If you are new to the game of squash and want to practice your moves solo, you’ll find this article very useful. Alternatively, if you find yourself wanting to play some squash but all your partners are busy, you can get a lot out of the follow solo hitting drills that will keep you at the top of your game.
Training routines are an important part of becoming a better player. Ask any skillful squash player how they became so consistently good at the game and they will all tell you the same thing: practice.
Solo drills can help you perfect your game in a number of ways, including:
- Improving forearm strength
- Improving accuracy
- Improving power
- Improving technique
- Improving hand and eye coordination
And a host of other improvements to your gameplay. It’s like playing basketball, if you don’t practice your free throws, 3 pointers, and dribbling, you aren’t going to be well prepared to face an adversary. The same goes for Squash.
Solo Hitting Drills
Starting with the easiest and most obvious one, practicing your straight drives is important for developing your arm strength and pinpointing exactly where you want your drive to go. You can make this more fun by placing a target or two down and varying the speed and heights of your drives. Most players tend to hit at one tempo — try confusing your opponents in games by practicing different tempo drives.
Try focusing on the yellow dots on your ball (or blue or red if you are a beginner) in order to improve your concentration and to make sure you are keeping your head still when you practice. A foundation of good habits is important.
Hit your straight drives hard and aim for the back line of the service box — hit the ball again before it hits the back wall. While many players like to wait and take the ball after the peak of the bounce, you can try to push yourself by avoiding this and switching up your gameplay.
Short volleys are great for improving your speed. You can move towards and away from the wall in order to make this drill more challenging. Stand in front of the short line and hit the ball under the service line – but don’t let the ball bounce. It’s all about versatility, speed, and grooving your swing.
In the same positioning as short volleys, stand in front of the short line and hit the ball under the service line. Lower your short drives as you improve your speed. You can increase the strength of your forearm and groove your swing nicely with this drill.
Try alternating between hitting off of your right and left foot so that you can cultivate your ability to transfer your weight into your shot both ways.
Side Wall Drives
This drill in particular is great for nearly all beginners, intermediate players, and even some advanced players that are working on their technique to get it where they want it to be. Start by hitting the ball from your forehand into one sidewall, so that the ball hits the other sidewall — now hit a backhand into the sidewall so that it goes back where you started.
If you want to work on your racket preparation, stepping into the ball, spacing, and more, this is a great drill. Try hitting all of the sidewall drives within the service box width and if you get good at it, hit the service line on each shot. Keep challenging yourself with every drill.
This is one of the most popular solo drill swings for a reason. It’s great for warming up a squash ball and warming up for a game. You should start on the bounce and work your way up to the volley. See how many times you can get the ball to hit under the service line as you go on.
One corner hard, low drives
A favorite of squash players for forearm cultivation, this drill is more for the advanced player rather than beginners. Stand in front of the short line and aim into the front right corner (if right handed — if left handed, do the opposite). If you continue this drill for a few minutes, you can begin to really feel it in your forearm, which is great for building up your muscle tone.
Drops on the bounce
Practicing your short game should always be a priority in solo practice. Try this drill after practicing your figure 8’s when the ball is warm. Try hitting a high 2 (or 3) wall boast, cut the ball into the nick, and hit another high boast to the other side of the court. Drop into both corners from your forehand and backhand.
If you attempt these drops with different angles of a receiving ball; after much practice you can really begin to get an eye for quick response and gameplay. This drill will help you take advantage of any opening in a match where you can bring the ball in short with precision.
Last, is volley drops. You can practice volley drops by doing straight short volleys from around the short line or while doing figure 8’s. Hit two or three volley drives and then hit a volley drop — keep repeating this in order to get a more natural and instinctive feel for volley drops.
If you are a beginner, check out the links to the articles below for tips on squash balls, warming, the best rackets for beginners, brand name racket reviews, squash shoes, and other tips, gear, and guides.