Squash Coaching Blog: Create Distance Between You And The Ball

posted in: Coaching, Performance | 0

Create distance between you and the ball

Create distanceEveryone knows it’s best to hit the ball away from your opponent, but you also need to hit the ball away from yourself. You need to create distance between yourself and the ball. This prevents any danger of giving away a free point by a ‘stroke’.

Don’t think this means hit every shot cross-court because that is way too dangerous, you will definitely lose if this is your tactic! This is movement related. Hopefully by now you all realise generally straight shots are the most reliable, and angles are to add variation to the common theme of straight drives and straight drops. But …. It is crazy to hit straight if you are going to give away a ‘stroke’.

So, what am I specifically talking about?

For example if we take the front backhand corner:

If you come in to this corner with time and controlled movement, this is a safe situation you are in so you can hit a straight drop or straight drive because you are in a situation where you can step away from your shot quickly. A controlled lunge in to your shot means you can have a controlled lunge out from your shot. Lunge in with your right leg – lunge out past your anchored left leg. In the space of half a second you have gone from the front left corner then back to the ‘T’ in one step, so therefore you are miles away from your straight drive or drop, giving your opponent access to the ball, so they cannot ask for a stroke (unless you’ve hit a horrendously loose shot!).  This has put distance between you and the ball.

If you come in to this corner at full stretch or in any way off balance, then you are in a dangerous position. It is going to be difficult to lunge out of the corner with speed and control. In this situation you need to hit the ball as far away from you as possible, ie. some form of cross-court (whether it is hard and low, or a lob). Because of your stretched, slightly un-controlled movement, your recovery to the ‘T’ will be slower – you will stay in this corner for half a second longer. You do not want to hit down the same line, so straight drives and straight drops are an extremely risky option, as you are likely to be in your opponents’ way, either to the ball or for them hitting the ball – a ‘stroke’ against you is likely. So therefore, cross-courts in this position are the best way to create distance between you and the ball.

So – think about your balance and play your shots accordingly. Are you balanced? Can you recover to the ‘T’ quickly? If yes, then straight shots are a good option. If the answer is no, then cross-court shots are safest.

You are always looking to create space between you and the ball.