Info for Your Squashgame

Clues for Squash Training at Progressive Levels

Restricted games are a great way to introduce new skills into your game and to work on weaknesses.

  • You can play a game but focus on a particular skill or game element
  • By playing with different standards, you can make the restricted game hard or easy
  • You do not have to worry about winning or losing

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Hints for inexperienced players

Level D gives tips for inexperienced players.
There are simple hints to assist players improve their strategy and skill, eg
  • Hit the drives to length past the service box.
  • Aim to keep the serve close to the side wall making it difficult for the opponent to hit without hitting the wall.
  • Play shots that go to the backhand side (providing their backhand is a weaker shot)
  • Hit the ball away from the opponent to make them run.

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Clues for Squash Training

Clues for Training at Level D
The level of skill and tactics may be applicable to a person who has commenced playing competition and will play different opponents.
  • Hit the drives down the wall - not too many cross court shots.
  • Think of the position of the feet, grip, backswing, flex knees for balance and weight transfer.
  • Keep at least a racket length from the ball.
  •  Problems to look for:
    • Ball will not go down the wall turn, face the side wall when swinging.
    • Contact the ball opposite the front foot
    • Swing so that the racket head follows parallel to the side wall.
  • Remember the targets on the front wall as they give the direction
  • Problems to look for:
    • Not hitting the ball deep enough aim higher on the front wall.
    • Ball bouncing off the back wall ... hit the ball softer if you are trying to toss - hit the ball lower if you are trying to drive.
  • Aiming about halfway across the front wall is for cross court shots.
  • Aiming about half a metre from the side wall is for straight drives.
  • High serves, to drop softly in the back corners.
  • Problems to look for:
    • Ball keeps bouncing off the back hit the serve softer.
    • The serve is not high enough ... so open the racket face so the ball lifts high on the front wall - throw the ball up higher so the racket face can strike the ball underneath wto lift it upwards.
  • Return the ball deep, past the Short Line so -
    • the height on the front wall gives depth
    • racket face open tives height
    • the higher you aim on the fron  wall the softer the shot.
  • Hit the service so that it touches the side wall, near the back corner.
  • Play backhand strokes on the backhand side - if you run around the ball you will get trapped against the side wall.
  • Move back towards the centre after hitting each stroke.
  • Clear the ball and give the opponent every opportunity of returning the stroke.
Take one or two of the above clues at a time and gradually introduce these methods of play into your game.

Match Evaluation tools can be accessed in the Library.

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Simple player tactics - Level C

This level will suit players who are striving to improve their tactics and skill. It has a focus on placement, court movement, and target areas, eg
  • Hit lob serves that go over the opponent's head (make them reach up to return the serve)
  • Focus on the front wall targets when serving and driving (that is for both straight drives and cross court drives)
  • Limit the number of unforced errors.
  • Strive to get every ball back into play.
  • Hit the ball away from your opponent.
  • Play shots that enable you to get to the center court.

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Level C Squash Training

Clues for Squash Training
This level of training could apply to a person who has played competition against various opponents for one year.
  • Serve so that the serve lands in the back corner, near the side wall.
  • (An ideal serve is one that keeps the opponent behind the T)
  • When you strike the ball be ready to run/move.
  • Watch your opponent at all times.
  • Get out of the opponents way (make every effort).
  • Never take your eyes off the ball (only if you are in danger of being hit), or have hit a bad shot).
  • If you hit the ball close to your body move away quickly giving opponent free access to the ball.
  • Hit tight length.
  • Keep on your toes, especially just when your opponent is about to strike the ball (quick take-off).
  • Hit the ball away from your opponent (make sure the opponent is running).
  • Hit good length which lands past the centre line (short line) preferably no wider than the servicd box.
  • Hit the return of service on the full - move into the ball so as to volley early. (Don't retreat into the back corners.
  • When your opponent is behind you, hit short to the corners, eg
    • volley boast,
    • volley drop,
    • short angled shot into the corner,
    • reverse boast, drop
  • When your opponent is in front of you, hit
    • soft and deep (so you can get into position).
    • boast (and move forward to the T quickly - be ready).
    • Cross court toss/lob to the corners.
  • Get to the T quickly - seek volleys.
  • Practice boasts from half-court.
  • When out of position - Toss.
  • Play games, all deep drives, the only short shot is a boast.
  • If you are playing an awkward player, or wide swinger, hit the ball away from yourself to an opposite corner.
  • When you boast the ball, forget about the front wall, position your feet, get the angle on the side wall, aiming for the nick in the corner. (It is preferable at a novice level for the boasts to hit three walls)
  • Make sure all shots through the centre of the court are out of reach of your opponent.
  • Return the service to one of the four corners.
Play games with your training partners concentrating on no more than two things at once until all of the above tactics become automatic before moving to the next level.

Match Evaluation tools can be accessed in the Library.

