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Quickness and speed

Published: 14 Aug 2012 - 07:02 by Aiahmed

Updated: 12 Sep 2012 - 21:50

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 Hi dear all,

My name is Abdullah and I am from Pakistan. I am a serious and addicted club level squash player. Currently I rank no.1 in my club where around 15 to 20 good players are there and play age is 32 years. There is one problem which I face against a very quick opponent. I am a shot maker and learned to keep the ball in four corners of the court but I'm no match for an oppponent who is fast and bullet speed quick player. I noticed that he plays a volley even on my killing shot and drops and no player in my club can do so. My tactics fail against his speed and movement. 

Please help me reach that speed.


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From Nick Hunter - 12 Sep 2012 - 21:41   -   Updated: 12 Sep 2012 - 21:50

Hi Abdullah,

I'm trying to understand how this quick player is beating you. Is it that you're making too many mistakes? Often, when playing an opponent with very good retrieval skills it forces you to go for drops and kills just above the tin and therefore more of them end up in the tin. Is this what is happening in your matches against this guy? If you are making more than 2 or 3 unforced errors per game then your attitude is too aggressive and you need play fewer risky shots.

If so you need to make less mistakes. But that assumes you have the fitness and speed to play longer rallies and retrieve more balls yourself. Speed, fitness and core strength is absolutely critical in higher level squash. When a player gets tired they lose form and their technique breaks down. This results in more loose shots and a fitter player can take advantage of this by playing simple drives, not taking any risks and just waiting for the mistakes to come.

You can improve your fitness by interval training. The average rally in top level club squash is about 15 seconds. On average there is about 7 seconds between each rally. I do interval training using a cross trainer, 15 seconds at 90% followed by 7 seconds rest. I repeat this for 15 minutes, then rest for 90 seconds (official break between games). Then repeat for another 15 minutes. If you complete 5 sets of 15 minutes then you are fit enough for top level squash. This is a great way to develop cardio-vascular fitness without battering you knees and back.

I also combine interval training with agility training. Using the same 15 seconds on, 7 seconds off principle I complete a circuit of 6 agility exercises. These agility exercises can be viewed here - (you'll need to register to view this video but it is a free one). Repeat each exercise at least 6 times and try and repeat each 10 times. You'll be surprised how hard it gets. Make sure you are familiar with each exercise before you start. First get the movement right by doing these for 30 seconds each with at least 30 seconds rest.

You can also do ghosting, again 15 seconds on, 7 seconds rest for as long as you can manage.

Core strength is also very important to enable you to hold form when at full stretch retrieving. If your upper body is wobbling about when you play your stroke it will introduce inaccuracy. Work out a good core strength program and complete it once every two or three days. Your strokes will become more powerful and more accurate and your form will be maintained for longer into a match. You will then play fewer loose shots.

To improve speed then heavy weight work in the gym targeting calfs, quads, hamstrings and adductors is required. Squats, lunges, leg extension, leg presses and calf raises will all add to your speed but make sure you know what you are doing before using weights.

You can also improve speed by doing the four ball pickup exercise. Get four old squash balls and place them one in each corner about 2 feet from the walls. Start on the T and as quick as you can pick each one up placing it on the T, when all four balls are on the T put them all back again. It should take about 20 seconds to complete.

Oh and be as light as you can be. Loose the fat and gain speed and endurance.

You can have the best technique in the world but without the required fitness it will always break down when you get tired. So work on fitness, agility, speed and movement and then play simple squash safe in the knowledge that you can retrieve more balls than your opponent and their legs will turn to jelly before yours do.

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From fazalabbas - 22 Aug 2012 - 05:45

Hi Abdullah,

Needless to say Squash is addicted. I learnt it at age 39 and since then I just cant stop loving it.

I think this is the time for you to move on to next club where you have players below your level :-)

Regarding a quick oppononet, you have to slow down the ball. That means lobs and width. Just do your basics. Tight and deep. Just as Rita said, if you will hit the ball super hard from one corner then ball will come back quicker and if opponoent is in good position and your ball is not wide enough then you are set for failure.

Slow down the speed and work on rails. I just cant emphasis more on tight rails.


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From rippa rit - 14 Aug 2012 - 07:34   -   Updated: 14 Aug 2012 - 07:35

From what you say it sounds as though you need to "hog" the T - never let a ball go past you unless it is almost on the wall and you cannot reach it.. Play your drives to the corners very tight to prevent the opponent attacking.

Take a look at our Library under the tab Squashgame Gold and you will see many tactical exercises. For different opponents you may need to change your game and show discipline.  Even slow down the drives to get the balls tighter to the side walls.

Remember the faster you hit the bal, especially when out of position, the faster the ball comes back.

Let's know how that goes.


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