We provide the complete guide to squash shots which a player can play to win the squash games against any opponents. Squash is a game of many angles, complex movements in all directions, and endurance. For anybody who has played the game for a few months, you’ll understand that having a strong arsenal of squash shots at your disposal is crucial for staying in matches and winning them. Whatever gear or equipment you have, it’s critical to know how to use it to defeat your opponents! Here, we’ve gathered some of the greatest videos of squash shots from a variety of sources, as well as our unique suggestions and techniques to perfect these squash shots. Here are the best examples we discovered of each shot, so have fun! It’s important to note that our approach to each shot may differ from what some coaches advocate, but it’s what has worked for us!
The serve is less important in squash than tennis or racquetball, but it is still critical to executing correctly. A serve that isn’t effective allows your opponent to take the initiative in the match by completing a kill shot or a drop shot off your serve. As a result, it’s critical to use the correct serve technique!
- Stand parallel to the sidewall on both forehand and backhand sides.
- Serve with your forehand from the left service box and backhand from the right service box for a right-handed squash player (lefties should reverse this). Why? As the ball approaches your opponent, it will move closer to the sidewall, making it more difficult for them to return the shot. For example, if the squash ball bounces further off the left side wall because you do not follow this rule and serve forehand from the right service box, giving the other player more time to hit a successful return of serve.
- As you serve, have your hitting footstep out of the service box and toward the T. It ensures that you’re already in the lead after serving, allowing you to take control immediately.
If you’re looking for extra information, take a look at my complete guide on the squash serve.
Forehand Straight Drive
The most basic shots in squash are drives, and they will frequently appear in each match.
When to use:
- Keep a match going behind the court until your opponent makes a weak shot.
- Your opponent uses the same hand as you and has a modest forehand.
- Your adversary uses the opposite hand to strike and has a poor backhand. When you’re a right-handed player against a left-handed opponent, the most typical situation is for you to use your strong forehand to attack the left side of their backhand.
- When you’re facing a player who excels at trick shots, flicks, or volley drops, limit the angles.
- Keep the other player in the rear of the court by forcing them to run out of stamina.
- During a difficult rally, regain your energy and endurance.
- Wrist locked and racket raised, with the back of the racket almost entirely above your head, giving you a slight pull in your back shoulder muscle.
- The back of the racket is parallel or at a slight angle to a sidewall. This ensures that your natural follow-through produces a straight forehand drive.
- Plant and hit off the same foot as your “handedness,” i.e., if you’re a righty, plant and smash with your right foot.
Note: Many “textbook” squash instructors and manuals advocate striking with your OPPOSITE foot (e.g., if you’re right-handed, your left foot). Although this may work, you’ll notice that the pros hit 90% of the time from the same foot as their “handedness,” even if you watch a few minutes of a professional match. Why? It’s more efficient to step or lunge towards the ball than to turn your whole body and hit off the other foot. On this one, I know what I’m talking about!
- The desired contact point of the ball is typically 1 meter (3 feet) in front of the racket. This is for the purposes of hitting through the ball rather than chopping it.
- To get out of the way, extend your non-hitting arm outwards.
- Drop the racket head and snap the wrist out of its locked position for added power and precision.
- Follow it to the front wall to ensure your driveway runs straight and down the sidewall.
- Back to the T, push off your right foot.
Racket head angled drive
Increase the squash racket head’s “openness.” Do this when you’re in a hurry and need more time to return to the T. This can be useful against a tall player since it allows you to score over their head.
Reduce the openness of the shot to produce a more level hit on the squash ball. This will result in fewer shots, putting more pressure on slower opponents.
Adding a significant amount of power to your drives is an excellent technique to irritate other players. Players will be confused as to what kind of shot they’ll see next, and it will tire many individuals throughout a game.
Backhand Straight Drive
This is the most popular shot in squash. People will frequently try to take advantage of the backhand in squash because it is generally the lesser side of any squash player. Long, drawn-out matches are quite frequent during professional games along the backhand sidewall.
When to use:
The forehand straight drive is equivalent, particularly if your opponent also has a poor backhand (and hits with the same hand as you). This is a significant vulnerability that can be exploited in a few minutes to turn your squash match in your favor!
