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Laura Massaro in action against Nicol David at the PSA Dubai World Series Finals

Pre-season With SquashXtra: Master The Boast With Massaro

#PSAWorldTour

With the new squash season approaching, we've delved into the SquashXtra archives to bring you some of the best advice and tips to have graced our pages in the past few years to help you get into prime condition ahead of the new campaign.

From technique tips to injury advice, SquashXtra has you covered.

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With the 2013 World Championship and 2013 British Open amongst over a dozen senior World Tour titles to her name – not to mention a plethora of junior national titles – Laura Massaro is unquestionably one of the greatest players in English squash history.

Physically strong and a master of pressure play, Massaro’s success has been forged on the back of an unyielding mental strength that has made her a daunting challenge for many of her opponents.

Laura Massaro takes on Nour El Sherbini

Massaro clashes with Nicol David

KEY POINT 2
With your body positioned you’re looking to hit the ball just after the top of the bounce. That millisecond extra allows you to utilise an effective hold that causes a hesitation in your opponent. When you’re shaping for the shot you still have the option to hit a drive if your opponent tries to second guess you and comes forward from the ‘T’.

KEY POINT 3
You need to keep your racket head speed up and use the strength of wrist to generate the power you lose due to hitting the ball slightly lower in its natural arc. A boast that’s hit too ‘soft’ increases the risk of hitting the tin whereas a boast hit too ‘hard’ will still be in play – keeping your chances of winning the rally alive.

KEY POINT 4
Don’t think about the front wall! Trying to position the ball perfectly on the front wall will cause you more difficulty in the long term – it’s important to focus on a solid contact point on the side- wall. If you hit the correct spot on the side-wall a boast that isn’t an outright winner will still put you in a great position to hit an outright winner on the next shot.

KEY POINT 5
Don’t forget the importance of your follow through. You want to cover the movement of the ball and the court – getting yourself back to the ‘T’ in one fluid movement to set you up perfectly for the next shot.

'Laura Massaro: The Forehand Boast' as it appears in SquashXtra Issue 06

The new issue of SquashXtra is out now and you can find exclusive interviews with the likes of Ramy Ashour and Nouran Gohar, coaching tips from the legendary Jonah Barrington, comprehensive ball reviews, a glimpse at what goes on behind the scenes at SQUASHTV and much, much more.

You can find SquashXtra at your local club or you can download it for free on your mobile device via Google Play for Android and iTunes for IOS.

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