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Use the side walls

Published: 04 Feb 2005 - 16:47 by rippa rit

Updated: 05 Jul 2007 - 16:58

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Rippa Rita`s championship squash tip
It was once thought the side wall shots were only hit in defence; or, if you really could not hit the ball to the front wall it was a sort of last resort.  Once I discovered the benefits of the side walls, and learnt to hit a descent shot, my game improved out of sight.

Take advantage of the side walls. Why?
    • By keeping the ball close to the side wall, it stops the speed at which the opponent returns the ball.
    • A ball that follows the side wall towards the corner, hits the wall slightly, and keeps going is difficult to retrieve and requires a full swing to get enough speed to go to the front wall.
    • A tight ball takes the "legs" away from a fast moving player, as they have to wait to strike the ball, hoping the ball will hit the side wall and then jut out a fraction.
    • Shaping to play a ball hugging the wall, could cause racket damage, so the opponent backs off - and waits, often finding themselves in the back corner (and by this time their opponent is in front putting them on the defensive).
    •  A side wall boast can catch players who back-pedal expecting a length shot (to find themselves flat-footed).
    • Using the side walls when serving, tricks those who do not watch, and misjudge the speed and angle of the ball.
    •  A boast from the back corners, depending on the angle it hits the side wall, can be an attacking shot.
    • Side wall shots move players who crowd and get in the way, or have dangerous swings.
    • Side wall shots (volley boasts and boasts) make good use of the 4 corners of the court, hence making the opponent run a full circle.
    • Tight shots in the front of the court can cause defensive returns, and hence more volleying opportunities.
    • Here are three pair routines that will test your fitness, court movement and accuracy under pressure. ie
    • ........2 Drives to length/Boast or Volley Boast/Drop shot/2 Drives etc.
    • ........1 Lob Serve/Volley to length/Drive or Volley Boast/Drop Shot/Drive etc
    • ........1 Drive to length/1 Lob to length/Volley Boast/Drop shot/Lob to Length etc.
  • I suppose you could call these benchmarks. I bet you feel "stuffed" and frustrated after ten minutes! Yes?
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Replies...

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From rippa rit - 25 Apr 2005 - 07:27

Good idea Slavi,
Just thinking about the racket length from the ball tip, and it is a good guide. So with early racket preparation that makes is easier to judge, as the racket head can follow the path of the ball. Just one other thing to consider - allow for the lunge as well, especially when chasing a ball into the corners, so that in most cases would be 1.5 racket lengths (depending on the length of your legs)- and it is so much easier to reach forward than it is to shuffle back and swing! Hey, this makes the court smaller too and the walls further away.

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From drop-shot - 24 Apr 2005 - 23:32

Rita, generally I m becoming more and more relaxed player in the whole court. The issue now is to keep my body one racket lenght from the ball to let myself swing :-) and believe me, too often I am too fast.
Speaking of chin, it happened when my opponent was too close to me (only 2 m.) and his extensive tennis swing was really fast. Now I can blame both of us. Him for his swing going all around the court and myself for not keeping him away from me ... So, since then I am wearing eyeprotectors and sometimes iMask.

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From rippa rit - 20 Apr 2005 - 08:40

Slavi,
So, why did you get hit on the chin? Anyway, about the "volley at all cost" approach. Excellent to volley, if you can do a purposeful shot of course. If you are having difficulty reaching the ball(and we do not want the return to end up in the sky!), and are now level with the service box corner, turn, keep away from the ball, follow the ball around and then decide if you can do a reasonable shot when it bounces, or will it be necessary to wait till it rebounds off the back wall. A tip is, once you turn, start to crouch down, increase the stride length so you will be down ready for the drive or boast. Are you relaxed now when chasing those balls to the back wall? You are definitely progressively getting the concept.

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From drop-shot - 19 Apr 2005 - 18:32

Rita, just one comment on it:
1. By keeping the ball close to the side wall, it stops the speed at which the opponent returns the ball.
Of course, because poor looser will break his racket on the side wall.
Jokes out, it is obvious that tight lenght and open face are the winners in any squash match. And you remember how much i hated the boasts... You do for sure. Now after 8-10 weeks of everyday practice (Straight volley, cc boast, run to the backhand, volley, cc boast) this is one of my favourite weapons while I am in trouble close to the glass. But still I am defencing my "volley everything" approach. AH, and speaking of side wall shots to prevent the opponent racket on your chin - this is very important. If you move your opponent frokm T, you are safe. I know what i mean now as I have 4 stitches on my chin. Delivered from Dunlop racket of my squash-partner. Now it does not happen anymore :-)

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From carrimcas - 18 Apr 2005 - 22:16

Hi There,

I think a good thing to look at before applying any strategy is to assess the type of opponent you are playing against. He/she has certain strengths and weaknesses, the idea is to exploit the opponents weaknesses. Fatigue can bring the best of players to a grinding halt, the whole idea is to be fitter than your opponent or in a decent physical condition. The tips are excellent and very useful.
thank you
Cassim

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