- Keep your shoulders facing forward and turn your chest so that it is totally parallel to the backhand sidewall of the squash court.
- Racket up and wrist-lock your racket.
- Keep the arms back and away from the chest (for example, don’t “hug” yourself, or your body will come in the way of the swing). Feel the tug in your upper back shoulder muscle again.
- When swinging the chest, do not turn it. Keep your arm and hand perpendicular to the sidewall and swing through the squash ball.
- The ball is hit off the same foot as your hitting hand. On the backhand, this prohibition should not be broken; by striking with this foot, your shoulder will be able to turn correctly to hit through the squash ball.
- Do not flick the wrist while hitting the ball, as you would with a Forehand Straight Drive. Maintain your wrist locked in place to keep your arm muscles active and generate power.
- Follow the course of the shot.
It’s the same as the Forehand Straight Drive, and it can be quite successful if your opponent has a lousy backhand!
Forehand and Backhand Crosscourt Drive
Crosscourt drives are the most famous shot in squash, which is followed by straight drives. The many sides provide them a terrific asset for any squash player. They provide a lot of possibilities on the squash court for both you and your opponent! This is referred to as “opening up the court” because of all the corners formed.
When to use:
- Make it hard for your opponent to move into the rear sections. The crosscourt that wins is the one that has enough width and power to go through the other player and cause them to dig out the squash ball from the rear corners.
- Move the opponent around the court and make them weary. Crosscourt drives result in a lot of side-to-side movement and lunging, which can tire people out.
- Remove yourself from danger. If an opponent puts up a solid shot, especially a drop or kill, all we can do sometimes is lunge and smash a strong crosscourt. Because the ball is so far away, you won’t be able to push it straight.
The shoulders do not have to be square to the sidewall when hitting a crosscourt pass. The shoulders should be open more to the front wall, and the follow-through should go towards the center of the front wall. As a result, your squash ball will have ample distance to travel and get past your opponent.
Forehand and Backhand Drop Shot
Dropshots add a new dynamic to squash matches by forcing players to advance and repeatedly retreat to recover their service. They are a must-have shot in your bag in squash, especially for striking and winning outright points.
When to use:
- You hit a weak shot straight into the middle of the squash court from your opponent. You’re in control of the T, and they’re trailing behind you. A drop shot is a wonderful method to end the point.
- Get your opponent moving back and forth. Dropshots don’t need to be flawless to elicit a reaction and tire out your opponent. You can easily push a loose shot and win the match as long as they are firmly clamped to the sidewall.
- As a defensive drop shot, this is when your opponent has used a drop shot to get you in front of the court. Taking advantage of their mistake by playing a tight drop shot of your own puts the pressure back on them. This also prevents them from stealing your straight or crosscourt drives off their drop shot.
- Racket up, wrists locked throughout the complete swing motion, no wrist flicking
- To propel the squash ball forward, rather than hitting with a complete swing, drop the racket head and “push” it with your finger and thumb.
- Follow the corner you’re dropping in the same direction. This is crucial. The follow-through will determine the ball’s flight because we’re not doing a complete swing.
- Aiming for the ball to hit the front wall, then the sidewall nick.
During the drop shot swing, you may give the ball a backspin by slashing more under it with your squash racket. The ball will dip down swiftly after it makes contact with the front wall due to this. A drop shot can travel faster into the nick, making it even more deadly in squash. Your drop shot may bounce higher off the floor if it’s too high, allowing your opponent more time to retrieve it!
A topspin is created when you start your squash racket low and rapidly come over the ball. This spins the drop shot back towards the front wall, making it less accessible to your opponent. However, this is a very tough shot to make! You must descend to a remarkable degree and stand firmly on the planted foot.
This is a high-risk shot that must be played with a quick wrist flick. The front corners are targeted, with the ball aimed at the nick of the opposing front corner. If you’ve been mainly playing straight drops during a game and your adversary is reading you well, this can work. It’s also very daring for two reasons:
- It’s challenging to hit the nick from the other side of the court without considerable expertise. If you miss, the ball returns to the middle of the court, and your opponent will likely be able to execute a basic straight drive winner since you’ll be out of position.
