Squash Coaching Blog: Sometimes Be Prepared To Miss Out The ‘T’

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Squash Coaching Blog : Look at the ball, not the ‘T’

Often I see a player hit a shot from one of the front corners, then focus on getting to the ‘T’ before they consider looking up to see where their opponent has hit the ball, so therefore where they need to move to next. What needs to happen is that after your shot from the front corner, you watch the ball whilst you move back to the ‘T’. Never take your eyes off the ball. Watch your shot as it travels through the air and then on to your opponents racket.

This will give you an increased reaction time as you will see where your opponent has hit the ball much sooner. Also, if your opponent hits the ball quite quickly you’ll have to move quickly. Sometimes you need to react and move very quickly to recover your opponents shot. In this case you must be willing to skip out the ‘T’ in order to move to save time. In this scenario your movement after your shot should be immediately towards the ’T’, watching the ball as you move back, then you see your opponent strike the ball quicker than anticipated and you instantly judge you will have to sprint and stretch to reach it, so you then alter your movement and begin your path to the ball, regardless of whether you have reached the ‘T’ or not.

This may seem obvious when you read it but you’d be surprised how often this does not happen. At club level I regularly see people feeling the need to touch the ‘T’ before they move to the next shot (or I see the other extreme when they have no intention to recover back to the ‘T’ after their shot and just make a guess where the next shot will go). It is always good to be “on the ‘T’” but this can only occur when you have time to reach the ‘T’.

To conclude – Always head back to the ‘T’ after every shot you play, remembering to watch the ball as you move. Then you have to judge whether or not you have time to reach the ‘T’. It is obviously preferable to reach the ‘T’ and compose yourself before your next shot, but sometimes you will not have time, so be prepared to miss the final step towards the ‘T’ in order to recover your opponents’ shot.