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Keep opponent off balance

Published: 09 Oct 2004 - 23:45 by rippa rit

Updated: 18 May 2007 - 08:35

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Rippa Rita`s championship squash tip
Ideally, if we could have fluent movements, and feel balanced when retrieving and executing  our shots, the result would certainly have more accuracy.

 Why keep your opponent off balance?
    • It makes the opponent feel unsettled, and less controlled while swinging at the ball.
    •  It is difficult for the opponent to hit winners while struggling with footwork.
    • The error rate is higher.
    •  It is physically more tiring as being unbalanced makes a player feel unco-ordinated, and movement requires more effort.
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From rippa rit - 18 May 2007 - 08:34   -   Updated: 18 May 2007 - 08:35

mike,  providing you concentrate and keep observing how quickly your opponent is moving and recovering and maybe tiring as well as how accurately their shots are, or if they are giving you any problem and maybe starting to guess the plan -  then it is time to still keep the boast coming (unless they are drop shotting and giving you trouble); so.just when the opponent starts to gets used to going forward, that is the time to use the drive a few times, then when he gets comfortable and thinks you have changed your plan, revert back to the boast, and the same applies with the cross court, and even the occasional cross court lob is ok - it is very hard to put these strategies into play without first moving the opponent up and down and across the court.  For example a lob is never too effective against a tall opponent, if if he is up the front of the court it will work ok especially if he is looking for a drive....so the fight goes on.

Focussing on what is going on during the game is another skill not to be under estimated - if your opponent does not have a drop shot, or does not think to use it, that would be a bonus too, though they may have a tickle boast to compensate.  Just keep observing and put the stuff in your memory bank

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From mike - 17 May 2007 - 22:30

Yeah I was scratching for those ideas, particularly the second :)

I can see how cross courts force someone to turn and change direction, but I can also see my cross courts lacking in depth and losing me position. But that's just a matter of execution.

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From rippa rit - 17 May 2007 - 19:09   -   Updated: 17 May 2007 - 19:12

Mike - Yeah, though those two answers would not have been my first choices - sorry to be so picky.
It does depend on your opponent of course, eg their size, their height, agility and speed how effective the plan works.  Long ago I had the pleasure of coaching Rodney Eyles (he was only about 15 years old) to win a tournament match against a tall (6'4") lanky guy, Peter, a top level player comp player, and after the first game I said "Rod, you must make sure this guy is twisting and turning as much as possible - make him bend, and tie his legs together".  The plan was to boast and cross court a great percentage of the play.  Rod won after a long match, and I was pleased to see how much thought Rod put into the match. 
I am not saying those other tips would not be a good idea but not enough pressure to continually keep the opponent with one foot off the floor.

Try it out, on a tall opponent when you get a chance.

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From mike - 17 May 2007 - 18:19

What are ways to keep an opponent off balance?
  • Delayed or deceptive shots?
  • Shots that die near walls to force unplanned reaching ?

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