How to Hit a Good Serve When Playing Squash

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The Serve Is All-Important

As is true in every racket sport, in squash a  good serve is a valuable weapon that can give you scoring advantage through helping you control the initial exchange. The slides below will show you how to hit a good squash serve every time. The demonstration is from squash professional Jonathan Lam. 

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Get In The Service Box

Prepare Your Target On The Front Wall. Steve Hufford

To prepare to serve, get at least one foot fully into the service box. Your foot may not touch any red line, and one foot must touch the floor throughout your racquet's contact with the ball during the serve.

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Focus on Your Front Wall Target

Pick your target carefully on the front wall. Too far to the right will give your opponent an easy volley away from the side wall. Too far to the left will make your shot hit the left wall too soon. Steve Hufford

With your weight on your back foot, begin to prepare to hit, while directing your visual and mental focus on your front wall target, which is roughly halfway between the right and left walls, and well above the red line.

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Toss the Ball in Front of You

A Simple Toss With Left Hand Extended. Weight Beginning to Transfer Forward. Steve Hufford

Make a simple toss with your left hand extended, tossing the ball in front of you, and just above head height. At this point, your weight should be centered on your rear foot. With a power serve, make sure to take a full backswing before rotating to hit the ball. 

On a lob serve, the body is usually turned a little more full on to face the target wall, and the ball toss may be slightly lower, and the swing less forceful. 

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Keep Your Eye on Ball Before Contact

Watching The Ball Onto Your Strings Is Imperative. Steve Hufford

After the toss, watch the ball closely since you want to make clean contact. Avoid being distracted by the target or by your opponent. A clean, solid hit is the key to maintaining control of the initial exchange that will follow. 

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Transfer Weight Onto the Front Foot

Hit Through The Ball, And Transfer Your Weight Forward. Steve Hufford

As you hit, transfer your body weight onto your front foot, being sure to keep the other foot within the service box until you finish contacting the ball. Ideally, most of your weight should be on the racket foot at the moment you impact the ball. 

The angle of the racket as it strikes the ball is critical. The face of the racket should directly face the target as you strike the ball. 

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Finish Your Stroke

Complete Your Swing, Then Begin to Move to Better Court Position. Steve Hufford

After you make contact, be sure to finish your swing completely, then begin to move into better court position. Follow through is critical to making sure the ball goes where you want it to with the desired velocity. 

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Take a Big Step Toward the T

Get Quickly Into Good Court Position. Steve Hufford

When your stroke is complete, move quickly towards the "T", using a big step. The quicker you can get to the "T" at center court, the better—you will have more time to watch your opponent and figure out where the ball is going next.

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Watch Your Opponent and The Ball

Watch The Ball And Your Opponent As You Continue To The "T". Steve Hufford

Keep your eye on your opponent as you move into better court position. Try to anticipate where your opponent plans to hit the ball on his first stroke. His body position will almost always give away his intention. 

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Slow Down at the Center of the Court

As You Approach The "T", Keep Watching The Ball And The Opponent. Steve Hufford

As you approach the T, slow your pace, and keep watching the ball and your opponent to learn what will happen next. Quick eye movements are essential here.

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Control the "T"

Your Good, Deep Serve Has Earned You The "T" And Put You In Control. Steve Hufford

After a good serve, you can position fully on the "T" and be ready to control the point. From this vantage, you will be able to reach many of your opponent's possible returns, no matter where he hits them. Controlling the center is a key to success at squash.