There may seem to be a conceptual contradiction here. A player would probably think, "what is the point of taking the ball early if it is then lofted into the air, giving the opponent more time"? There are numerous answers to this question. First, a player must bear in mind that the lob is often used as an attacking shot. Besides, if a player, who is trying to slow the pace of a rally in order to move less, receives an easy volleying opportunity, the lob is ideal. He has managed to stand on the T, and gain the extra time gap between his shot and that of the opponent.


This exercise borrowed from the Shot Squash 2000 training system demonstrates how the player who chooses to execute the volley lob gains an excellent central position and commands from the T.   play video 


In this video clip, it is clear how effective the lob can be when played on the volley. Taking the ball early while the opponent is still in front of the T, guarantees sending him to the back.  Compare this to another choice of shot seen here, and here. True, the player in the light shorts could have played a more accurate cross-court, but the clips demonstrate the risks involved when choosing this option. 



                                                                  The player’s shot fails to penetrate



Played in response to the opponent’s lob.


When an opponent plays a good lob, this shot could be the best answer. The video clip demonstrates how a player who has been constrained into the back corner finds an adequate solution. Note how, the player must reach very high and has to hit the ball while his foot has not yet reached the ground. As his foot comes down, the player finishes the follow-through then makes his way back to the T.


Under these conditions, a player must not search for power, but rather smooth movement and get the timing right. This applies even more to the backhand where finding power is extremely difficult when reaching high up. He should concentrate on sending the ball as close as possible to the line at the top of the front wall, at exactly mid distance from the two front corners.





The technique used for this shot is half way between the action used for the straight volley-drop and that used for the cross-court volley drop. Following the photo sequences and videos to learn the 2 shots mentioned above would prepare the player very well to learn the mid-wall volley drop. 


While watching the first part of  this video clip, it is very difficult to know where the player intends to send the ball. However, the point of impact and slight turn of the wrist eventually indicate that the ball is not destined to the near corner. So, the first part of the swing dictates a straight volley-drop, but then the player guides the ball to the other side. Some arm movement across the body is required, but not as much as for the cross-court volley drop. The same shot could be easily played with the other foot forward. play video   




The mid-wall volley drop is most comfortably played with the "incorrect foot" forward. Even though the ball's angle of trajectory is not as harsh as when playing the cross-court volley drop, the use of this foot is ideal. However, make sure the left knee points towards the sidewall.




The ball is on its way downwards to hit the front wall just above the tin. The slower the shot, the more it must be sent to the left. A relatively quick mid-wall drop should strike the front wall right in the middle. The prime objective is a second bounce in the nick at the frontcourt area.



The ball should be sent as low as possible over the tin and make it's second bounce into the nick. As the ball is struck on the volley and not at ground level, the downward trajectory of the ball is favourable for an early second bounce in the nick, or on the floor very close to the nick area.



Players will have a much greater opportunity to produce this shot on the backhand side, and should therefore, perfect it without making errors.   The volley played in this way has one big advantage over the cross-court volley drop, which is sent directly into the nick. To compare both shots, the following video clip shows a mid-wall drop followed by a shot in the nick. Notice that to execute the latter the player has to move closer to the ball and get the racket around it to achieve the necessary angle. In comparison, for the first shot (mid-wall drop) the player gets to the ball and returns comfortably to the T.   play video  




   Turning the shoulders well, before moving in onto the ball is necessary for optimal control.







    The racket head is kept high and brought down on top of the ball with considerable slice.







The amount of wrist action is moderate when compared to the more difficult cross-court drop.



Seen from a rear view, the ball's path is easy to follow- very low over the tin and on its way to making the second bounce in the nick.


The shot can also be viewed here, and here, played with the other foot forward. Again the player can get the desired angle on the ball without moving too far from the T.


The section on tactics explains how to insert this shot into your game, how to play it at the right time, and create opportunities to make use of it.


To know how to use this shot deceptively, click here.





To learn this shot and put it into practice, all a player has to do is refine his technique when volleying hard down the wall. Having reached that point, he is perfectly ready to play the kill shot on the volley. The position and movement is identical. All he has to do, is strike the ball a few centimetres earlier, and alter is his target on the front wall. The player must volley hard just centimetres above the tin. To see a video demonstration of the shot, click here. If you would like to go back to the photo sequence of the volley drive to learn the shot, click here.