- The longer the ball stays in the air, the more time your opponent has to react to it. A drop shot from the corner is more likely to be a better option since the point of contact will be closed, and the opponent will have less time to react.
Fading Drop Shot
When there isn’t enough of an angle to aim for the sidewall nicks, this squash shot is ideal (i.e., you’re dropping from a straight angle), or when you want to play it safe and not gamble on a winner. Instead, concentrate the shot so that the squash ball smashes into the front wall and fades to the sidewall. When your opponent attempts to hit the ball, it should be close enough on the sidewall to give them serious difficulties in hitting it, perhaps necessitating scraping their squash racket against the sidewall.
Back Court Drop Shot
Backcourt shots are hazardous since they allow your opponent plenty of time to respond. You can, however, surprise a player during a match of, say, straight drives. You may hit a deceptive straight drop from the backcourt by keeping your racket in a ready position for a straight drive and then removing most of the power on your shot. This is especially useful if there has been a period of several straight drives before dropping.
The ultimate squash shot for putting your opponent in an unfavorable position on the court, the boast strikes the side wall first, then the front wall, and rapidly pushes them back.
When to use:
- When your opponent has pushed ahead, they tire and force poor shots. A boast is a great approach to outsmart your opponent and send them lunging for the front corners. If your boast ends up not being a straight winner, you’ll have worn down the legs of your opponent, allowing you to get a weak volley attempt. This is an example of an attacking boast.
- In the rear corners, get out of trouble. A boast is a wonderful (and sometimes the only) method to dig the ball out if an opponent hits a dying length into the back corners, whether with a straight drive, crosscourt drive, or lob. This is referred to as a defensive boast.
- Bring your wrist up and racket back in the ready with the drives.
- Rotation of the shoulders will ensure that the racket follows through on their sidewall, as this will be the first point of contact with the squash ball. Instead, shoulders can be pointed towards the front wall, and the wrist used to angle the racket face to the sidewall in the last second (see “Deceptive Boast” below)
- The point of contact with the ball should be somewhat higher than the tin’s height. This is done to allow the ball to travel forward and for gravity to naturally dip the ball slightly lower before it strikes the front wall. We are aiming to get as near to tin as possible since this means a weaker shot that is more difficult for your opponent to retrieve.
- Continue until you’ve reached the sidewall.
A regular boast is simple to understand by an opponent, especially a skilled player or even an intermediate player. This is because the torso is angled, and the shoulders are pointing towards the sidewall. When the chest remains parallel to the front wall (forehand) or sidewall (backhand), as though we are about to hit a straight drive, it is considered a deceptive boast. At the last second before impact, flip the racket face open with the wrist to send the squash ball to the sidewall. This shot can be taken from any part of the squash court.
This is a fantastic attacking shot that many top players, such as Nick Matthew, James Willstrop, and David Palmer, employ. It’s completed in the frontcourt corners following an opponent’s lousy drop shot or volley drop. The opponent may anticipate a straight drive, crosscourt drive, or counter drop with the racket head up. Open the face of racket with the wrist at the last moment, similar to a deceptive boast. Because you’re in the front corners, the squash ball will strike the sidewall and then the front wall fast. The only way for the opponent to retrieve the shot is to read it and realize that you’re smashing it!
This is a difficult shot that requires a lot of wrist action. The objective is to strike the opposite wall first, followed by the front wall (i.e., if you’re right-handed, the ball will cross the court and contact the left side wall before striking the front wall). You’ll need to have your wrist locked and ready before hitting the ball, and the power will come entirely from a wrist flick on both the forehand reverse boast and backhand reverse boast. This shot can be played from any portion of the court, but there are a couple of things to consider:
- Backcourt – Squash balls can harm your opponent if they’re standing on the T. Make sure you’re extremely careful before attempting this shot from the backcourt.
- The backcourt – you’ll be relying on duping your opponent to get the victory. Why? You are giving the ball more time in the air by flicking it crosscourt to the opponent’s sidewall, allowing for more time for the opposing player to react and get back on defense. A straight drop shot is typically a more sound choice when in the front corners, as they are quicker to perish and more challenging to recover from nicks.
