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how to get out of trouble - JP style

Published: 18 Apr 2007 - 10:20 by nickhitter

Updated: 25 Apr 2007 - 17:39

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There's an awesome shot that I've only ever seen Jon Power play so well and I want to learn how to do it and I'm hoping some of you good players here know how and can give me a few tips!

Rather than try and describe it, I've uploaded a short clip of a match he played against Palmer.  He plays a loose lob and gets out of position but then he plays this deceptive cross court after the ball has gone past him (somehow!) and gets back in the rally enough to force a let....take a look....

http://www.mediafire.com/?1nmem5lurdk

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From raystrach - 25 Apr 2007 - 17:39

sparty

  1. almost vertical racket
    • if you take careful note of the jp shot, you will note that at the point of impact his racket is about 20 degrees off the vertical
    • if the shaft is horizontal, it is impossible to hit the shot whilst still in front of the ball
    • by getting the racket almost vertical, you will hit it with your hand below the ball and in front of the ball with what amounts to an open face racket
    • by twisting your wrist, you can also get on the outside of the ball which is what makes it a cross-court
    • this technique is probably more useful for hitting a drive or rail whilst still in front of the ball, especially if you can get some height on the shot
  2. as for "following the racket" towards the back wall
    • if you have your racket in the ready position as you move towards the back, you will, in effect, follow it.
    • by doing this you will be well prepared for the shot and have control of what will be a sot that requires great control
    • jp does not do this very well, but mate, neither you nor i are jp

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From drop-shot - 24 Apr 2007 - 20:34

words of wisdom, iamspartacus ;-)

the better you play the more alert you are to the shots from your opponent.
Deceptive shots should be like raisins in the cake — it's a reward for your tongue taste cubes ;-)

P.S. Anyway, there's nothing to learn regarding the shot from JP. That's JUST the flick. it's enough if you have strong muscles (Adz mentioned that);

P.S. "the snap" is crucial part of every and each x-court, isn't it? JP just went further :-D

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From nickhitter - 20 Apr 2007 - 20:49

All good advice. Thanks

although it may seem that learning a shot like this is more trouble than it's worth, I think at my level ( upper intermediate) most opponents are already commited to go either down the line or expecting the boast before you'd play this shot , and so they would never expect a shot like this, as many of them will never have played against anyone who can do it! so it will almost certainly draw them out of poisiton and give you the advantage in the game.

Incidentally I've found that in general, deception shots are more effective at lower levels of the game. The better players get it back anyway...!

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From Adz - 20 Apr 2007 - 18:08   -   Updated: 20 Apr 2007 - 18:11

Ok, so I've watched the clip, and also watched the JP Exposed DVD about 6 times since last week (which is when I bought it!).

 

I can hit the "wristy" shots quite easily, and always have as long as I can remember. I think the power for them comes from inner and outer forearm muscles more than the wrist tendons/ligaments. Particularly this shot on the forehand (as seen in the video) comes from the inner muscles (the ones that touch the surface of a desk if you rest with your palms down and elbows on the surface). With a similar (and probably easier shot) on the backhand requires the use of the outer forearm muscles (the ones that flex when you bend your wrist back and roll your fingers like you were tapping them in sequence on a desk).

 

I think the key to both is the body position relative to the ball, and the tradjectory with which you hit the ball. I find that I bring my shoulders parallel to the direction that I wish to hit the ball, have my upper arm behind my shoulder (bent backward), elbow bent so that my wrist and racquet head are infront of my shoulders, allowing the ball strike to also take place just in front of my shoulders. The end result is that the ball is struck across the front of the body (running from shoulder to shoulder, and the contraction of the arm at the elbow joint, coupled with the slight "flick" of the wrist creates the shot as seen in the video (with less power for me unfortunately!).

 

If you can't get the power then try to get the height allowing a fraction of a second for you to regain your court position. The trick is to get enough of an angle to hit the side wall around the middle of the opposite service box, as this causes your opponent to have to move off the T to strike it, thus giving you a clear diagonal run should it be needed!

 

This is my first post for a while, but I have been reading other posts every day. This is the first "technical" issue that I've had an opinion on, as I too have started to work heavily on my shot selections on court (including JP's rather impressive drop-shot hit with the UNDERSIDE of the racquet face - I haven't quite mastered it yet as it requires you to change your grip to play it correctly, and I tend to hit the tin 9 times out of 10 (but there's always the 1! - and no I don't use it in matches yet, only training!)

