Playing a Boast
The most common Boast shot is the one played from the back of the court in reply to a Length shot. When played in this manner, the Boast is usually a defensive shot and is used because the ball is too difficult to return Straight.
It is often (though not always) played so that it hits three walls; the nearest side wall, the front wall and then the far side wall.
This three wall Boast allows the player time to recover and is a good option if they would otherwise be forced into a weak Straight Drive. It is usually played at a soft or medium pace and lifted slightly to ensure it provides further time for the player to recover to the middle of the court.
A Boast can be made more attacking by hitting it harder and lower, as well as by making it a Two Wall Boast. A Two Wall Boast is where the ball is hit with the aim of bouncing twice before the third and far side wall, which makes it more difficult to retrieve.
- Hit the ball when it’s just behind you – When you play the Boast, hit it slightly later than you would for any other shot. When you make contact, the ball will typically be in line with your back foot or even beyond this point. Timing the shot this way allows you to hit the ball into the side wall easily.
- Get down low – In order to lift the ball, you need to get down low so that you have the ability to get underneath the ball and lift it up.
- Lift the ball – Make sure you get your racket underneath the ball so that you can give it the required height to make sure it will make the front wall after hitting the side wall. More height will also give you more time to recover if you are in a bad position.
- Service box angle – If your Boasts have enough power or height to make the front wall but are failing to get the right angle and direction, you can use the service box to check the angle of your shot. As a general rule of thumb, if you stand on the corner of the service box and hit the ball into the side wall at the point where the front of the box meets the wall, the ball will hit the front wall providing it has been hit with another power and height. The 45 degree angle of the service box is a great guide for helping you achieve an accurate Boast shot.
Play an attacking Two Wall Boast with two additional steps:
- Keep the ball low – either high to low swing or hitting the ball when it’s low on the bounce – When hitting a Two Wall Boast you should aim to keep the ball low and there are two main ways of doing this. You can hit the ball when it’s higher on the bounce and use a high to low swing to bring it downwards or you can wait (you may not have a choice) and get low down and hit the ball when it is lower on the bounce, which will require either swinging through at a constant height or maybe even swinging slightly upward.
- Aiming for a big angle on the side wall – As you want the ball to hit the middle of the front wall, you need to change the angle at which you’re hitting the ball into the side wall. To get the ball in the middle, you need to hit the ball into the side wall at an angle much larger than the 45 degree or service box angle recommended for a normal boast. Try out different angles and see how they affect your shot but you will find you need to hit into the side wall closer to the corner/front wall.
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