Ghosting is the one best use of time on the squash court if you are going to improve.
Let’s look at some patterns of ghosting you can do to greatly improve your movement on the squash court (if you have the discipline to do it!).
Side to side
In light of Friday’s blog about how the french prioritize movement across the central T Line, this is a good place to start.
Start on the T, take 2 steps to the backhand side, play a drive close to the side wall. Keep your back leg close to the T and do not move it. Spring back off your back leg (never spin round, so you are always facing forwards). Side-step through the T, do not over-lunge or plod. This will propel you through the T. Then lunge and play a forehand drive close to the side wall.
Stay on the red line the whole time. So often I see people migrate backwards as they tire. Never do this. You are trying to instill a mentality of domination, never allow yourself to push back or retreat back in the court. Hold your ground.
Do 20 as smooth as you can. Do 5 to 10 sets. Smoothness beats speed to start with. Then when you feel you are good, you can go flat out but you must keep you quality of movement, and you must retain the side step through the T.
Side to side 1 step
Simply take one small step anywhere around the T. Stay low. Play short, sharp shots with a short, fast swing. This is an out and out speed exercise of changing direction while keeping balance.
Again do 20 shots. 5-10 sets, or alternate with the above pattern, 5 of each, so 10 sets in total.
I like this one as all all court pattern. See the diagram.
1 set involves ghosting to 8 points in a pattern, and repeating 4 times (hence 32!).
So go to back backhand – back to the T – backhand back corner of the service box (1 lunge from the T) – T – back forehand – T – forehand back of the service box – T – front backhand corner – backpedal to T – forehand front corner – T – backhand volley on the middle line next to the wall – T – forehand volley on the middle line next to the wall – T – that is one full pattern of 8, so you would then go to the back backhand corner to begin cycle 2……
Random 6 corner ghost
Simply put, you have the four corners and the two side volleys. Play shots in a random pattern.
It’s about quality of movement. From the T take 3 steps to each of the four corners. Move in a traditional arch pattern to the 2 backhand corners.
The side to side volleys should be 1 or two aggressive lunges from the T, whatever you are most comfortable with.
Again, do sets of 20 shots.
If you can do any of these patterns, even for 10 minutes a week; which would be 5 sets (1 minute on and one minute off); would improve your movement drastically. Obviously if you can do it every day that’s even better but let’s not get carried away now with how keen we all are!