In case you don’t know, a volley is a shot that is hit before the ball has bounced. For example, a serve is a volley, although in this case, the server throws the ball in the air, rather than it coming from the front wall.
As I mentioned in the introduction, the term comes from tennis, where it is played more than in squash. That’s not to say we don’t play it in squash, it’s just not as common at club level.
One interesting thing about the squash half-volley is that it can be played with a little topspin due to the nature of the swing and the lowness of the point of contact. Remember, the half-volley shot is played when contact with the ball occurs just after the ball has bounced.
It is normally played near the middle of the court, but can be played at the front or back corners. When you play a half-volley you are almost certainly playing an attacking shot and trying to rush your opponent. They might have hit a fast and low drive and you reacted quickly and took the ball early.
I mentioned height in the previous paragraph and this is a great game to improve you lobs, both straight and crosscourt, some make sure you use the full height of the court.
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There’s more benefit to adding topspin to the half-volley because at the point of contact the ball is rising. You often have to have a very short swing and have little time to get your body into a low position.
It’s most effective when played from your opponent’s crosscourt shot, where you play the straight half-volley into the front corner. It’s not an easy shot to practice alone because when hit well, it doesn’t come back very far.
A great way to practice it is by playing the “Front/Back” game, which I described yesterday, although you need fast reactions to play it well.
It’s a great way to rush your opponent and add another shot to your arsenal of shot weapons. It does require some practice, but it’s a great feeling when you hit the shot well. Go try it today!
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