Squash Coaching Blog: Watch your shot

posted in: Coaching, Performance | 0

How intently do you watch the quality of your shot?

Obviously you will watch your opponents shot because you need to go and get it, but how closely do you focus on your shot?

The quality of your shot can often determine your opponents choice of shot. If you do this it helps you read the game meaning you can control the T Area much easier. Your reactions will seemingly improve because you can anticipate your opponents next move, so you’re always one step ahead, and after all – isn’t that what makes a great squash player?

Gawad - watch your shot
Look how closely Ali Walker (middle) is watching Gawad (back). Ali can see he has hit a good length. Gawad can only hit up as the ball is very low to the ground, and Gawad’s swing is very short and coming from underneath the ball. Gawad has two options: A straight lift, or a high boast. Ali should sneak over to the right side of the T to look for the forehand volley. If Gawad plays a boast he knows it can only be a slow boast because of Gawad’s short swing, so he would have time to change direction to attack the boast.

If your shot is very tight to the side wall, your opponent can only hit straight; they simply cannot get their racket round the side of the ball to hit cross court. Their options are considerably narrowed meaning you can sneak across to anticipate their straight shot.

If you hit a great length, deep into the back corner, it is likely your opponent can only boast; so you can inch forward to pounce on their boast.

If you hit a good low shot, where the ball is below the height of the tin when your opponent reaches it, they can only hit up, so it’s likely they will hit some sort of lob, so anticipate a volley next.

Then on the flip side, if you hit a shot which is neither tight nor a good length then your opponent has options, so you cannot anticipate. In this situation you need a more neutral T position to allow you to cover a variety of options.

So… don’t just react to what shot your opponent hit as it happens. Closely focus on the quality of your own shot to enable you to predict what shot your opponent is likely to play.