A skid boast is a safe shot that functions somewhat like a crosscourt lob. It’s finished when you’re out of position on the court, and the ball is slightly behind you along a sidewall. Hit the ball with full power upwards slightly to one sidewall. The ball will “skid” along the wall, resulting in a sidespin. The sidespin and upward trajectory of the ball will allow it to be crosscourt and above your opponent, which is hopefully dying in the opposite back corner when it reaches the front wall. It’s a difficult shot to perform perfectly!
Back Wall Boast
This is a squash player’s last line of protection during a game, though it isn’t quite a “boast.” This technique is employed when the ball goes behind you and the only way to hit it is in the direction of the back wall. The most crucial thing to remember is that the ball must rise off the back wall in order for it to reach the front wall. It’s also preferable to angle the shot so that it faces one of the front corners (for example, we don’t want the squash ball to contact the center of the front wall).
Volleys are a crucial squash shot to master. A shot is taken before the ball reaches the ground even once. They can significantly alter the tempo of a squash game and provide players with a variety of unique opportunities to end matches.
When to use:
- Intercept weak straight drives or crosscourt shots. You have a chance to get on the volley when your opponent delivers a weak shot if you hit a good length.
- Bring the game to a quicker pace. If you see the other player starting to settle into a rhythm or become fatigued, volleying might unsettle them and cause them to be frantic with the new fast pace of play.
- Finish a match. A volley is the most effective method to score a point, aside from the Drop Shot. Your opponent will generally be out of position since you’ll be taking the ball early, making it less likely that they’ll pick up your shot.
- Shoulders turned, racket high above the head (higher than drives)
- The wrist is locked and can break when delivering a forehand volley, but it must remain locked during the backhand volley.
- The ball’s contact point on the squash racket head is determined by whether you’re executing a straight volley or a crosscourt volley.
- The contact point on the straight volley should be in line with your shoulders on both the forehand and backhand.
- A crosscourt volley requires you to contact the ball slightly in front of your shoulders. The squash ball will cross-court as a result of your natural arm swinging.
- Follow through in the intended shot direction, as with drives and drop shots.
When your opponent strikes, this squash shot is ideal.
- A straight drive that isn’t snug against the sidewall
- A crosscourt shot that isn’t high enough or broad enough
Your racket head should be in the ready pose as soon as your opponent serves, with the wrist securely locked. Serve using the same approach as regular drop shots, but use your thumb and index finger to power and control the ball instead of your wrist.
Straight Volley Kill
This shot may also be fired off a weak straight drive or crosscourt hit. The squash shot’s goal is to propel the ball into the front corners, hopefully catching the nick and allowing the ball to roll out from the sidewall. However, if you don’t catch the nick, the ball may still go down the sidewall tightly. You have hit a solid straight volley drive that can still cause problems for your opponent, even if you didn’t strike an outright winner.
We’ll use the same volley technique as before, but we’ll aim for maximum power and follow-through down into the front corners. The contact point is placed in line with the shoulders to ensure that the ball goes straight. Also, cut the squash racket angle to avoid injuring the ball. We wish to hit the ball straight and hard; therefore, it will travel down rather than up.
Volley Crosscourt Nick (Crosscourt Volley Kill)
The final assassination in squash! This shot is commonly used by professional players like Ramy Ashour, Mohamed El Shorbagy, and Gregory Gaultier. The technique is the same as for the Straight Volley Kill, but the point of contact is farther in front of the body (to generate a crosscourt trajectory). The squash racket is lowered and across your body to the opposite side front corner with full power and a follow-through. We aim for just above the tin on the front wall, followed by the sidewall nip. This is a fantastic shot to take from this position:
- A poor straight drive
- An inadequate serve
Be cautious, though. This shot must be a success for it to work! It is all or nothing because if the ball doesn’t die in the nick, it will rebound back to the middle of the squash court. This will put you out of place and, in the worst-case scenario, a stroke against you.
This is a tough shot to execute, but it may cause your opponent a lot of grief. You’ll need to have the squash racket in the ready position, but at the last second, you’ll open the racket face more with your wrist and guide the ball into the sidewall first. Follow through should be downward, so the ball descends and strikes the front wall at a lower height than the sidewall, depending on how high the ball reaches your racket.