 

Keep those racquet hands strong!

Adz

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From rippa rit - 20 Apr 2007 - 11:38

Sparty this shot is not worth getting a ganglia, and that is possible trying to get the hang of this shot.  It is a bit risky too as the opponent is sure to be in the middle and likely to cut it off.
I would shorten my grip on this shot too, and hold the grip mostly by the thumb and forefinger, making the swing a bit more like a fanning action; yep and of course the open racket face is to lift the ball above the tin and get some height/depth on it.
Most players who were just about lying down like a lizard drinking when striking the ball, would be unable to recover to their feet in a hurry too, unless they have a cat like ability to move about.

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From nickhitter - 20 Apr 2007 - 08:47

Ray thanks for your insight but can you clarify exactly what you meant by...

"an almost vertical racket shaft " and

"almost following the racket to the back of the court "

well anyway I practiced with my coach tonight and we did a few digs out of back corners in order for me to try and practice this, unfortuately my coach struggles with this shot too!

we did a drill my coach calls 'high T' where we do only straight or cross court length, but after each shot I play I had to recover to a position where my feet are over the shortline so as to replicate being out of position and having to track back and play the ball at a stretch. we have done this before but with just straight length, but I attempted the aformentioned wristy forehand cross courts today with varied results...

The hardest part I found is the toll it takes physically. Now I'm quite fit compared to your average bloke, but doing a few of these really took it out of me! As Mike and Ray said you have to get around/behind the ball to play this. Therefore you have to make a huge effort to 'over-run' it ( or rather over-lunge it) than you would do a play a straight dig. Also you have to make extra sure the racket face is open - otherwise they all go in the tin. There is also absolutely no follow-through possible to the target - rather the racket comes back down and hits the floor usually (which I found actually helps get you back up!) - so all the power is indeed generated by the wrist. And therein lies my problem - although I managed to play a few where I got the direction wide enough, they were always too short, landing at best half court.

It seems the key thing what I need to improve on is the strength and flexibility in the wrist, Does anyone know of any drills to specifically target wrist flick actions in squash that they have had succes with?

I should point out aswell that my hips are absolutely killing after tonight so if anyone has hip problems I wouldn't recommend trying this!

Thanks for any more help in advance.

sparty

 

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From Viper - 18 Apr 2007 - 21:40

Catch 22 though is it not, I would love to buy some of those quality dvd's but at 52 US for one match that is just ridiculous.....

If they made them more affordable they would sell a lot more, yes ?

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From nickhitter - 18 Apr 2007 - 21:34

yes it does seem steep...but if it was popular then they would be a lot cheaper!

but I like to think that I'm supporting squash by buying one every now and then. There's no one else on the planet producing top qualtiy squash matches which is why it's expensive, and I bet they're not making a lot of money out of it....

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From Viper - 18 Apr 2007 - 21:22

$54 US for one match !

You have got to be joking..................

 

At that rate you would reckon squash was popular or something

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From rippa rit - 18 Apr 2007 - 21:20

Sparty - I had trouble opening your version this morning so that is why I was unable to get involved, but Mike's version was bingo.
Sure, a very wristy shot to cross court it, much more so than a drive, and one way of injuring your wrist; surely he also shortened the grip to make it more like a paddle to get that result.
Palmer did look a bit lost jumping around in the middle !!
Hey, your version took several minutes, and then while I am typing, there it appeared, and yes the cross court shot for sure - take a look at the flip in the wrist and racket to get the angle - hey, and after all that it ended in a bl.... let. Shame.

If our video clips turn out as good as this I will be estatic.

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From raystrach - 18 Apr 2007 - 21:13

as i have said on this forum many times, these blokes play squash but not as we know it!

what you will need to be able to play this shot well...
  • incredible timing
  • a combination of firm grip, strong but loose wrist, and almost double jointed
  • a very low approach to the ball
  • an almost vertical racket shaft
  • you need to get around the outside of the ball to send it in the unexpected direction
  • you need to have exceptional preparation -  almost following the racket to the back of the court

being a carpenter from way back i have a strong wrist and can play a shot like that, but it does have the potential to hyperextend your wrist, so proceed with extreme care!

