Squash Coaching Blog: ‘T’ Position

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T-Position

You do not need to return exactly to ‘The T’ after every shot. You need to be stood in one of the 4 corners of The ‘T Zone’.

I’m going to outline this in the simplest possible way. If you imagine a box around the ‘T’ – this is the ‘T Zone’. Whichever corner of the court you have hit in to, you generally want to be stood in the corresponding corner of the ‘T Zone’. For example. If you have hit into the back backhand corner (back left), you want to stand in the back left corner of the ‘T Zone’. If you have hit a forehand drop shot (front right of the court) you want to position yourself in the forward right corner of the ‘T Zone’ etc etc.

T Position - The T Zone

But… even more important that where you actually stand, is how you hold your body position while waiting for your opponent to hit the ball. You need to be watching your opponent intently to read any cues of where they might be hitting the ball next; eg. if they open up their stance, they are likely to hit cross-court. If they allow the ball to travel behind their body, you could anticipate a boast. If they have a short back-swing then they could be playing a drop shot etc etc etc.

You also need to pay close attention to the quality of your shot. If your shot is very tight to the wall your opponent can only hit straight, so you can sneak across to anticipate a straight shot. If you hit a particularly good length then you can anticipate the boast. If you hit a loose shot, then your opponent has options and all you can do is hold your ‘T’ position, try not to twitch or guess, and wait till they hit their shot.

The important word here along with ‘T Zone’, is ‘anticipate’. I’ve spoken in a previous blog the importance of anticipating not guessing. Guessing is 100% committing to just one shot, and already taking at least one step to that shot before your opponent has hit the ball. Anticipating is assessing the situation and given your knowledge of the cues received, you then lean over to one side to help you accelerate when you make the final decision to move that way (ie. only when you see the ball moving to where you anticipated). Because you have not yet taken a step that particular way, if your opponent does not hit in that direction, you simply lean back to a central position then you can set off to retrieve the ball.

Anticipating allows for changes of direction. Guessing does not.

One other factor to take into account when anticipating is what your game plan is or what your strengths are. Top professionals stand in their correct corner of the ‘T Zone’ but lean over looking for the cross-court. This allows them to pounce on a loose cross-court, but if their opponent hit a straight drive (as they often do), they simply move over and retrieve the straight drive. Nick Matthew is a classic example of this.

There we have it. Stand in your correct corner of the ‘T Zone’ after every shot, and possibly anticipate / lean slightly to one side where you feel the ball might go. Never guess.

  • Your ‘T Zone’ position

You hit into the Front Left of the court. Stand in the Front Left corner of The ‘T Zone’.

Hit Front Right. Stand Front Right.

Hit Back Left. Stand Back Left.

Hit Back Right. Stand Back Right.