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Watch the ball

Keep your eye on the ball at all times

Keep your eye on the ball at all times

Published: 21 Nov 2004 - 16:35 by rippa rit

Updated: 26 Sep 2006 - 21:48

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To accurately track the ball, it is necessary to keep your eye on the ball at all times.
That might also mean getting out of the way of the racket swing, and ball, while your opponent is returning the shot.

No that by :
  • Moving the body to give yourself better sight of the ball will assist anticipation considerably.
  • This, in turn, wil increase your speed to the ball.
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From rippa rit - 03 Feb 2006 - 07:30   -   Updated: 03 Feb 2006 - 07:36

aprice - I have read whay Ray said, and have gone off the watching the ball bit for now, and I am now just trying to visualise your playing positions when going for the drop.  Arthur some players never really come to the T but run from shot to shot like a flash too, and generally play lots of length (since they never stand still/steady long enough to play touch.  So probably all of what has been said does apply so your delima is to apply what has been said to the appropriate situation/opponent. So -
  • If you cannot hear or see your opponent, particularly if they have just returned a defensive boast, a drop would be a good bet - executed very.quickly too.
  • If your opponent is in control of the rally, and dragged you to the front, the opponent will most likely be at the T (hoping to cut off a volley), so forget the drop, but chose to hit a nice high, soft, cross court lob and then get back to the centre court asap.
  • If your opponent just runs around like a mad-man and gets all the balls back, use the boast to bring the opponent forward, and make then run, and leave the drop until they are worn out (in maybe the fourth or fifth game).
I would like to know, after you have digested what has been said, what you feel is the answer to your problem.  Also how did you try to implement the solutions?  Were you able to isolate any particular thing in your game/s?  Are you any more aware of how different opponent's move around the court?

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From raystrach - 02 Feb 2006 - 23:02   -   Updated: 02 Feb 2006 - 23:06

awareness is a big thing in squash. although it is always good to know where you opponent is when you are at the front, there are ways of knowing even though you can't see them. the fellow i mentioned in yesterday's blog is exceptionally good at picking correctly where the ball is going - one of his great strengths. ask yourself a few questions
  • does you opponent always move to the T after they have played their shot?
  • are you hitting the ball early or late?
  • is it early in the game or late in the game?
  • are they fresh or tired?
  • what shots have you played previously in the same situation?
  • is it game point and are they tired or committed?
now you have about half a secong to ask yourself all these questions before deciding to play that drop shot or another 5 or so alternatives. that should give you something to work on

ps, can you hear where they are?

pps. if you are in position early to play the drop, don't worry too much - you are in control, not your opponent. be sure to have at least 2 contrasting alternatives to play with exactly the same preparation and downswing (and prepare early)

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From rippa rit - 02 Feb 2006 - 21:07

aprice - you are not the only person who plays without much idea of what the opponent is doing or where they are standing.
  • In the back of the court knowing where your opponent is, is not such a problem, especially as you will be in one corner, can see the two other corners, so, it is a sure bet they are in the other corner.  Easier than the front of the court.
  • In the front of the court:-
    • Move to the front in such a way as to be able to see at least a shadow of a foot, or movement in at least two other corners. 
    • Move side on to the ball, shoulders sort of parallel to the side walls, and if you cannot see your opponent at all just move around a bit further as you approach the front of the court.
  • Of course, you cannot take a stare at your opponent, but you can get a glimpse in the peripheral vision.  Have a practice at looking at the ball, and noting how much you can see around you, in spite of preparing to hit the ball.  You will be surprised.
Give it a go and see if you can improve the movement.

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From aprice1985 - 02 Feb 2006 - 08:34

My big problem is watching the ball and knowing where my opponent is when i play drop shots, if i don't know where they are how can i get out of their path to the ball?  Is there any easy route?

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