Friday, May 8, 2015

Swing Within Yourself

Today is going to be a short post, but an important topic. This will especially be so for most amateur males in particular. Today I'm going to discuss the importance of swinging within yourself. Most of us really enjoy hitting the ball as hard as we can, but pay close attention to the pros game and you'll find this is rarely done. It is not an efficient way to play over a long period of time. It also leaves you off-balanced and slow recovering to the T. At the amateur level it can also be quite dangerous.

When you get stuck playing bang ball type of squash you are not really thinking anymore. You are gripping the racquet tightly and this will make it very challenging to ever develop soft hands and a good drop shot. Another big issue with swinging at maximum power is that most people's technique starts getting sloppy. When this happens the ball is hit late and the depth is also way off as well. Hitting out of trouble may work against some people at your level, but players a bit better won't have any trouble exploiting this weakness. If you aren't accurate you will be doing all of the running.

If I play someone wild and overhits I just lob the ball and hit it deep to their backhand until they pop out a loose one. Then I hit short and they will be under pressure and this is where they begin doing their court sprints. You know they want to hit it hard and the ball is going to come back deep, so I wait for it and hit the next shot back down the wall. After a few rallies or a game, they eventually punch themselves out.

If you want to learn how to hit it harder, you should focus on improving your biomechanics. This includes transferring your weight into the ball, getting your racquet set in time and having the proper spacing when you make contact. If you use your core, torso and legs you will get much more pace on your shots and more efficient power than when you swing for the fences. This is why I titled this post, 'swing within yourself.' As soon as you begin taking an excessive swing to hit it harder most amateurs technique really falls apart. Then both players are at an increased risk of injury! And we already discussed the other issues with trying to overswing.

This doesn't mean you can't hit it hard. Just don't put 100% effort into any of your shots. Try maybe 90 or 95% even and you'll find yourself having more control and your shoulder and elbow won't be sore. You may even make it through an entire match without getting completely exhausted.

Some people get nervous and overhit early in a match. It's a macho thing. We want to hit it harder than our opponent. This isn't what wins matches at a high level. Power is a weapon, but not the most important one and it certainly isn't an advantage if your swing becomes too big and loopy and you can't control your shot.


1 comment:

  1. This post is excellent. I identify myself as "amateur male" hitting as hard as I can and doing most of the mistakes you mention in your article. For sure, something I am going to try to fix. Thanks!

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