The Lob

The LOB is perhaps one of the most underused and undervalued shots in the game of squash...but very important! It's time for your junior squash-player to start practicing this shot when solo-practicing or when practicing with their siblings and/or other family members.

A great way to respond effectively to squash “shot makers” and “power players” is by using the height on the front
wall by playing a lob. This is an essential skill to have, as it provides time to recover from being in a defensive situation into an attacking position.

Developing the lob requires a lot of practice, staying down low, having the racquet face open underneath the ball and finishing up high. Most great male and female squash-players today, including Ramy Ashour and Nicol David, have all-round games where they will use the lob to defend and attack against their opponents. Drills and conditioned games are excellent ways to improve playing the lob.

Two drills that build on each other are “boast and cross court lob” and the “boast, cross lob, straight drive/volley.” In the first drill, player “A” hits the boast and player “B” replies with a cross court lob; in the second, adding in the straight drive (more advanced) requires both players to move on court, taking turns playing the different shots.

From here you can work in a conditioned “above and beyond” game where player “A” hits above the service line and beyond the half court line, while player “B” has no conditions and plays a regular game.

Players at every level should be introduced to the lob. It requires time, practice, experience and confidence to use this skill efficiently and effectively. They should begin learning to use the lob from the two front corners, working on utilizing the height of the front wall to lift the ball high by staying down low, opening up the racquet face and following through up high, giving them maximum recovery time to recover.

Players will gain confidence by using the lob when serving and when defending off drops and boasts. This is where they want to start practicing the shot from all four corners. They should start to use the height on the front wall to allow them more time to recover to a good court position...ideally to the middle and back to the tee. Players will learn now to accurately hit with more height and depth off the front wall and will be able to have the ball drop down into the back corners. They can lob defensively and create opportunities to attack both down the line and cross-court.

SUMMARY

When lobbing...the keys are to stay low, open the face of the racquet and get under the ball, lifting it (with touch) high up onto the front wall. The goal is to have the ball land deep in the back corner(s) using a trajectory that keeps it tight to the back wall, making it difficult for the  opponent to volley when standing at the tee.