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Published: 21 Jul 2004 - 18:34 by rippa rit

Updated: 03 Dec 2006 - 15:13

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Rippa Rita`s championship squash tip
This is a true story... Once I watched a top ex nationally ranked player play a ranked State younger player, and I learnt heaps; enough for all players to stop and think when they are down that it is possible to play smart and win even when you are out on your feet.

The situation was:
  •  It was 2 games all.
  • The ex ranked player was almost out on their feet.
  • The younger player was bouncing about trying to hurry the game along.
  • The ex ranked player stayed calm, but breathless, and wasted little energy, was patient and kept the ball tight and deep, waiting for the "right" shot, never made an error, took the pace off the ball, which improved accuracy, and conserved energy, and, finally won 9:6 in the fifth.
I guess it was experience v inexperience, if you like.
Often players shake their head after being beaten and still don't know what went wrong!
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From rippa rit - 29 Nov 2005 - 15:16

Hi Slavi - yeah, you can only KILL when the ball sits up and says "kill me" - meantime, patience, and then pounce.
  • The more kill, the more energy, the more heat in the ball, the more difrficult to control the service, the more shaky the hands, the more the heart pumps, and then, to cap it off, the mind plays tricks too.
  • Just keep the little tickle boasts as a surprise, only.
  • The drops, lobs and tickle boasts really break up the "killers".  And, then the opponent has the hide to say, after you beat them, "you don't play properly"!!
Love it

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From drop-shot - 05 May 2005 - 00:54

you know what, he simply became more focused. Bloody simple thing. He was smarter.
Now, from monday I started this practice, when opponent hits sraights or crosscourts from the glass and I am in the front feeding him with defensive, high lobs and tosses. My game has to become a bit slower if you know what I mean. I have to STOP killing the balls as well. In the other case it will be a public suicide on the court :-) ... now when i recall myself from Saturday, i think I was the most stupid player on the tournament. No harm anyway. The older we grow the more we know.
Last note - he used to play a lot of reverse tickle boasts ... Jeesus, it is not squash game at all ;-)

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From rippa rit - 04 May 2005 - 08:56

Slavi - see how I cannot let things rest - I am a shaker and a mover, maybe; or just bl...y annoying!
There is something in that 5-0 match missing - your opponent must have also changed his game. Silly boy if he did not when he is getting thrashed!
Here is a simple idea about the control and change of pace which might work for you too.
...If opponent's hit is hard, you hit a soft return;
...If opponent's hit is soft, you hit a hard attacking return (if possible, providing it is not stuck against the wall).
Try it in practice - no harm done - see how it works for you. It is important to get a good grasp of this change of pace stuff, etc.

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From drop-shot - 03 May 2005 - 21:37

Hello again,
I know i wrote my msg pretty fast so it is for fast readers only :-))))
OK, jokes out. When i wrote that my crosscourt goes out i meant I do hit the ball too early and actually I am not ready yet to hit. All of this because i am not patient enough when i am luckily winning 5-0 and of course you are right - I hit too hard, for god sake. It is told "hard or high" and i go for both solutions, ha ha ha.
Then, when i say, relax, I mean "controll and relax" indeed. A lot of people watching my game was impressed that i was at 5-0 that easily and then I went down to the trash. Well, I learn on my own mistakes.
and of course, thanks a lot for the lesson.

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From rippa rit - 03 May 2005 - 20:27

Hi Slavi,
It is great to see you setting some long term goals. I am not sure if I read what you said correctly but I gathered a few ideas from your comments, Ithink, as here they are:-
1. It is a fine line, to stay patient for the shot to "go for" as opposed to going for the winner off the wrong ball. Anxiousness can often cause the plan to look like "trying for a hole in one" off every ball, and does waste a lot of energy and give little time to think. This change (often unintentional) can cause a change of game plan just enough to suit the opponent.
2. The height of a cross court will not make the ball go out (except on the front wall). If the ball is going out on the side wall it is the angle the ball hits the front wall that sends it out, and if it goes out on the back wall it is most likely because it was hit too hard.
3. About playing relaxed - yes, but play controlled and in no hurry to win the point, until a ball bounces into the middle of the court, and then pounce and hit the ball with authority, and keep repeating this if necessary to win the point.

I know I have probably said this before, but I will say it again - practice routines that combine lobs and hard drives, eg Player A attacks every ball for 2 minutes, Player B lobs to length for 2 minutes (then change roles);
Rally down the wall and each player alternately hitting one soft lob to length, and then one hard drive or volley to length (change roles). These skills do not come without a specific effort to conquer them.

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From drop-shot - 02 May 2005 - 21:29

Of course I know what went wrong in my last tournament when I lost. My stupidity was seen so clear. it was already 5:0 in the second game and i thought "geez, it is so easy" ... And suddenly I woke up when it was 9:5 to my opponent.
Three things I must stop to become better player:
1. An attempt to kill every ball;
2. Hitting crosscourts too high (the ball is to high and it goes out);
3. Losing concentration when it goes too easy;
Three things I must start doing:
1. Playing a lot with variety of players to learn different game paces;
2. Play slower and in a more relaxed way;
3. Unconditionally occupy the T zone (for now it does not work perfect);
Three things to be continued and improved:
1. Attempts to volley every ball;
2. Bouncing on the toes to be ready to start
3. Play wide and tight crosscourts to the backhand of my opponent.

I think that it covers the most of my game qualities for now. Next tournament in two weeks. So "Think, think, think, and concentrate on the game".
I will try to record my game on the camera and watch myself from the "audience/ ref" point of view

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...that I´m getting better and better.I became "squash-addict". It´s all because of your work here.

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