Wednesday, 28 August 2013

The Let an in-depth look - Squash Rules

The Let

Whenever there is an obstruction to you reaching the ball, whenever your opponent doesn't let you reach the ball that you would have otherwise gotten, a Let is decided and the rally will be Re-done with the previous score and the previous positions.

Therefore a Let is assigned if your opponent doesn't allow you to reach the ball when it is your turn to do so, that's probably cause he will be inside of your movement trajectory.

Fine Distinction

If you move toward a direction, then move toward the actual direction of the ball but get obstructed by your opponent and don't reach the ball, you will not receive a let.
For a Let to be assigned you must have chosen the right direction toward the ball in the first place.
I.E. if you don't move for the ball in a proper way, you will not receive a Let, even if your opponent is in your way.

What I mean is that you must know where the ball is going and move properly, also you must realistically be able to reach the ball.

Other situation in which a Let is Assigned:

  • If you by making a boast that would reach the front wall, hit your opponent with the ball.
  • If the ball bounces off the back wall and you stop to avoid hitting your opponent (there's a finer distinction here that will require a post of its own)
  • If your opponents grab you, he will also receive a warning
  • If the ball breaks
  • If a potentially dangerous situation occurs such as when your opponent is close to you and you are not sure exactly where he is.
  • If your opponent is near but not inside your swing (if he would be inside that would be a stroke)

So those are the distinctions, any doubts? Comments? Please share them with me :)
-Train Hard

Wednesday, 21 August 2013

Top mistakes in the game of squash

The mistakes of the game of squash - positive or negative?

In this post I'm going to share what I believe are the most common mistakes in squash, I think some of them are positive and you should try to make them as much as you can, other instead are just plain wrong and you should avoid them.

Top mistakes you should be making when playing squash.

1)Forestalling too much-being unprecise

In order the learn your own rhythm when playing squash, and to further enhance your skills you have to put yourself under increasing amounts of pressure.
The most consistent way to do so consists of trying to forestall as much shots as you can.
There are two ways in which you can increase the speed of the rally:     
  1. by hitting the ball sooner in respect of the time you are used to, you can try to hit the ball as soon as it bounces. 
  2. by doing as many volleys as you can, you can make a volley by simply making a step toward the ball. Make sure that you racket is ready!

2)Failing the drop shot

You should be consistently relying on the drop shot to score.
Whenever you try to make a drop shot and fail, pat yourself on the back and remember that you are working on your most important skill.

3)Not moving enough.

Whenever you are in an uncomfortable position, due to the fact that you are not moving enough, realize that you are doing the right thing, you just need more time to build the skill.

Top mistakes you should avoid.

1)Using the cross court too much  

The cross court can be very effective when playing against club players, however top players will instantly capitalize against that shot because it "opens" the court to them.

2)Not trying to close the point      

On one side it is really important that you constantly use the drive to build your game, on the other hand if you don't try to score you will not nourish your killer instinct and your natches will become dry and without passion.

3)Getting strokes

Your shots should be developed to the point in which you don't get any stroke against you.
Anything less than that is simply unacceptable.

4)Running too much.

If you are a fit club player you are probably winning many matches due to the fact that you outrun your opponent and by doing so you don't win because you play better technically, but because your opponent runs out of fuel.
Eventually you will find someone as fit as you with better racket skills and he will demolish you.
Try instead to learn proper court movement so that you move effectively, this will not only give you more stamina, it will make you a better tactical player.

Saturday, 17 August 2013

The Stroke: An in-depth look - Squash Rules -

The Stroke

Whenever there is an impediment to you making a winning shot, caused by the fact that your opponent is in front of you or inside of your racket swing space. A point will be assigned to you. This judgement is called stroke.

A winning shot is a shot that goes directly into the front wall.
Therefore everytime your opponent throws a shot near himself, and you are behind him, you will receive a point and a stroke will be assigned against your opponent.

When does a stroke gets assigned

A stroke can be assigned for many reasons such as:
  1. If you hit your opponent.
  2. if the conditions for a stroke are applicable after the ball bounces away from the back wall provided that you don't rotate yourself (I.e. you keep facing your opponent, this typically happens if your opponent makes a really terrible shot). 
  3. If your opponent is inside of your swing when you are making the shot.
  4. If you hit him with the racket after making the shot, the stroke will be assigned provided that you haven't done it on purpose (I.e. you made a regular, 180 degree maximum swing.)

Monday, 5 August 2013

Keeping the distance from the ball

Keeping your distance from the ball.

Video Tutorial

Staying away from the ball in squash is a crucial skill that you need to develop

The benefits are:
  1. You will move less
  2. You will hit the ball more powerfully
  3. You will have more control of the ball

By having your arm extended you will have more power and control and you will move less.
By moving less you will reach the ball faster and this will provide you two benefits: 
  • You will put more pressure on your opponent and you will be able to forestall more shots 
  • You will be able to stay in the center more often and more easily, stacking a great advantage on your side.

How do you learn the proper distance from the ball?

It comes with conscious practice.
First of all you need to learn the proper impact point which is just a little under the highest point of the racket.
You can actually feel a good ball from a bad ball by feeling the bounce that it does on the racket plate.

In order for you to learn the distance from the ball in squash you first have to train by standing still near the front wall. When you do so, try to stay as far away as possible from the ball, don't move closer to it, instead try to extend yourself. 

After you get an idea of the distance from the ball, try to increase it.
One of the best exercise to help you keep the distance from the ball consists of making drives and systematically doing a bad shot near the center so that you have to move in order to keep the proper distance,  you can do this both by yourself or with a coach.

You can reach the second level of this skill by practicing drives in the back of the court, every time you make a shot, make sure to touch the T line so that you are sure that you are away from the corner, then try to move as less as possible and maintain the ball in the back corner.

The third level of knowing the distance from the ball requires that you learn court movement.
When you'll learn court movement you will not only move less and more effectively, you will also hit better shots and generally be more effective on court.