Different Strokes for Different Blokes
Published: 18 Jun 2008 - 23:00 by raystrach
Updated: 25 Jun 2008 - 16:24
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It never ceases to amaze me how people manage to play Squash. Squash is a very technical games which benefits those who can use the correct technique to its fullest extent.
And yet i have played people whose technique, accordiing to the text book at least, is woeful. I have been beaten badly by those same people. They have found a way to play which, whilst it may not suit most people, satisfies the fundamentals of Squash play. For whatever reason, the unusual way they play, still works.
This operates at all levels of course and to greater and lesser extents.
I was struck by the technique of a teenage girl i have started coaching recently. She is quite a good player with a reasonable technique. We have been doing some work on her forehand which is her major weakness. Although she hits the ball very well when in the middle of the court, the back corner is the achilles heel. She is progressing well, in making the changes to reduce this problem.
But it was on the backhand side where I noticed a real strength. I try to coach a variety of footwork styles so that the player can hit off either foot. I was pleasantly surprised when she attempted to hit off her left (non preferred) foot on that side, expecially when the ball was slightly behind her. A few years ago i was against this technique on the backhand.
Although, she felt uncomfortable doing so, I was immediately struck by how her accuracy improved once she use the left foot. When some others do it, they struggle right from the start and it takes weeks to "get it". She adapted immediately.
In this instance, it was the fact the this technique improved her shoulder position in relation to the ball. When she takes the right foot to retrieve a ball that goes behind her, she tends to turn her back on the ball, meaninig the the shoulders are no longer parallel to the side wall. She does not do this when using the other foot.
She now needs to practice this so that the discomfort subsides. She will get more accuracy and her recovery to the T will be quicker. But doing things the new way for her, will improve her game and help her get better results. Others might only use the technique occasionally because it does not add to thier game.
This really highlighted to me how individuality is of prime importance when assisting people improve their game. I remember watching a coach spend 20 minutes on getting a player to slightly change the way they were hitting a ball. The player was hitting the ball beautifully, but it did not suit the coach's picture of what the stroke should look like.
The coach would have been far better in spending the time on something that mattered.
The fundamentals are a starting point, not an end in themselves. At the end of it all, we need to ask the question. Is what i am doing going to increase my enjoyment of the game?
it does not matter who you are, the answer must always be YES!How to add images to Members' Forum posts and replies here...
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From rippa rit - 25 Jun 2008 - 16:24
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From rippa rit - 19 Jun 2008 - 04:14 - Updated: 19 Jun 2008 - 16:36
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