Tag Archives: movement

How to Take Full Advantage of Squash Drills

When training, many players do drills without any concise objective in mind. Players tend to “rinse and repeat” a drill without focusing on important things such as footwork or shot accuracy. Whenever a player is about to start a drill, they should always have an objective in mind, concentrate on it, and works towards as they do the exercise. This is very important since it will help the player develop better muscle memory as well as improve their game more significantly.

During any drill a player should always be aware of where they are situated on court, as well as where they want to hit the ball. If a drill requires to move between different areas of the court, the player currently doing it should always rotate back to the ‘T’. Many players ignore this since they know where the ball is going to go during the drill; for example, if two players are doing a boast-drive drill, both players might move from corner to corner (front and back, respectively) instead of going back to the ‘T’ after every shot. Furthermore, on any drill that focuses on rotation around the court, e.g. boast-drive, players should also concentrate on hitting good shots and not just hitting the ball back. Both of these things are important for various reasons, such as: improving muscle memory, accuracy, position awareness, and rotation to the ‘T’. But most importantly, applying this will help much more in real match situations since the players are essentially simulating the shots and movements they want to perform on court.

Another good example of a very common drill where players tend to forget what the real objective is, is the length rotation drill on one side of the court. Many players, including me, stand at the back and on the side where the ball is being hit at or they rotate back to the ‘T’ but not enough. Basically they wait for the ball to come to them since the drill is happening on one single quadrant of the court. On such a drill, players should again concentrate on rotating to the ‘T’ properly as well as hitting accurate shots. Going back to the ‘T’ correctly after every shot will help develop speed and agility which will be necessary when playing a real match. This is an advantage since a big part of the game is keeping the ball deep and being patient, so good rotation is essential. Furthermore, players should focus on hitting the ball tight as well as where they want the ball to bounce first. Personally, I believe that a player should try to hit the ball on the same spot every time for about 3-5 consecutive shots, then choose a different spot and repeat the same process throughout the duration of the drill. This will aid muscle memory and accuracy which will lead to better shots in a real match.

Before doing any type of drill, every player should always keep something in mind to work towards to. Drills are designed to improve a player’s game but this can only be achieved by how the player decides to approach the drill. Taking full advantage of the drill is the one thing that will help a player improve their game; there are always different things that can be worked on at the same time on any given drill!

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Squash – Movement to and from the ball

Movement in squash is probably the most important aspect of the game. It is also one the things that really separates different levels of players. When moving to the ball there are a few key elements to consider. Most of the time if you can you need to get on the ball quickly to have the option of putting time pressure on your opponent. You also need to approach the ball in a manner that leaves you options as to where you hit the ball. One of the most critical points of moving to the ball though is leaving yourself in a good position to move off of the ball. I believe this is probably the biggest differences between high level players and lower level players. Continue reading

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Jonathon Power – The master of deception

I am watching a match between Jonathon Power and Peter Nicol on www.psasquashtv.com and am inspired by Jonathon’s play.  He uses all 4 corners of the court beautifully to stretch his opponent out.  What I find truly incredible to watch though is his use of deception in the front corners.  Even watching the match on the computer it is difficult to figure out what shot he is going to play.  There are really three things I believe that made him so hard to read at the front court.  His body position, racquet preparation and how good he was at hitting the various shots.

Your body position in the front corners is critical as it gives you the ability to hit the drop, the straight length or the cross court.  In particular leaving yourself the straight shot is critical and what Jonathon did so well.  It is a hard shot to play and most players don’t even leave themselves the option with their approach to the ball in the front corner.  Jonathon on both the forehand and backhand would setup the same for a drop, a straight drive or the cross court drive.

Racquet preparation is equally critical to your body position.  Jonathon’s racquet preparation when he was in the front corner looked the same for the drop or either drive.  It is very important to have your racquet in a position that will allow you to drive or drop. Many players when they are going to drop have already extended their racquet out in such a manner that prevents them from driving the ball.  Likewise they will only have their racquet back when they go in to the front corner when they are going to drive.  Focus on being able to hit a drop, or the straight or cross court drive every time you go in to the front corners.  Work on making your racquet preparation look the same for every choice.

The ability to hit a quality drop, a quality straight drive or a quality cross court drive front corners is the key.  Jonathon Power was great at all three shots.  He had an amazing drop.  He could kill it in to the nick given the angle or if the angle did not present itself he would keep it hugging the side wall.  His cross court drive had the width to get by his opponent at the ‘T’.  The straight drive from Jonathon was lethal.  It is a very tough shot as your can’t pull it at all, you can’t catch the side wall it has to be very straight.  Jonathon hit the straight drive from the front corner beautifully.

Jonathon Power was terrific in the front corners and his opponents rarely knew what shot was coming.  His body position, racquet preparation and the fact that he could play any shot with such quality from the front corners left his opponents guessing as to what shot he was going to play.

 

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Asics Gel-Blast 3 Indoor Court Shoe

I have been using the Asics Gel Blast now for a couple of years and I am so used to wearing them that when asked why they are so good I simply said they are the best shoe I have ever played squash in.  While that is true it was probably not the most thorough explanation!  There are really a few key points that make these shoes great.

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Squash Footwork Video by Shahier Razik

I found a video that really demonstrates movement to and from the ‘T’ in squash well. Shahier is renowned for his movement on the squash court.  His retrieval skills are amazing and that is very much to do with how well he moves to and from the ball.

A few key points:

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