer your weight into the ball. That’s why you sometimes see small players who can hit the ball very hard despite their size; their use their weight.
Ideally, you should make contact with the ball as you take the last step towards the ball, this will ensure you are transferring most of you weight into the ball. However, you shouldn’t be too close nor too far away from the ball. The right distance is where you are reaching but balanced.
The moment of impact is very important to hitting the ball cleanly and hard. Any wobble of the racket head means that energy will be lost. Good technique is used to ensure that the swing is compact and uses the forearm muscles rather than the “flick” seen in badminton.
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Like nearly everything, you must practice hitting the ball hard. Solo practice is perfect for this. Do 1 minute hitting the ball as hard as you can, then 1 minute hitting 50% your maximum. That is one set, do 5 sets every week and within a few weeks you will notice a difference in your hitting speed.
Two words of caution though, firstly, try to maintain a good technique when swinging and secondly don’t try to hit at 100% during matches until you feel you can control the ball at that speed.
Hitting the ball hard is a great feeling. Hitting the ball hard WITH control is even better! Practice power and accuracy together.