Squash can be a very challenging sport to learn, but once you master the basics, your learning curve will increase exponentially. With any racket sport, it is vital that you learn the proper techniques for gripping the racket and striking the ball.
Importance of Straight Lengths -
With squash, the most important shot you should learn is the straight length on your forehand and backhand. There is a temptation in squash to hit the ball cross court and as hard as you can. After all, that is how one would approach most tennis matches. However, the strategies in tennis and squash are very different.
Elite squash players will develop the ability to hit straight lengths on their backhand and forehand without any effort. A straight length refers to a shot that hits the front wall near the side, at a central height, and eventually moves into the corner of the court. For example, if you move to hit a straight lengths with your forehand, the goal is to get the ball as close to the right back corner as possible.
Accurate straight lengths can give you a huge advantage over inexperienced players. The closer a straight length is to the side wall, the harder it is to hit the ball on the volley. This forces the opposing player to run towards the back of the court and dig the ball out from the bottom corner. Their resulting shot will probably be weak, and they will be on the run, which gives you the chance to play a kill shot near the front of the court.
Kills Shots / Drop Shots -
The drop shot can be a very effective tool in your squash armory. The best drop shots are played at an angle that causes the ball to drop as close to the front of the court as possible, while also being very close to the side wall. While hitting a drop shot, it is important to approach the ball at an angle. This allows you to angle your shot so that the ball dies near the front corner.
Drop shots are very effective when added into a rally of good length shots. For example, a typical rally would involve you hitting five or six very good length shots. This causes your opponent to be on the back foot, because they anticipate the ball going in the back corner. Every so often, you can throw in a quality drop shot to keep them on their toes.