THE KILL-SHOT

 

The kill shot is the most emphatic demonstration of dominance. Such a shot, struck with great power and accuracy could be bouncing twice, before the opponent begins to understand what has happened. An adversary on the receiving end, is dealt a most offensive blow and may be left shaken. Being down during a match against a player who powers the ball extremely low and often into the nick, would do no good to anyoneís confidence. Take a look at these video clips and try to see the ball!!†† play video†††† play video

 

At the same time, the sticker will be feeling awesome, especially if he manages this shot from the backcourt. So, what is the drawback here? How come past world champions didnít make a living out of this shot. The answer is partly because only now, with the 17-inch tin, the shot has become more effective. However, the true reason is that it is almost impossible to continue going for this shot with high rates of success when a few centimetres of accuracy make all the difference. A little too high, and the opposition has the upper hand, a little too low and the striker has given away the point with an unforced error.

 

There are so many other ways of working your opponent, keeping him behind, making him run, wearing him down physically and mentally, and going for less risky shots at the right time. This is carefully thought-out percentage squash, for champions who know how to almost guarantee victory.

 

This is not to say that the kill shot does not have its place. It most surely does. As mentioned above, it could shake many opponents, but it is not to be overused.

 

Below, you will find some technical advise on how to achieve best results when attempting this shot. First of all, make sure your basic technique is sound and that you can hit the ball quite hard with little effort. Straight away, it is clear that the kill shot is only reserved for advanced players.

 

You should start out by hitting the ball at a medium pace. The important point is to have good balance and lots of accuracy, rather than infinite power. The trick is in the trajectory of the ball. It should be hit downwards and as low as possible. play video If the ball is struck off a high bouncing ball, the downward trajectory is made perfect. play videoOn the other hand, if the point of impact is already low, the resulting shot may be just above the tin but not very effective.The ball would strike the nick further down the court around the cut-line area. The opponent would only have to move sideways to reach the ball, and if struck from a central position as in the photo below, a let situation would easily arise. In the photo below, however, Johnny White has struck the ball perfectly, from a high point, making it "die" short at the front.

 

Notice that the straight kill-shot is effective when played from the mid-court area as shown in this photo. The opponent finds it hard to understand whether the hard struck ball will end up short or long. This is the great advantage of the kill shot. Until the last moment, it may seem like the player has shaped up to drive hard to the backcourt. Instead, he strikes the kill-shot downwards, just above the tin and the ball dies at the front.

 

 

 

 

 

Another good position to execute this shot is from the backcourt. †††††††††††††††††††††††††††

 

The photo demonstrates how the ball comes off the sidewall, as the opponent is moving sideways and expecting a hard drive to the back.

 

Some top pros such as Johnny White and Amjad Khan are specialists at hitting the kill shot as the ball comes off the back wall. The position can be seen in this photo. The ball bouncing high onto the back wall at a distance from the sidewall, is perfect to hammer into the nick. Chris Walker, standing anxiously on the T, does not know whether to move forward for the kill shot or backwards for an eventual power drive.

 

 

 

The kill shot from the frontcourt is not advisable. It is very easy to create a let or stroke situation when choosing such a position.

 

Now try the cross court kill-shot. play video Be it from the front or backcourt, remember that if you donít hit the nick, the ball will probably end up onto your opponentís racket. Lots of practice and accuracy are essential before using this shot in a game. This video clip is borrowed from the Shot Squash 2000 training system. . play video It is easier to place the right foot forward when playing this shot.

 

 

 

 

 

To see how to add deception to the kill-shot, go to the dedicated section by clicking here.

 

 

 

 

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