You must focus on deliberate practice
with any squash drill. Deliberate practice means the drill should challenge you
in one specific way. In addition, your accuracy in the drill needs to be measurable. You will never improve
by just practicing your favourite shots over and over. You need to stimulate your brain with challenging tasks that
force you to learn a new way of doing things. Only then will you improve in the game.
For example, if you are weak on slowing the pace of games down,
then do a drill where you only focus on hitting the ball soft and high to get it deep. Measure to yourself
how many are landing where they should. Once you are satisfied with the results, move on to another drill that
challenges another weak aspect of your game.
The bread and butter drill for two persons is the boast and drive. See this
sample clip from former world number #1 Johnathan Power's DVD
You can add the drop to the same drill:
If you do not have a partner, then practice hitting the ball up and down the
wall to yourself. Spend 10 minutes on each side. Aim for the service line and try and get the ball to bounce
within a few feet from the sidewall. As you get better your target area will narrow to just a few pieces of wood
from the sidewall. Knock it up and down and try and get into a rhtyhm. Keep the ball in play and don't kill it or let
it bounce twice. Ideally the first bounce will be near behind the service box. (If the ball was left unhit, its second bounce would be on the floor near to the back wall )
Repeat for the backhand side
Once you have confidence hitting the ball tightly up and down the wall, you will find your opponent giving
you many weak returns from the back corners. The first thing you need to be able to do is to volley drop these
returns to put them away for winners.
Simply stand at the short line and practice hitting straight volleys drops to oneself. Feed
the ball to yourself by playing a soft lob, then volley drop it. Aim for as close to the tin
as possible and try and get the ball to bounce at least twice before returning to you. You only need a half-swing
to execute this shot. Avoid a lengthy racquet preparation by bringing the racquet behind you. This will slow you down
in executing your shot. You want to use the pace of your opponent's shot to put the ball away quickly for a winner.
Make sure your foot is
pointing to the wall and you are balanced while hitting. Ideally the foot pointing to the wall should be the one opposite your
backswing (i.e left-foot on forehand side for right-handed player / right-foot on backhand side for right-handed player, etc.).
Again keep it tight and emphasize quality over quantity. Practice for 5-10 minutes. Repeat for the backhand side
Now that you can hit straight drives and straight volleys, the last thing left is the straight drop. Play this shot
when your opponent is forced to boast from the back corners. You can also play the straight drop off a weak
cross-court or short straight drive. Here is a quick and fun drill where one player hits cross courts and the other
plays straight drops off them.
A typical 35 minute routine would be:
10 minutes forehand straight drives
2.5 minutes backhand straight drop (ball will be warm from the drives)
10 minutes backhand straight drives
2.5 minutes forehand straight drop (ball will be warm from the drives)