Straight & Cross in 3D – How creative are you in your back court game?

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Straight & Cross in 3D – How creative are you in your back court game?

Straight & Cross in 3D? … It’s an another approach to what otherwise can be considered as the slightly boring ‘back court game’. It’s a way to bring life, strategy, speed and surprise into your deep game. Read on to find some very valuable tips in this blog.

Hitting the ball straight and cross to the back court would have to be the two most played shots in our game. In fact they are played so often they actually receive the unwarranted ‘boring’ tag! Considering the first and most effective tactic in squash is burying your opponent in the two back corners, you would be unwise to consider these two shots as boring and be tempted to play more perceived exciting shots too quickly in the rallies.

But what do you do when your opponent puts you under (severe) pressure? Well, then it’s time to dig deep, physically and mentally, and stay in the rally to win the rally. Read on to learn more.

So what is 3D?

3D stands for Deep, Dying and Double –

it refers to 3 creative choices when hitting straight or cross

Deep means

  • Htting the ball so your opponent is forced to play the ball after the back wall

  • Typically this means lifting the ball or hitting the ball higher on the front wall to ensure it has the legs to travel deep

  • Of course power is the other ingredient that works, but, always be careful not to hit the power ball too flat or too low on the front wall!


Dying means

  • Hitting the ball so your opponent is forced to play the ball just before it takes its 2nd bounce and dies into the back wall

  • This shot is typically hit flatter or with slightly downwards trajectory.

  • It must be hit with three quarter to full power. As the swing requires quite some speed to generate the power, you must anchor or brace your body to withstand too much movement or rotation out of your hitting position due to the force generated from the speed in your swing.



Double means

  • Hitting the ball so that it bounces twice before the front of the service boxes. This shot is aggressive but low in risk as you are not trying to hit the impossible rolling nick!

  • Play the straight shot so that it runs along the side wall rather than into the side wall and risk it coming back towards you in the middle of the court.

  • The cross court is played in the same angle or line as a typical cross court which would hit the side wall after the back of the service box, however this particular shot bounces twice before the front of the service box and before the side wall.

3D Back Court Game Advantages

  • The advantage or purpose of hitting Deep is to stretch the court – forcing your opponent deep into the corners. It provides you with extra time to get forward on the T and hunt the volley or be early on a boast or drop shot.

  • The advantage or purpose of hitting Dying is to turn your opponent around into or facing the back wall – forcing them to pop the ball up creating opportunities to apply pressure on your opponent.

  • The advantage or purpose of the hitting Double is to drag your opponent forward and low – taking away their balance and either forcing an error or creating an another opportunity to take the ball early and keep up the pressure on your opponent.


All 3 examples can be used on a volley or on a bouncing ball. Varying the way you hit the ball keeps your opponent guessing with their movement (forward or backwards) and timing (balls coming at them with varied pace and height makes it difficult for them to find a rhythm in their play).

By bringing in more creative hitting variations to your basic straight and cross

game you can really create opportunities to play even more “exciting” shots !

Good luck!

Watch the video to get the recap

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