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Hate a slow game?

Published: 29 Apr 2004 - 18:09 by rippa rit

Updated: 17 Aug 2006 - 08:38

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Rippa Rita`s championship squash tip
Players who play a slow game, usually control the ball well, placing it in difficult situations. No wonder you hate it! They also give you little pace to work with, making it difiicult to maintain your rythym. You must strike back by taking them out of their comfort zone.

If you do hate a slow game, and your opponent does not realise that, it is a great relief since they may not exploit your weakness.  You can have trouble applying yourself to the match. In reality all players must be able to mix up their play or adapt their game to suit all styles of play.

If both players play slow, it makes for a difficult game, and frustrating as well. One player must change, the one who is losing that is, should try. How to speed up the play to try and overcome a "slow game" opponent:-
    • Volley as much as possible.
    • Get to the T early.
    • Take the return of serve on the volley.
    • Hit some hard/low serves as a surprise.
Give it a try members and let me know how you went.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 rippa rit - 27 Nov 2005 - 07:18

Slavi - rookie sounds Oz talk.  Anyway, back to this topic. 
  • You know I just thought I do not mean just brush past the T (centre of the court) as you go.
  •  I mean get in front of your opponent and be settled, not just running through the middle like a rattle snake.  There is a difference. 
  • If players just cruise through the T and wave their racket at the ball that is not good enough - stop/turn/wait/twist/reach up/bend down etc  is what I would like to see.
  • All of these things tie in with breaking up the rhythm.

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From drop-shot - 24 Nov 2005 - 19:33

First reply to Rita:
Yes, I do agree with your points , I just realized that "Get to The T early" may be not enough to spees up the game, and in my humble rookie opinion, we should USE the T, not get to the T. And obviously, you are perfectly right about the tape that "wears out" ca. 70 cm- 1 m behinf the actual T.

Fitness and squash, another good topic to discuss while we talk about "slow/fast game".

And now I will answer your question:
"Our young player's bodies are wearing out too young - why?"

Because they do not play smart, they think squash os about sprint excersizes in 60 sqm cage.

Now, Viper, short answer:
"...unless that decline is stopped the game is going to continue to dissapear. "

Well, thanks god and good national squash organization in Hungary I can't complain. And the game won't dissapear neither here (Hungary), neither there (Australia), even if you walk upside down, guys.
And you should simply PLAY, PLAY, PLAY, help to promote, attend the tournaments, stay active, but not virtually.

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From Viper - 24 Nov 2005 - 07:16

Hi Slavic,


"Hello, I want to discuss squash game here :-) I am really mising the point of recent Viper's posts. Maybe you should talk it in private with Ray :-D"


We all love the game and we all want to see it prosper but in Australia and elsewhere the game is in decline (I am not sure about where you play) and unless that decline is stopped the game is going to continue to dissapear. For instance I can count probably 10 or more sqash centers that have closed within about 20km of where I live. The remaining few are only holding there own and nothing more.

Australia was once one of the biggest players of squash in terms of venues and people playing and inspite of us still being one of the best nations in the world playing the game it is still shrinking here.

So talking about what squash needs to do so it can survive much less grow is the point of my recent discussions, I can not see anything  more important .

The forum has plenty of scope to include talking about the ins and outs of playing the game as well as the big picture of making squash strong again.


If a nation like Australia continues to show increasing disinterest in the game then sqash will suffer worldwide, just have a read of the number of top players from Australia in the open tournaments.

Now back to your good discussion.


thanks viper   


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From rippa rit - 24 Nov 2005 - 07:11

Hi Slavi - good points.
Don't quite see the need to change the terms of point 2.  However, that phrase is just a term to trigger many ideas during play, I think.  Guess it depends how you have been taught or how you perceive what is going on, and what you do to adjust the play or re-enforce the strategies.
The tape on the floor of the court never wears out at the T but about half a metre behind that spot is often a bare patch!  So the "cue words" for point 2 are, eg
  • get to the centre of the court before the opponent strikes the ball
  • only hit the ball as fast as you can run, or recover to the T/centre court
  • rack your brain "what shot do I need to play to take my opponent from the T"
  • who is doing all the work? "what can be done to take off the pressure"
Guess, I am not really concerned too much with the professional players as they have already established their main game, and often at this stage of their career, it is built around being an athlete, more than a squash player, unfortunately.  If you are having 12 shot rallies the ball is going to be pretty hot and very hard to slow down, and very easy to over-hit, and often the ball bouncing back into the court more than it should.
The faster the play, the more difficult it is to control, eg close to the wall, tight into the corners, and with the fitness and skill levels it sometimes almost has to hit the "dead" nick to become an effective shot.
The professional players(full time), and especially since the establishment of the AIS where players attend gym, do lots of sprint training, as well as squash, has changed focus from squash player to fitness guru so the strategy seems to often be focussed on wearing the opponent out in the first 3 games, then it sort of becomes the survival of the fittest (not to mention the mental).  When your "brain goes" , and if you are confident in your fitness, it often feels right to just hit and run too.
So Slavi, take what you want from what I have said, but really hard, fast, hitting and running is boring to my eyes.
There is a lot of wasted energy out there that could be conserved.  Nothing is easier for the fit players than to run in a straight line up and down the court; however, throw in the long/short, twist/turn and the game alters considerably, as it also shifts the fitness to another dimension.
Just for fun,  monitor a pro game, have a diagram of the court in front of you, and mark 1,2,3,4 etc into the court corners (as the rally progresses) to just track down where the balls are going, and in what order,  and if in fact they are travelling a full circle during these long rallies or just running a triangle?
Our young player's bodies are wearing out too young - why?
So, says you, what has that got to do with the point "get to the T early"!!

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From drop-shot - 24 Nov 2005 - 02:13

Hello, I want to discuss squash game here :-)
I am really mising the point of recent Viper's posts.
Maybe you should talk it in private with Ray :-D

So, coming back to "Hate a slow game" topic;
I have few observations here to share:

first - about "slow" games –if you watch the proffessional players (PSA top 20), you see that game is not that fast, it's just the illusion coming from the TV or Computer screen. When you watch them live, you see that the game is so fast that you hardly follow the ball. And similar opinions I've heard from top Hungarian players playing with Julien Balbo, Nick Matthew, Adrian Grant, Joey Barrington or Marcus Berret – sometimes those guys speeden up the pace of the game that the opponent can't see the ball.

second of all – I'd like to rephrase bullet point 2 - Get to the T early. I'd like to read it as "use the T" or "take the adventage of possesing/ ruling the T", because it says clearly what the smart player should understand, as "Get to T early" sounds a bit too plain for me. I hope, you understand my point, Rita.

And if you understand the importance of "being there", you will easily understand that playing volley is great opportunity to make your opponent check out the dusty floor in the corners behind you.

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