Info for Your Squashgame


Published: 23 Jan 2007 - 07:24 by rippa rit

Updated: 02 Mar 2009 - 21:02

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Rippa Rita`s championship squash tip

Think outside the square is what I would like you to focus on.

We talk about change of pace, upsetting an opponent's rhythm, slowing the opponent down, keeping the opponent off balance, unsteady the opponent, and many more similar things.

Variety is really one and the same stuff, eg

  • Short/Deep
  • Side to Side
  • Down the line
  • Angles

Just keep doing it, and providing you have practised this pattern of play, it gradually will make inroads into the opponent's game.  How?

  • Causes indecision (not knowing what to expect next).
  • Lack of confidence (not knowing if to come forward or stay back)
  • Lack of rhythm (start to hit more shots around the frame and mistime strokes)
  • Unforced Errors (try to hit the shots too fine and miss easy shots)
  • Doubt the ability to win the match (the head takes over).
  • Tests anticipation and movement skills of opponent.
  • Draws on an array of shots from the opponent (recover from the corners with safety).
  • Slows the take off (puts doubt in the opponent's ability to cover the court).

Just occasionally I watch a match played by a tactical thinking player and get excited that there is heaps more to this game than hit the cover off the ball.  It does not matter how hard the ball is hit, provided the opponent's skills are fully tested, there is always the chance to change a losing game.  Once the opponent starts to make mistakes, and shows frustration, that is the time to really concentrate on the game plan. Keep rubbing it in so to speak.

Warning - to be in your comfort zone doing this,  spend weekly practice sessions paying attention to the stragegies mentioned above. Be patient but untrustworthy.

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From rippa rit - 02 Mar 2009 - 20:52   -   Updated: 02 Mar 2009 - 21:02

bud - I guess there are many reasons why players seem very sterotyped in their play, eg

  • Inexperience
  • Playing the same opponents with no competitive exposure, eg versus other clubs and players
  • No mentors to show them the alternative styles/variety
  • Lack of skills
  • Play their strengths without much regard for the opponent's weaknesses
  • No tactical abilities
  • Rely on fitness to win the games
  • Lack of skills training, ie routines, restricted games.
  • Just play to get a workout.
  • Lack of qualified and experienced coaching.

There are no doubt other reasons too like lack of time, lack of consistent practice, lack of quality opposition, etc.

PS - When you come across an opponent in your grade who is old and overweight, and not too fit, beware, as it is most likely they are experienced and skillful and you will need to make them move from the centre court or you will be doing all the running!!  Boasts and volleys are great weapons when moving players from front to back of the court.


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From budblogger - 02 Mar 2009 - 19:25

Very interesting post Rita. At the level I play at I regularly come up against older opponents who are normally carrying a bit of extra weight and are generally much slower around the court than me. Yet I've frequently been on the wrong end of some horrible defeats from these guys where my legs have been tied in knots and I spend half the game scrambling to scrape the ball out of the corners and the other half lunging to try and return impossibly tight drops. So basically these days when I see my opponent arrive at the court and find he is retired and sporting a beer belly, it's not necessarily a good sign!

However, I've also noticed when watching the really top players at my club play is that these sort of tactics are almost never used. It's quite common to see a 40-50 stroke rally end in a let after the ball has been sent screaming up and down the line for 99% of the time. Then they just go and do the same thing again. It's exhausting to watch so goodness knows what it must be like playing that number of shots in a game! So why don't these guys try to mix it up a bit more? Is it simply the case that their anticipation and ability to read their opponent is so good that it just doesn't appear that there is much deception going on?

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From rippa rit - 06 Jun 2008 - 08:36

Zat - you have got that right.  We see people play for fun and exercise/recreation and they spend half their time cursing and putting themselves down....that does not make sense.  It sounds as though you are making your thoughts more process oriented and that takes away the "silly" thoughts and puts your mind into a very positive mode.

Keep it up, and visit our Squash Library/Tactics for more ideas.


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From zatoichi - 06 Jun 2008 - 01:39

Very nice perceptions,

even though I just play for fun,
(it is so much fun that i play 5-6 times a week :) )
I find that with the guys i play with we tend to go for winners all the time and strategically it is bad, so lately i have been working on being more patient and let the ball work for me, and not as you said "hit the cover off the ball" so much - and it works, also it allows me to be more relaxed on court, thus it becomes easier to play more intelligent shots and not be so dependent on hammering the ball away..

..also i always complement my partners for hitting winners, because i have found that getting upset with my own game just makes it worse for me, but if i complement my opponent for making good shots I find it easier to let my mistakes go and focus on here and now and the next ball, thus i play better.. ..conversely some of the guys i play with have alot of ego involvement and when I hit winners on them they get upset with themselves, start cursing themselves and sometimes even throw their rackets away, and thats when i know their game is deteriorating and my confidence goes up another notch, and i can drop my shoulders a little..

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