Info for Your Squashgame

Tactical


Tactical trouble shooting is more about the opponent and how they can interfere with your play.  For example:
  • Rushing can prevent touch players from positioning the ball.
  • Rushing can cause players to make mistakes.
  • Crowding can cause the swing to be cramped.

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PSA Squash TV - CIMB Malaysian Open 2012

Over enthusiastic opponent

Sometimes tactics from the opponent are accidental, in that it is the type of game they play, particularly for inexperienced players.

As players climb up the ladder they realise some styles of play work better against certain opponents, and the tactic of rushing becomes deliberate.  There is nothing wrong with that provided they give their opponent freedom to play the ball, and do not crowd.

Often frustration sets in when we get uncomfortable playing this style.  Here are some suggestions:

Problem Task Correction
Feel intimidated and cannot get in front. Move the opponent from the center of the court
  • Boast taking the player to the front.
Feel cramped with fear of striking the opponent Move the opponent from the front corner to the back.
  • Lob to the back corner.
Crowding each other Move the player out of the way
  • Always return the ball away from yourself, eg play cross courts or  boasts
Pulling the shot at the last minute Calling lets
  • Get into position early, ready to swing, then call the let.
Not ready when the opponent serves Be ready to receive serve
  • Take your time, hold the ball until you are in the service box and then pass it to the server.
Feel rushed Upset the opponent's rhythm
  • Play lobs to change the pace.

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Turning on ball

Turning on the ball usually happens when the receiver of the service is able to turn and take the ball on the opposite side. Usually putting their back to the side wall or turning around.
Rather than focus on the opponent, try to change the serve so that, even if the opponent turns, the serve will be difficult to return.
Some ideas to try:

  • When serving, be sure to hit the serve high and soft preventing the ball bouncing off the back wall and landing in the middle of the court.
  • Watch the ball and opponent at all times.
  • Clear the ball giving your opponent full access to the front wall, and then run..run...run.
Problem Task Correction
Opponent turns on the ball Serve the ball very high and soft so that it does not rebound off the back wall.
  • Aim for the cross court lob target on the front wall.
Ball is in the middle of the court and player turns Hit all lobs to land softly against the side wall/back wall
  • When serving check the angle of the feet and shoulders.
  • Check the angle of the ball toss.
Balls keep coming off the side wall into the center of the court Keep the balls closer to the side wall
  • When driving or lobbing aim about half/one meter from the corner so the ball angles to length.

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Excessive swing

It is important to hit the ball away from your body when you have an opponent with an excessive or awkward swing.

Problem Task Correction
Fear of being hit.
Having trouble getting to the ball.
 Hitting the ball away from the opponent
  •  Boast to bring the opponent forward.
  • Volley to draw the opponent back into the corners.
  • Hit the ball away from where you are positioned on the court leaving more room.
  • Vary the pattern of play.
  • Move the player from the middle of the court.

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Rushing on court

Rushing on court can be a tactical ploy by the player to unsettle their opponent.
Other times a player will rush to the extent where they are not actually using their tactics at all as the game seems to be happening too quickly.

Problem Task Correction
Feel rushed and unable to play my game, Slow the game down
  • Be patient during the rallies, playing safe, tight shots, especially when the opponent's shot is also tight.
  • High tight lobs will give more time to recover to the T.
When the opponent hits hard I tend to also hit hard. Cannot change the pace.
  • Practice pair routines that incorporate one hard shot and one soft shot, eg
    •   player A in front attacks, player B at the back plays tight deep lobs.    

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