Wednesday, 16 May 2012

Keep your distance on the backhand

One of my players recently came to me with a dilemma. He said that although in matches and training with me, his backhand was fairly consistent, he was experiencing significant difficulties with hitting good backhands when he was drilling solo.

Now, bear in mind, that I advise all of my students to spend at least a couple of hours practicing solo in between coaching sessions. Virtually all of the great squash players have at one point or another specifically said that this is one of the biggest contributors to their success, the hours of solo drilling.

Now this particular student has been quite dilligent about getting on the court regularly in between our coaching sessions. And up to this point his solo sessions have been a great contributor to his steady progress and development as a competitive player.

So we went out to the court, but I stayed behind the glass to observe his solo practice. What became evident was that the distance between the body, and the ball was the same on both the forehand and backhand. During his solo practice this player was visually controlling the distance of the ball from his body, and he was keeping the distance the same on both sides. Biomechanically, it is easier to handle a ball on the forehand side that has come in closer to the body. But the same distance on the backhand side actually inhibits the stroke, resulting in less control, less power.

Thus, I advised this student to ensure that he increased the distance between the ball and the body on the backhand, compared to the forehand. This made the difference, and his stroke production was much more similiar to what he would hit when in a rally, or drill, and having to stretch into the ball.


The take away here:

1) Keep more distance from the ball on the backhand, then you have on the forehand.

2) When you're doing solo practice, try to keep your movement, positioning, and strokes as 'game-like' as possible.

1 comment:

  1. I had also similar problems with my backhand. Now, I will try to apply your suggestions on my next training session. Thanks


Thank you for your comments. I will get your comment up on the blog with a reply as soon as possible :-)