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Vary your game - Level B

At Level B players will be learning to develop more shots, and to use those shots in a tactical way on court.
It will making players more aware of their opponent's game and how to adapt the play to suit.
What is meant by varying your game, eg
  • Change the type of serve, ie lob, hard
  • Change the serving box.
  • Play short shots (boasts) to move the opponent.
  • Play length shots before playing short (drops or boasts)
In short, if your opponent likes the game you are playing, eg by hitting hard, try slowing the game down hitting tight along the side walls.

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Level B Training

Clues for Squash Training at Level B
These strategies are fundamental to an average player.
  • Play games, the only short shots are:
    • drop
    • boast
    • volley boast
    • reverse boast
    • angle kill
  • Boast when the ball has passed you .. think of the angle on the side wall and forget about the front wall.
  • Remember:
    • It is the height on the side wall that gets the boast up above the tin.
    • It is the angle down the side wall that gets the bszll to hit three walls, ie side wall, front wall, side wall.
  • Attack the ball when it sits up in the front of the court.
  • Racket back for early preparation for the stroke.
  • Play games moving the oppoennt forward and backwards.
  • Move to the T quickly - volley when possible - racket up.
  • Vary the service (some high , some soft, some hard, etc.)
  • Keep out of the back corners.
  • Before attempting to hit a touch shot, be sure to position the feet firmly, balanced.
  • When approaching the front or back corners take a balanced stride, knees bent/flexed so as to get down under the ball.
  • If you are over-running the ball - try racket back, wait, hit. Keep a racket length from the ball.
  • If you are out of position you need time to recover place the ball tightly along the side wall.(This prevents the opponent attacking).
  • Always think "how can I get to the T" - (Remind yourself of the shots that move the opponent from the T)
  • If you are out of position because your opponent is attacking - try to control the returns tight until you are able to get in front of your opponent.
Be patient implementing these ideas, and take only one or two new things at a time until it becomes automatic.

Match Evaluation tools can be accessed in the Library.

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Level A - Think more about shot selection

Level A looks at using a variety of shots played at the correct time, eg
  • Play drop shots when the opponent is out of position, or held in the back of the court.
  • Change the pace of the ball during the rally to upset the opponent's rhythm.
  • Attack the ball when in position (to give the opponent less time).
  • When out of position hit tight and controlled shots to give more time to recover.
  • Play the four corners of the court to increase the amount of running the opponent will do during a game.
  • Use deception to keep the opponent guessing what shot is going to be played.

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Level A Training

Clues for Training at Level A
Below is a summary only for players who know the game, have played competition though may need reminders.
  • Return of Service - Hit the ball on the volley, if possible.
  • Get to the T - Find a way to move the opponent away from the T.
  • Volley - Cut off every shot possible and keep the pressure on - Why get to the T and let the ball go past!
  • Length - Tight - not necessarily hard.
  • No errors - Keep the ball above the tin - open the racket face, bend the knees, use your legs.
  • Stretch and Flex - 20 mins before play get your body warm, stretch and flex total muscle groups. Get your heart rate up by running on the spot before going on court.
  • Visualise your game plan - 10 minutes before going on court isolate yourself thinking of your game plan, psyching yourself up.
  • Hit - Up - Get your eye-in; your timing and rhythm;don't try to win the hit-up; try a few of your shots and get the "feel".
  • Nervous/Anxious - Forget about the opponent's reputation. You have nothing to lose. Get your heart rate up, drive to legnth and rally hard for a few points and gradually ease your shots in.  No Errors - Drops can go down under stress. Your timing is important, so don't force the stroke and overhit or pull strokes into the tin.
  • Geing caught from behind - Not keeping your eye squarely on the ball; slightly facing the front wall; taking the ye off the ball before the opponent hits the ball. When in front court, don't back-pedal off the stroke,but turn watching the ball as you move to the T.  Any ball half court watch closely for a boast or quick drop, as most players expect to run to legnth after a short shot.
  • Touch players like drop shots.  Keep them back, keep them moving with tight length, be ready torun, bounce on tyour toes if caught out of position. Tight hard drives will limit what a touch player can do on court.
  • Slow players (sometimes because of age or weight) can still have good control and like time to place the ball. To limit their opportunities keep them off balance with short/long, and make sure they are always twisting and turning, because as soon as the ball is lose or short they will capitalise on the situation with touch shots.
  • Slow game will incorporate a greater percentage of lobs/toss, high serves, and drops and is played this way for many reasons:
    • helps conserve energy
    • is sometimes used intermittently as the player tries to get their breath
    • tests the technique of players as they strive to dig the ball out of the corners (open racket face is essential in the technique)
    •  it can upset the rhythm of the opponent and their hard game can deteriorate
    • prevents the opponent from attacking
    • frustrates the opponent if they cannot get into a rhythm
  • There is often a shift in the game when there is a greater percentage of touch shots as the ball gets colder some adjustments might need to be made to the targets on the front wall, and the drives will not bounce through as easily. 
  • When forced to the back corners it is likely a boast will get them out of trouble and back  into the center to volley.  Be careful as they drag you forward that you do not  hit the ball back to them.
Match Evaluation tools can be accessed in the Library.

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Nicely summarised tip, thanks! I think I'll note that into my squash folder!

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