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Squash Tips - Backhand

In squash, the backhand is often seen as a more challenging swing compared to the forehand, but once mastered it is then the prefered. However, with the right technique and practice, your backhand can become a powerful weapon in your game. Whether you’re a novice or a seasoned player aiming to enhance your backhand, these key tips from Orange Squash will help you refine your technique and elevate your performance on the court.

1. The Grip

The proper grip lays the foundation for an effective backhand, like the forehand, the backhand also uses the same grip, but instead we hold the racket with our knuckles facing the ceiling. Hold the racket handle diagonally across your palm. This grip provides versatility and control, essential for executing powerful and precise backhand shots.


2. Stance and Footwork

Good stance and footwork are crucial for a strong backhand:

- Stance: Stand with your foot closest to the front wall forward and your other foot back while facing the side wall. Bend your knees slightly, and keep your weight on the balls of your feet to facilitate quick movements.

- Footwork: Positioning is key. Move quickly to ensure the ball is aligned with your front foot or just in front, if your shot hits the side wall more often than not you probably aren't behind the ball enough. Use small, quick steps to adjust your position as needed. Proper footwork helps you maintain balance and readiness.


3. Swing Mechanics

The swing is the core component of the backhand swing:

- Backswing: Start with a high backswing, bringing the racket up and back. Your non-dominant shoulder should face the back wall, and your elbow should be slightly bent. Imagine slightly facing the back wall on the backswing, start small with this but gradually increase this rotation.

- Downswing: Drive the swing with your hips and shoulders. Your core should generate most of the power, while your arm guides the racket. The swing should be smooth and controlled.

- Contact Point: Hit the ball slightly in front of your body, around waist height / top of the bounce. This positioning helps maintain control and power.

- Follow Through: After hitting the ball, let your racket follow through across your body, ending high. A proper follow-through ensures maximum power and accuracy.


4. Body Rotation

Effective body rotation adds power and control to your backhand:

- Shoulder Rotation: Rotate your shoulders as you swing, ensuring they lead the motion. This rotation helps generate power from your core.

- Hip Rotation: Your hips should follow the shoulders in a synchronised motion. This coordination ensures balance and adds extra force to your shot.


5. Timing and Rhythm

Perfecting your timing and rhythm is essential for a consistent backhand:

- Timing: Hit the ball at the top of its bounce to maximize control and accuracy, when you improve you can try taking the ball earlier or later.

- Rhythm: Develop a smooth, rhythmic swing where each phase flows naturally into the next. This fluidity enhances both power and precision.


6. Use of Wrist

While the backhand relies primarily on the shoulders and core, the wrist plays a crucial role. A slight wrist snap at the point of contact can add spin and direction to your shot as well as some deception. However, avoid overusing the wrist, as this can lead to inconsistency and a sore wrist. Get the basics done first before playing with this too much.


7 Practice Drills

Incorporate specific drills into your practice routine to improve your backhand:

- Shadow Swings: Practice your backhand swing without the ball to focus on form and mechanics. This can be done while standing still or when ghosting your movement too.

- Solo Drills: Hit backhand shots against a wall, aiming for a specific target to improve accuracy and control.

- Solo Target Practice: On the court, place markers in different areas to aim your shots, enhancing precision and placement.


8. Video Analysis

Recording your practice sessions and matches can provide valuable insights into your technique:

- Self-Analysis Review the footage to identify areas for improvement, such as body positioning, swing path, and follow-through.

-Professional Feedback: Share the footage with a coach for expert analysis and personalised feedback.


9. Professional Coaching

Consider working with a squash coach like Orange Squash who can provide tailored guidance:

- Expert Advice: A coach can identify subtle issues in your technique and suggest drills to address them.

- Personalised Training: One-on-one coaching sessions can accelerate your improvement by focusing on your specific needs.


Improving your backhand in squash requires a combination of proper technique, consistent practice, and ongoing self-assessment. By focusing on your grip, stance, swing mechanics, and body rotation, you can develop a powerful and reliable backhand shot. Remember, persistence and

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