This week I was training one-on-one with my coach, and we decided to improve my game at the front court by working on: taking my time, starting my swing from the same position every time, making a shorter swing, and using my wrist more. The reason he told me I needed to do this was to incorporate deception on every shot, as well as increase my accuracy while retaining the same amount of power as before. Surprisingly enough, by the end of practice I was hitting better shots at the front with a shorter swing that always started from the same spot. It was very helpful and I believe it’s worth discussing so that other players can try it out as well.
I am watching the Grasshopper Cup 2014 on www.psasquashtv.com currently and am having a good look at Shabana's forehand. It really is a thing of beauty. He has my favourite forehand on tour. There are several components of it that I really like. His racquet preparation, his hold, how deceptive it is and how consistent it is are what make it so good.
I had a chance to discuss racquet preparation with the pro at my squash club today and we went over some things that I knew but were definitely good to have reinforced. Early racquet preparation has some real benefits. It gives you more options as to what shot to hit. It also improves deception making it harder for your opponent to figure out what shot you are playing. Another benefit is it allows you to adjust quicker to a ball that takes an unexpected bounce.
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.
Squash is a very tough game and when playing it we are typically under a great deal of pressure from our opponent. They are working hard to take time away from us to limit the shots we can play. Early racquet preparation is critical as it gives us time and options in selecting which shot to hit