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Opponent not working hard enough?

Attempt to take the ball early - on the volley if possible.

Attempt to take the ball early - on the volley if possible.

Published: 24 Jul 2004 - 18:06 by rippa rit

Updated: 08 Dec 2006 - 07:47

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Often we get so carried away by the actual running and hitting we forget to think what affect the game is having on the opponent. 

Try to consciously monitor the following:-
  •  Are the returns going consistently to all 4 corners of the court? (The opponent must run a full circle, not just a triangle 'cos that is only half the court!)
  • The number of unforced errors? (The opponent must fight for every point and an unforced error is a gift)
  • Is the tempo of play being accelerated by volleying? (It may be necessary to slow down the play a fraction to gain better control of the ball).
  •  How much time is the opponent spending at the T during rallies? (Think, how can I move the opponent from the T)
Note: Remember, the player who spends the most of the rally at the T does the least running.
Please communicate with me if you do not understand how to improve your play from this tip.
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From drop-shot - 15 Dec 2005 - 20:02

Oh, great, no problems.
I am just sorry I haven't had the camera with me yesterday, you would see my volley strokes ... But, no worries, i will pack it for tomorrow, cheers

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From rippa rit - 15 Dec 2005 - 07:27

Slavi - please put in another photo in a couple of weeks as I am interested in this approach to the ball, and the swinging technique.  OK

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From drop-shot - 14 Dec 2005 - 23:24

.... yepp. got it - racket head up and downswing, rite?

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From rippa rit - 14 Dec 2005 - 09:34

Slavi - just thinking about points that might help get this swing going .... try keeping the head up and see if that helps, it will sure help the back.

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From drop-shot - 13 Dec 2005 - 19:57

Good Morning there,

Indeed, Rita, it was frustrating for him. He said he enjoyed the game but he hates my game as I was too quick and too accurate. I did enjoyed and laughed a lot as well. Mind you , this sparing partner has been playing squash for 7 years, and I do it for 18 months (I do not count the time before April 2004), he is ranked much higher that me. So, pretty good result for me.

Relating to your post - definitely I will try to avoid stooping at the ball as my back aches :-( the older I grow. Ghosting is still a part of my solo practices, so I am not going to give it up.

I come back to the court tomorrow morning to excersize the Lizard kata :-)
I like this expression so much.

Cheers, Rita & Ray

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From rippa rit - 13 Dec 2005 - 08:20

Slavi it all sounds good play and good fun.  Very frustrating for your opponent as you are running down every ball....which is great to be able to recover any shot.
I do not want you to stoop at the ball ....please go back to the ghosting, take it slowly, reach out as you swing - imagine the above photo in this post but with you stretched out like a lizard drinking, not like a bird picking up worms. 
Not sure if you can relate to what I am saying.
Keep working at it....to work at it means taking your time, mostly in ghosting, and at the same time examining your swing.
Anyway it is all working for you so don't let me spoil your games.
It all takes time.

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From drop-shot - 13 Dec 2005 - 03:24

So, here I am after another friendly match with my squash partner.
Well I have to say, I won pretty easily, following all the tips from your post Rita. And it did work.
I made him runa lot dropping and replying with perfect cross; using a lot of lobs. After fifth game he was exhausted and I wanted to play on

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From drop-shot - 12 Dec 2005 - 23:59   -   Updated: 13 Dec 2005 - 00:10

Hey again,
So, let me tell you what i do to work my opponent and to make him search for the ball in the dusty corners.
• We did implement the drill when I play in the front and the partner is feeding me with boast (he can't hit anything else than boast) and I can hit drive, crosscourt or lob, choice is mine. And we play regular games. PARS. You say - easy, but if you think about the pressure and the pace, it may sound pretty reasonable drill.
• What I learn by that? Positioning the body, waiting, mastering nick shots (we have the tape placed on the floor), concentrating on good tight and deep shots. Not necessarily the winners, but the ones that put your opponent in trouble.
• The other drill is that we play just a back court or even we make the area smaller to only one square.

That's about practice.

During the games I am trying to implement all above mentioned skills and additionaly:

• When I see that the 75 % of the court is opened, I use the adventage of it;
• I do not win the rally with one particular shot (But believe me I do love to drop on a backhand), but I am trying to work the opponent around, controlling the T and pacing up the game;
• I do sweat/toil less and I am trying to volley as much as I can; -- this is the main difference towards my previous "so-called-style". And this is why i usually beat my regular squash-partner. He can't bear with sudden change of the pace or direction, and somehow he is always behind me. So I use a lot of the diagonal length. Guess, who's running wild... Mind you - he is ranked much better than me so I can't wait for the official tournament when we meet ;-).

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From rippa rit - 12 Dec 2005 - 20:39

Slavi - good that you appreciate what I am trying to get players to think about.
  • So, when you train, go with a plan that will bring about the above outcomes.
  • Let's  take the first mentioned point "are the returns......half the court)" that requires a sequence of shots being played.
  • Can you tell me what you did during the game/training to implement this strategy?
  • Particularly if you play a person you play often and are tested, was there any improvement in your match performance against that opponent?
Monitor, evaluate, think, is the message, because what works is worth remembering, and repeating.
Please, let me know.

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From drop-shot - 12 Dec 2005 - 19:57

Rita, beutifull tip!!!! Really lovely. Simple rules that make you a winner...
and just yesterday i watched Peter Nicol playing with Jon Power in 2003 Superseries Finals. It just hit me that Peter did move from the centre of the court to maximum 2 steps distance. Amazing, fluid movement. And this is actually what you wrote as the question - how much time is the opponent spending at the T. Poor Jonathon was running all around the court to be caought in the fron left or back right corners without a steam...
Obviously, I will never get PN level of game, though watching him and reading you is good value of lesson.

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