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From nickhitter - 18 Apr 2007 - 21:03

Rippa, actually he doesn't hit it down the wall but cross courts it! if you look at the first unedited clip you can see the end of the rally.

on another point - what's interesting aswell is that on Mike's edited version take a look at where David Palmers eyes are just before and when JP strikes that cross court - he's not watching the ball as such rather using his peripheral vision.....

sparty

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From rippa rit - 18 Apr 2007 - 20:51

Good clip but it cut a bit short as I could not quite get where Palmer went to recover the shot. I thought it was a straight drive from that position (as Palmer was not turning to get a boast).
This is what I saw in the clip:
  • A bit of rallying and then the lob (which sparty refers to), followed by Palmer's smash down towards the back of the court; Power chasing from the front of the court to get the ball before it got to the back wall; the feet were well spread, he was down low to get under the ball, unlocked his wrist, took the ball opposite the spread-eagled foot, to position the racket face at right angles to the side wall, making the return down the wall possible.
It was a good bet to hit it down the wall from that position as Palmer would have moved forward expecting a boast for sure, leaving room for the drive to get past him?

It is possible to practice retrieving shots like that, but of course you start with shots that are not so perfect and gradually make it harder and harder.
Want more info?

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From nickhitter - 18 Apr 2007 - 20:49   -   Updated: 18 Apr 2007 - 21:21

Viper - They're not cheap... $54 (US) per match last time I checked. I buy them when it's a match thats reportedly a classic and like to use them for studying technique and such because of the high quality.

link is www.squashlive.com. There are some longer and full quality clips of newer matches on that homepage for you to see the real quality - In fact the latest tournament on there is the first to have ever been recorded on HD broadcast cameras.

Stevep -  No, the match on the exposed DVD is in the canadian classic (2004 I think?) this one is windy city open 2006, although the best match from the tournament is Power vs Shabana IMO. I'm not sure if it's widescreen as I don't have a widescreen TV.

Sparty

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From Viper - 18 Apr 2007 - 19:55

"Viper - interesting you think it's really clear because it's only 45% quality of the original! It's a clip from a squashlive release. All their matches are amazing quality.

sparty"

 

What match is it, where can you get it and how much would it be, ie a link please ?

 

Thanks Viper

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From stevo - 18 Apr 2007 - 19:38

Great recovery shot and fantastic video quality. I have a couple of squash live productions, a Jahangir v Jansher and YMG 2001 and the quality of them is great, but this looks even better. Is it wide screen?

I have the JP Exposed DVD, I think it uses clips from the same tournament, would you know whether that was true sparty?

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From nickhitter - 18 Apr 2007 - 19:05   -   Updated: 18 Apr 2007 - 19:31

Great edit Mike!

what app did you use for that?

have you noticed that in the final frame of this edit you can see JP's body position is facing directly to the back corner with his back almost parallel to the floor at full stretch, yet he hits the ball actually slightly wide of the middle of the court, which means he is hitting the shot with more than a 180 degree angle and with power. incredible.

Viper - interesting you think it's really clear because it's only 45% quality of the original! It's a clip from a squashlive release. All their matches are amazing quality.

sparty

 

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From mike - 18 Apr 2007 - 14:41

I've edited the video to zoom and slow-mo the relevant section.
Right click to download to your computer:

http://www.diigital.com/other/jonathan_power_flick.wmv

Although the quality aint perfect like this I think it's easier to see the motion. The speed probably just comes from a strong wrist/fast flick; and the cross court direction from a willingness for JP to hit the ball close to himself as it exits.

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From nickhitter - 18 Apr 2007 - 11:05

Yeah I here what you're saying mike...It's very fast that's why I was hoping someone just knows what the technique is. I can dig out of back corners a little myself but from that angle only ever straight down the line....

when I've tried to go across I can never get the required width in the cross court and just goes in the middle. there's never any power in it either. where are you supposed to hit the ball in relation to your leading foot ?

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From Viper - 18 Apr 2007 - 11:00

Amazing, where did that video come from, it is the clearest squash video I have ever seen , is the entire match available somewhere ?

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From mike - 18 Apr 2007 - 10:55

A little hard to see because he plays the shot quickly, but I think what he's doing is using his wrist to hit the ball back towards him, and the front of the court.
I sometimes use a similar thing to dig shots out of the back corners.

It's different to a conventional swing in that you need to get your arm around behind the ball and then swing back towards your body. IMO flicking the wrist is required to play this shot.

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