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Deception is Decieving (Part II)

Published: 08 Feb 2006 - 01:21 by theguru

Updated: 17 Dec 2006 - 00:24

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Can I say at the outset, that this has been one of the longest months in history. When I do visit the website my eyes go immediately to the date of the first part of this article. Let me say that severe mental problems have contributed to my tardiness in supplying the second part of this article. (In reality i was hoping my abscence would cause much longing, unfortunately, no one even noticed)

By way of reminder, you can re read Deception part 1 here

Now, proceeding as if I have never been away, please let me draw these threads together:

A shot hit at full pace with a closed faced racket will travel at great speed with little or no spin, it will rebound off the front wall and the floor in a certain way. The same shot but hit with a very open faced racket will travel more slowly but with much more spin which, in turn will change the rebound effect.
These two shots have the same action up until just before racket/ball impact. The first shot is best played to length (deep), the second shot best played short. Because of the delay between decision making and moving, if the two shots were hit accurately, both would probably be winners.

A thoughtful player would probably play the first shot a number of times before playing the short shot. The extra skillful player may follow up with a boast then a deep cross court from the same situation. Perhaps they may hit a lob with a fast swing but with a very open racket face. The choices are numerous and potentially confusing, especially for the player about to play the ball.

What shot will I play - I have only a split second to make the decision?!

But do not fear, mere mortals can achieve astounding results with only a basic understanding of vector physics. Just remember that the ball will be propelled by a combination of the angle of the racket and the direction of the swing. In addition:
  • The more open the racket face the more the direction of the swing determines the direction of the hit
  • The more closed the racket face the more the angle of the racket face determines the direction of the hit
  • To hit the ball straight, the racket shaft will be parallel to the front wall at point of impact (except on the overhead volley)
  • To hit a boast, the racket shaft will be angled with the handle end closest to the front wall
  • To hit a cross court the racket shaft will be angled with the handle end closest to the back wall
  • Speed of the ball is determined by a combination of the angle of the hit and the speed of the racket head on impact (I must repeat "ON IMPACT")
There is nothing new in this.

Now to develop some of the skills required  to achieve the above combinations and permutations without sending what used to be called a telegram (for those who don't know what this is, please consult Google)...

Step 1.
  • Without the aid of a ball, take a Squash racket in one's hand and, hold the racket in front (the elbow slightly tucked i nto the stomach) with the forearm parallel to the ground with the palm of the hand pointing upwards at about 45°
  • Keeping the hand fairly still then 
    • move the elbow side to side across the body, (the hand/racket will swivel) - note the position of the racket head and the shaft of the racket
    • Lift the elbow up to about shoulder height -look at the angle of racket face
  • Now keep the elbow still (somewhat tucked in to the stomach)
    • Move the hand across the body from side to side
  • Now rotate (pronate/supinate) the forearm
As long as one did not have one eye's closed, one would have noticed the myriad of positions and angles of the racket face. If it is not too taxing, imagine the possibilities of the variation of direction of the ball coming from those racket face positions.

Step 2
Now sit down a take a nap.

  • In your little dream associated with the nap, you could perhaps imagine playing a shot with the elbow forward and little or no pronation - correct - a boast
  • or with the elbow back and more pronantion - yes, a cross court
  • maybe a fast downswing, slowing immediately prior to impact and little pronation - well done, a drop

so many combinations, so little space

Step 3
Now that the nap is over, take your racket, shoes, ball and eyewear to your local Squash courts and start experimenting and practising. Ten to fifteen years should do it. Or in the case of some SquashGame members, six months.

Step 4
Remind oneself regularly of the basics
  • Keep an open face where possible (and an open mind always)
  • Hit the basic shot MOST of the the time with the variation some of the time - not the other way around
  • Prepare early and similarly for most shots  or alternately, have at least two viable options for each preparation position
  • Keep it simple - the choice of more than one shot at any one time will always result in the ball going right up the middle or directly back at the striker, neither a good result
My mind is now so overheated, I almost negelected ...
Step 5.
Once the above skills have been mastered, one can look into the science of body language to create even more havoc, with either oneself or one's opponent, or quite often, both. Remember, keep it subtle.

I know I have been deceptive when I surprise even myself, at the shot that i have just played.

Now,  I think I will take a nap.squash game squash extras How to add images to Members' Forum posts and replies here...


Please Note: The most recent replies are now at the top!

From SuperSage666 - 17 Dec 2006 - 00:21   -   Updated: 17 Dec 2006 - 00:24

Wow: Now I have mental overload.

Can I ever get that much control over my shots, unlikely.

I find my most deceptive shots are simply a matter of stroke timing.

I have the same preparation for almost all shots and a fairly fast downswing, but those opponents that play professionally are not phased at all by any variation. They (like Peter Nicol in the video clips I have) simply gain a good position to cover all variations, do a quick step as I strike the ball and then move with the ball.  Regardless of whether I hit it long, short, cross-court or lob, they are on to it as soon as it leaves my racket and will return it.  This makes for very long and frustrating rallies.  Since I'm getting fitter from these long rallies, it is getting more enjoyable.  Most of these players are much younger, fitter and play at a much higher level than I have done.  Since I started playing at 28 and twice a week, there is no way I could find the time or afford to train a couple of hours a day like these blokes. 

Now I have developed a strategy that gets these players off-guard or wrong footed occasionally and that is to incorporate a little extra delay, every now and then.   Normally I will take the ball as early as possible to put pressure on my opponent.  But, every now and then I will suddenly extend the holding of my shot until the ball is almost unplayable.  This change in pace seems to rattle them and allows me time to place a very tight drop or side sliced boast (makes it hug the front wall and stays very short).  After a few very tight shots like this, they have a tendency to move further forward when I hold my stroke.  Then I will crack either a blinding drive or cross-court (depending on which way they are moving) and it often gives me the rally or sets me up to cut off their desperate (usually loose) return for a winner.

I have surprised these better players and even though I rarely beat them, these players have shown me more respect since I've adopted this tactic.




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From rippa rit - 12 Jun 2006 - 15:54

So Guru,  you are a Polar Bear?  And have not yet woken from that nap?  Grrrr. so you are hibernating - must soon be time for food - and more thought.......hope so.

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From theguru - 19 Mar 2006 - 00:58

dear jjsooty

while this article may contain a considerable amount of information, it stems from two basic ideas. 
  1. The swing direction and racket face angle determine the direction of the ball
  2. One must ensure that the downswing is the same (or as close as  humanly possible) for each shot
from there, one should use one's imagination as to the possibilities. carefully watch those who use deception to see how they achieve it.

learn, experiment and create.

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From rippa rit - 16 Mar 2006 - 08:02

JJ - Just get a big notepad and put the points down in big writing.
Then, just take one thing at a time.
The things that seem relative for now that is come first for the practice, and just keep working through them.
Then, in 5 years if you have run out of things just let us know.

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From JJSOOTY - 16 Mar 2006 - 03:17

The summary is a lot easier to deal with.  I'm having a case of info overload here!

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From rippa rit - 08 Feb 2006 - 07:39

Whoooo! Guru - I have got indigestion.
No wonder it has taken so long for Part ll to come through, since you have really given it your ALL.
I get the point:-
  • Open face racket
  • Angle of open face racket
  • Various angles of the racket face
  • Angle of racket face imparts spin
  • Angles give height to the ball

And really I have been looking at your post from all angles too.

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