Squash is an incredible sport, with far more skill, fitness and subtleties on display than almost any other sport.
Every rally has subtle changes of pace, changes of angles, height, movements, variations of shot from similar positions, and variations of technique. Reactions and decisions are made at pretty much the speed of light. These variations and decisions are occurring every second in a world class match.
You may think you know exactly what is going on when watching a match on SquashTV; or you may think you know how a particular player will play tactically leading you to be able to predict what shot that player will play next; but it’s harder than you think because of all the subtle changes occurring every shot. Even when we look at role models with funky nicknames which describe the way they play the game, we can’t underestimate their subtle skills.
For example: Mohamed ElShorbagy known as “The Beast” for his hard hitting style has the most incredible forehand drop from a high, fast backs-wing which takes incredible dexterity and control. I’m a decent squash player myself but I’d love to be able to play that shot the way Mohamed does.
Nick “The Wolf” Matthew, known for his dogged, never say die attitude, has amazing subtle variations in height and pace, not to mention the deft skill on his forehand volley drop, not the sort of skilled shot you’d associate with a wolf!
“The Hammer Of Thor” Omar Mosaad developed a lovely lob as he made his way to World No.3, again not a shot you’d image being played regularly by a hammer wielding strong man.
So whoever you are watching, try to look out for and appreciate any slightly unexpected shot where the pace is suddenly sped up or slowed down, or a surprising angle. When you learn to spot these you’ll appreciate the top players ever more for how incredibly amazing and thoughtful they are on that squash court. You’ll also learn to apply these subtle changes to your game.
Whatever style of play you have; whether it is a long rallying attritional style, or hard hitting, or soft and controlled, or just out and out attacking; don’t understand the power of subtlety. Always do what you do best, stick to your natural style and game plan, but use occasional changes of pace, changes of angles or a random change of tactic, even if it’s just one shot or just one rally from time to time. Embrace the beauty and skill of the sport you play.