Volley Reverse Boast
This is by far the most challenging squash shot to execute, and many older players employ it on low service. This technique is similar to the Reverse Boast, but it’s done off a volley instead. The contact point is ahead of the body, and the follow-through extends down towards the adjacent front wall corner. The Volley reverse boast has a similar technique to the crosscourt volley nick, as we’re aiming for nearly the same zone on the squash court. It’s a great shot to use against your opponent when they are flat-footed. It’s also effective off of weak serves.
While not the most famous shot in squash, a lob shot is a tremendously valuable tool to have on the court. The aim is to send the squash ball over your opponent’s racket when held high above their head (trying to volley a lob). Ideally, the ball will then fall in one of the rear corners.
When to use:
- It will take some time to return to the T. A lob is an ideal method to buy yourself time to recover your position if your opponent hits a good drop shot or kill shot. The time the squash ball is in flight allows you to return to the T.
- Your opponent’s serves are weak overhead volleys. On the backhand volley, many players are weak, especially those who have poor technique. Take advantage of this vulnerability by lobbing up during the squash game and while serving.
- The second player is tiny. Short players benefit from being able to reach lower shots more readily, but lobs will be tough for them. It will be simpler for your lob shot to pass them and die in the rear areas.
- Wrist locked, as usual, the forearm muscle is activated.
- Plant your striking foot firmly.
- When the squash ball is dropping, get under it with the racket face. Depending on the shot that your opponent struck previously, you may have to lunge down considerably low to get your racket beneath the ball (for example, if they’ve hit a low kill or an excellent drop shot)
- Spin your wrist upwards (forehand lob) or quickly twist your forearm upwards (backhand). Note: the squash lob does not require more power. This should not be a complete swing but rather a quick flick.
- Follow the line upwards to the ceiling of the squash court.
- The objective is to send the ball high into the back corners and far enough for it to die.
During a match, lobs are most frequently performed from the front corners. The ball’s trajectory should be wide enough that your opponent cannot reach it, and it should strike the sidewall just below the service line, dying in the opposite back corner. It would help if you aimed for the target on the sidewall, which is usually about the same elevation as your serve.
This follow-up shot may be utilized when the opponent has hit a very tight straight drive or drop. The squash ball is clung to the sidewall, shutting down our possibilities. Because we anticipate the ball to fall short of its intended aim, simply toss it up as you would with a conventional lob. The squash racket might leave a scratch on the sidewall, and the ball might spray off the side wall slightly towards the middle of the court. But because we’ve built up such an enormous height, the ball will have plenty of time to get out of the way, and it’s likely to reach the backcourt still.
Back Court Lob
Backcourt strokes are executed from the middle or rear of the court. They’re employed to slow down the pace, change it up, or take advantage of a rival’s weakness if they’re weak at overhead volleying. These are less defensive shots in nature, and they may turn the tide of a match in your favor.
It is more of a trick shot or display shot than anything else, but it can be helpful in certain circumstances. The ball is launched upwards with maximum force, striking the front wall just next to the sidewall / front wall nick. The ball then flies up into the sidewall and curves over your opponent into the opposite back corner. It’s a tough shot to hit well, and it’ll most often be returned with a volley. If the squash ball strikes the front-middle of the squash court at about waist level, attempt this shot.
Forehand and Backhand Kill Shot
A “kill shot” is a low, hard shot that ideally dies in the sidewall nick, near the front corners. You can use these to finish off points when you have a weak shot. A volley kill is distinct from a squash ball bounce because it has already bounced once.
When to use:
- You have a power game if you receive a weak shot. This implies you’re better equipped to finish a point with a kill shot than a drop shot.
- You’re in the mid-court or backcourt when you get a weak shot. A drop shot isn’t the greatest option in these cases because the shot is sluggish and takes too long to reach the front wall, allowing your opponent enough time to react. In matches, a kill shot is ideal for these rallies.
- The opponent is tall. Even if tall players aren’t outright winners, short kill shots are very effective against them. Tall players will have to lunge low to obtain the balls, which will harm their cardiovascular health as well as their muscles.