List of Squash Skills
Squash is a popular racket sport which is played by two or four players, on a court with four walls. The objective is to hit the ball so that your opponent cannot return it. The basic skills in squash are forehand, forehand drives, and backhand drives. However, there are more important skills to use in order to be a good squash player and win your matches.
- Forehand Drive
- Backhand Drive
- Drop Shot
- Kill Shot
- Boast Shot
The simplest shot in squash, a forehand is any shot that you hit on your dominant hand’s side. If you are right handed, a forehand is a shot that you hit on the right side of your body. If you are left handed, it’s any hit shot on the left side of your body. A forehand shot can be performed anywhere on the court. This skill is one of the simplest to learn, and one that you will practice a lot as you start up playing squash.
A forehand drive is a special kind of forehand shot. This skill is a forehand that you hit next to a sidewall on the squash court. This skill is also called a “straight drive” on either side of the court. When you hit it on your forehand side however, is when it becomes a forehand drive. This is a very popular skill at the higher level of squash. Oftentimes you’ll see players hitting lots of drives, challenging each other. Since it is harder to hit the ball close to the wall, the goal of hitting a forehand drive is to challenge the opponent. If your opponent has an opposite dominant hand than you, you may want to hit many forehand drives to force them into backhand drives.
If a forehand is a shot to you, then you hit on the opposite side of your dominant hand. This skill is often underdeveloped in younger squash players because it is a more unnatural motion than a forehand. With a backhand you want to focus on keeping your hand down. While in tennis and other racket sports a backhand may be with one or two hands, you almost always want to hit a backhand with one hand.
Like its counterpart, the forehand drive, a backhand drive is a shot up against the wall that is usually played long. A backhand drive is a bit harder than a forehand drive, in the same way that a backhand is generally more difficult than a forehand to hit. If you can avoid it you don’t want to hit very many backhand drives, and you want to force your opponent to hit as many backhand drives as you can. This will increase your likelihood of winning.
Once you get the hang of hitting regular shots, a drop shot is a skill that any good squash player should have. A drop shot is a shot that is intended to deceive the opponent by just barely grazing the wall and landing on the ground. This is a shot that you’ll want to use when your opponent is backed up, as this shot will force them to run towards the wall and may catch them by surprise. The way to hit a drop shot is to slow your swing, cutting down on the ball so it softly taps your racket and lightly moves towards the wall.
Another more advanced squash skill, a volley is a shot that is not seen as much in squash as it is in other racket sports. A volley is a shot that you hit before the ball makes contact with the ground. A volley is a good shot if you get caught near the wall. It’s a good way to hit a drop shot, and a good way to hit a crosscourt shot and beat your opponent. Since squash balls do not bounce as much as other balls in racket sports, you won’t see many volleys unless the player is close to the wall. If you find yourself in a situation where a volley is appropriate, it is a good opportunity to win a point.
If you ever get the chance, a kill shot is one that will get you a win on a big point. A kill shot is also referred to as an overhead smash because you hit it with your arm above your head, usually when the ball bounces up high off of the wall. This shot is one of the hardest hit shots, and often players will win a point using a kill shot. It’s not one that you’ll get to practice very often but it is a good skill to have in your arsenal.
Unlike other racket sports, the serve is similar to a regular shot in squash. You can serve with a forehand or a backhand, though you will most likely want to choose a forehand because it will be stronger. However, when you’re serving you will want to hit the ball high enough off of the wall, and into the back quadrant of your opponent's side of the court. You don’t have to spend a ton of time practicing this skill, because it is not as important in squash. However, you want to have a strong serve to set yourself up to succeed for the rest of the rally.
A boast shot is a shot where you hit one of the side walls or even the back wall, and the ball bounces off and hits the front wall. Especially in squash, where the balls aren’t as bouncy, doing this is more difficult. A skill like this can confuse your opponent and create a touch angle for them to return your shot. Hitting a good boast is something that will take you a lot of practice, especially if you are new to walled racket sports. However, if you master this skill you will be successful in winning tough points against your opponent.