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Improving without opponents

Published: 07 Sep 2012 - 04:29 by play4ever

Updated: 09 Sep 2012 - 05:00

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 I need a way to bridge the gap between solo drills and match performance.

My club has no players available for matches nor drills.  I'm in the city's inter-club ladder which provides a match every six weeks.  More matches will be available after I improve up the ladder.

I'm in the worst bracket and have never won a game since starting one year ago.

I am a solo-drills master.  I've mastered all advanced level solo drills, eg. fore/back vari-length drive, volley, cross combo, figure8 volley, ghosting, etc. max reps for all.  I'm now creating my own drills cuz I've exhausted everything on the internet.

The problem is that all those stroking and movement skills breakdown when a new variable (the opponent) is introduced.  Eg. tracking skills difficult to improve solo.

Teaching pros seem to want to teach only stroke details.  Some are willing to do match-relevant work (strategy, tactics, movement), but it seems outside the box for them.  They seem to have no curriculum for that, which forces me to create the scenarios.


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From play4ever - 09 Sep 2012 - 05:00

 Thanks Rita. First - can you recommend a camera so that I can send you a video via ecoach?

Keep in mind I have nobody to operate the camera, so it'll be attached to a tripod within 1-2 feet of the back wall glass.  It should be simple to start recording ie. inconspicuous so as to not bother the opponent or the hosting club or its other members walking by on their way to the other fitness areas.

Failed cameras so far- I tried my droid mobile phone but it has no zoom, so it captures only a small percentage of the court, and only lower body or upper body not both. I also tried my netbook camera, but it could only zoom in (not out), so it had the same problem.  In both cases the camera was as far back away from the court as feasibility permits.

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From rippa rit - 08 Sep 2012 - 07:29   -   Updated: 08 Sep 2012 - 07:31

Just a couple of thoughts re the opponents.  Have you put your name in the Playing Partners register of squashgame? That might come up with something for you.

Yes, the first step is static drills which it seems you have been really putting a heap of time into perfecting.  The next step is routines, the next restricted games, and then matches. So you know what I am referring to?  When I coach players who are quick, and I have difficulty keeping up, feed the ball or have a feeding partner to practice with who can feed the ball, eg feed to the front corner at a moderate rate, not too difficult at first, while you, the person doing the hard work, has to run up hit the ball return it down the wall, then move back through the centre court to the back wall and then be ready for the next short ball feed.  This concept can be varied to short feeds, short returns; even, make it two shots in a row still using the concept of running through the centre to the back of the court and return for the next feed, eg short feed, deep return, boast, short feed, etc.

The other idea is to hire a ball machine, who can be the feeder, and you repeat as I suggested above.

Does this make sense?.

If you want to send in a video through our e-coach I will give you an idea of where you are at with your shots and training. 

Also give a solo drill a try, eg drive, boast, drop shot, drive.  The main idea is to keep yourself moving and making the shots under pressure, and also testing your fitness/heart rate. Watch the ball at all times, never take your eye off it.

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From play4ever - 07 Sep 2012 - 23:51

 Thanks tom.  My club is liftime fitness cinncinati, OH, u.s.a.  I think the pro took notice of my relentless drilling, so he emailed the handful of members asking for interest level re: ladders, matches, drills, etc..  Very little response from members.  I think I might take matters in my own hands- start the ladder, put a poster of brackets on the wall, put my name on top as "Current #1" and welcome all challengers.  Build it and they will come. 

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From tomdenners - 07 Sep 2012 - 20:19   -   Updated: 07 Sep 2012 - 20:20

You need someone to play against! Where are you based?

You need to mine Facebook/Twitter/forums for someone who will give you a game or put your details on the noticeboard at the club.

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