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Pre Match Set-up

Published: 14 Jul 2004 - 18:08 by rippa rit

Updated: 15 Aug 2006 - 22:04

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Rippa Rita`s championship squash tip
Before an important match it is possible to set-up a pre-match, addressing all the technial and tactical difficulties that may be experienced during the "big" game. This is, of course, easier to do if you know the opponent and/or have watched them play before.

In our preparation section, there are lots of tips on how to be ready for a competition match.
Also, visualisation and rehearsal were part of this exercise.
Taking this a step further, it is possible to almost pre play the match given sufficient information about the opponent's game/strokes.  I had an up and coming student playing in the final of a State Championship who was very anxious to do well.  So we arranged to do a session beforehand addressing all the aspects of the opponent's game that could cause a problem, eg
    • returning the serve to the best possible spot on the court,
    •  returning boasts to gain the best result, which shots to attack,
    •  when to be patient, etc.
  •  How did we do this?
    • I (the Coach) set up:-
      •  ...the types of serves that the opponent would play, and we replayed them over and over, and with other variations as well.
      •  ...boasts from the position the opponent was most likely to play them.
      •  Again we practised them over and over and with slight variations.
  • By the end of the session we had covered most possibilities, and practised the ideal executions.
  • And, what happened on the night of the real match?
  • It looked to me that my student had played the game before.
  • The result was positive.
  •  A new State Champion had emerged.
  • And, after speaking to that player almost 20 years later, the match was still a memory of a great performance.
  • My other comment is, it is always easier to discuss problems, fears and solutions the day before a match, as opposed to the few seconds allowed between games on the day.
  • The early coaching session also gave the player a stronger focus during the match resulting in better concentration.
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