DRIVE THE SWAIN WAY
Cliff Swain called me from a Porsche to talk about his drive serve.
'This advice is intended for those of you who have a little extra "horse
power" in your stroke.'
'If you're driving a Porsche or Ferrari and your opponents a Chevy or Ford,
why not use that additional power to leave 'em standing still. The court is
your track and you should make it a quick race.'
Flashy Swain has won more tournaments than anyone in professional
racquetball history by wheeling his awesome power into the drive serves and
power kills. It's safe to say that he uses only the bottom eighteen-inches
of the wall (except for occasional pit stops to the ceiling). Swain simply
drives past opponent after opponent in a blur at 180MPH. 'If you've got a
fast car, why drive slow?'
The Swain Plan is as simple as it is powerful!
1. Drive Serves - Hit each as hard and low as possible without losing swing
control. 'I practice the serves alone as if in a tournament court.' Use
the following variation: 50% drives to the backhand, 25% drives to
forehand, 20% drive-Z's to the backhand, and 5% jam serves. If an opponent
really struggles with any one of these, hit it again and again.
2. Power Kills - 'Shoot almost everything.' Your first choice is
down-the-line, as the quickest way to any point is a straight line, and it's
a race. Your second choice is cross-court, when they lean to cover the line.
If you see the opponent pause behind the five-foot line to deal with your
power kills, use the pinch kill. If you see the opponent belly up towards
the service line to deal with your low shots, go around with a wide-angle
power pass. If he soft serves you, return a volley or short-hop kill to
leave him at the starting line. If you ever miss two kills in a row, take a
pit stop on the ceiling, and then get back on track.
The Swain Plan is simple, but deadly. It helps to be able to hit 180MPH, but
130 will do. Just Drive, Drive, Drive!