Saturday, 22 December 2012

Squash Tips - READ YOUR OPPONENT AND FORESTALL HIS SHOTS

When you get some racket ability in squash the next step is understanding that the simpler you make everything the better. For example the BEST shot you can make it's done by understanding that when your arm is extended and you feel no resistance in the movement you get to do the most powerful and fluent shot you can.
The same goes for the shots, to make a drive you just have to change your impact zone so when you hit the ball your racket is parallel to the front wall.
To make a cross-court you  just have to make sure that the ball hits the central part of the front wall, and to make a boast you just need to make the ball bounce onto the side wall.
In order to do so we teach that you have to make specific movement patter such as:

Drive: point the side wall with your belly button
Cross-court: Point with the leg nearest to the front wall the front corner on your side
Boast: point with the same leg the back corner.

The Way to improve in forestalling skill requires that you know how to move on court and put your focus on the ball when the opponent has to hit it.

This way you get to change all your body positioning so that by doing the same racket swing you have a different shot. If you are reading this and are not able of doing so you have a lot of work to do. Check my Anatomy of a shot article and how to babystep a skill for a insight on what to do



The quick tip to forestall your opponent movement is: Watch the position of his back, since we can infere that the impact point of the rackt will always be perpendicular to the belly button and at the same time perpendicular to your opponent's back.
Providing that your opponent doesn't consciously change the impact point, the direction of the shot which is defined by the impact point beetween racket and the ball. The shot can be preemt by watching the position of the back the opponent since the impact point should be in front of it.

Advanced players only from here on:
Knowing this should let you hasten most of your opponents shot.
The step further is to get a new way of playing which is less reactionary and more proactive. This means that instead of watching how the opponent is going to make a shot and forestall beforehand you should move in a way that makes your feet never stale and by watching not only your opponents body positioning but also his racket moving pattern you will understand the way he makes the shots.

I strongly recommend to use the first game as a sort of warm-up game in which you keep on running and play drive after drive just to get a understanding of the racket movement patterns of your opponent. Since the thing that has to change in your opponent to make a different shot is just the position of racket and ball, every person will tend to have a different unique motion pattern but you can quickly understand it by watching him in the warm-up and in the first game.

What i recommend you to try is to watch some filmed matches (possibly also of yourself) and try to understand where the ball will go before the player hits the ball and ideally before he even swings the racket (it can be done you just need a lot of time).


By Knowing this you can make a new step in your game by making feign shots, try to fake your shot-movement-pattern and see the results!