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Squash Grip: How to Correctly Grip a Squash Racquet

October 17, 2010 | Comments: 0 | Views: 135

Squash grip 1: Where to grip the squash racquet

There is no right or wrong, it depends on your preference.

Advantages of holding the squash grip lower towards the end of the squash racquet

You will have more reach with the squash racquet. You will get more power due to the increased leverage. However, because the squash racquet feels heavier it might be difficult to get it ready

in time if you are under pressure; with little time to prepare the squash racquet. It is most effective if you have time to take a full squash swing.

Advantages of holding the grip higher up towards the squash racquet head (choke up)

You will get more control, especially for drop shots. The higher grip facilitates squash racquet handling. You will be faster to prepare your squash racquet. Because of the decreased leverage( =racquet feels lighter), you will be able to maneouver the racquet head faster & more comfortably (=shorter swing radius). This is ideal for a quick volley and digging out those hard to get deep back wall shots and hitting shots in the middle of the squash court under time constraint.

Squash advice: The best titanium or graphite squash racquets will never improve your wrist or power game unless you know how to do it yourself. Book in a squash lesson with the local pro who can show you how!

Squash Grip Tip 2: How to hold the racquet

Because of the speed and great precision needed for the game of squash, it is very important to have good squash technique. Important squash advice, technique starts with the correct grip of the squash racket!! Without a proper squash grip, a good squash swing/shot will be difficult to achieve. Although unconventional squash grips can be successful in certain cases, there is no need to handicap yourself. If you are just starting out, this is a perfect time to learn the proper grip (and squash stroke). Squash advice: It is much more difficult to switch back once you have developed bad habits. Although it might be frustrating at first, try to focus on obtaining this fundamental skill. It is extremely important to master the correct squash grip early on, otherwise you will be stroking the ball incorrectly and find it very difficult to play the entire range of shots with ease. Furthermore your game will suffer for several months as you try and fix your squash grip after developing bad habits. Instinct would tell you to grip the squash racquet with a clenched fist. However, with that type of squash grip, the squash racquet has no control in the fore-aft and side to side motion. Squash advice: there is not one correct squash grip but what I believe a range of good squash grips. The vast majority of top squash players hold the racquet anywhere between the bottom to top of the handle. The thumb and index finger come together to form a nice V shape around the squash grip. You want the index finger spread out a little bit, that's what gives you the control and feel over the squash racquet. Squash advice: you don't want the index finger too close which might give you a little more power but you will definitely lose control.

You can use your non-racquet hand to see whether you have the index finger of your racquet hand properly separated from its neighbors. Simply place one - two fingers of your non-racquet hand in between the index finger and the middle finger of your racquet hand. When you push on the racquet head in fore-aft you should feel the racquet motion resisted by the extended index finger. Similarly when you push on the head in side to side direction you should feel the bottom palm of your hand resisting the motion. Hold the racquet with a nice firm grip, squash racquet head slightly open on the forehand and the backhand side by cocking the wrist. Squash advice: An open racquet face makes it easier to slice/cut shots and hit shots from behind your body. It also increases the chances that you can hit the ball to the back of the squash court. Squash advice: the squash grip remains the same for forehand and backhand strokes except in extreme situations. The speed of the squash game usually doesn't allow for squash grip changes. Keep the wrist firm when striking but not too tight to not cause tension in your hand or forearm. Squash advice: Holding the squash racquet with too tense a grip will greatly decrease the ability for fine coordination. One common mistake is that people bring their hand to the side of the squash racquet which closes the racquet face too much.

Squash grip tip 3: Details to know about the grip

Contact point: The contact point is critical for a squash stroke and is dependent on your grip, especially on the backhand. E.g. if your squash grip is very open on the backhand, the contact point is further in front than with a closed squash grip Squash advice: as a coach, it is important to pay attention to how your student holds the squash racquet compared to yourself as the contact point may be different. A slightly open grip is a good starting point. The squash grip should definitely be in a range that doesn't vary too much from a slightly open grip to enable you to play a full array of shots from all parts of the court. The wrist: should be cocked, but not too cocked, and relaxed enough. If you grip your squash racquet too tightly, the ability for fine coordination is decreased tremendously. Playing delicate shots like a drop shot will be more difficult with a tense grip. Squash advice: To have an open squash grip means you should see the squash strings of the racquet on the forehand side and on the backhand side. Tilt the wrist by rotating your forearm on both forehand and backhand to get a slightly open racquet face. Squash advice: don't lay back your wrist or you will end up with a closed squash racquet face

Changing the squash grip: As the game moves from side to side very quickly, sometimes in the air, making a big change to the grip from forehand to backhand and vice versa is not recommended. Your squash grip will unlikely end up in the ideal position under time constraint. Shifting it slightly however is very common for certain squash shots like retrieving deep shots out of the back corners Squash advice: a correct grip makes it easier to play difficult shots.

Adapting to the new squash grip

It is much easier to focus on your grip/swing if you are not under pressure. Spend some time hitting the ball by yourself up and down the wall to get a feel for the new grip. Even better, hold the racquet with the correct grip reading a book or other no pressure environments. It is difficult enough to get a feel for the correct grip when the ball is in play. Practicing the correct grip in these no pressure situations will increase the correct muscle memory. Initially you will need to check for the correct squash grip after every rally. You will likely shift it back to your habitual grip you have been using so far. Then move onto low pressure drills or matches focusing on maintaining the correct squash grip. Squash advice: you may find it difficult to hold the racquet tight with the new grip. Try adding over-grip(s) to increase the size of your squash grip to make it more comfortable adjusting to the new grip.

Dominique Chiquet Squash Professional Van der Merwe Center, Basel, Switzerland San Francisco Bay Club, US Bayclub Marin, US UC San Francisco, US UC Berkeley, US

Source: EzineArticles
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