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Squash Footwork - Court Movement


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The main attributes required for good Squash footwork and court movement are:
  • Anticipation - The ability to read the speed and direction of the opponent's shot early.
  • Speed - Fast take off, movement and recovery
  • Balance - Ability to control and coordinate bodily movement during the swing
  • Agility - Ability to change direction fluently
  • Judgement - Spatial awareness

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PSA Squash TV - CIMB Malaysian Open 2012

Get Ready to Take Off

Leg power assists take off
  • Racket comfortably in front.
  • Watch for the timing speed and direction of hit.
  • Prepare to move.

More on Take Off

Squashgame Gold: Advanced Text and Video Content

More on Take Off

  • Players prepare themselves by watching their opponent strike the ball.
  • Take in cues and clues on possible ball direction by player positioning and racket head direction during the downswing phase of the swing.
  • Move as soon as the direction of the ball is known.
  • Whilst watching the racket/ball impact, the player takes off towards where they will make their return.

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Take off

Anticipation plays a big part when preparing to take off.
  • As soon as the direction of the ball is realised move the feet and shoulders to start early preparation.
  • As the opponent prepares to strike the ball start to rise onto the ball of the foot (even start to bounce) to decrease the delay in take off.

Leg power/strength plays a large part in the speed of the take off.

More on Take Off

Squashgame Gold: Advanced Text and Video Content

More on Take Off

  • Players prepare themselves by watching their opponent strike the ball.
  • Take in cues and clues on possible ball direction by player positioning and racket head direction during the downswing phase of the swing.
  • Move as soon as the direction of the ball is known.
  • Whilst watching the racket/ball impact, the player takes off towards where they will make their return.

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Movement to the Ball

Approach the ball side on
  • As the ball is travelling move with the ball gradually getting the feet and body in position to strike the ball.
  • Racket preparation should occur at this time.
  •  A movement that incorporates feet, shoulders and backswing at the same time is a more efficient and fluent movement.
Here is an article with diagrams to help.

More on Movement to the Ball

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More on Movement to the Ball

As the ball is in flight, the player will:
  •  Continue to judge the final positioning of the ball
  • Where and how they will make their return.
  • Ensure that their hitting position will give them room to strike the ball fluently and allow for, if possible, a choice of shot.

Evaluation of Movement

How to improve your movement

Good Bad
I watch the ball at all times I am slow to get to the ball
As the opponent starts to swing I get ready to move I wait till my opponent hits the ball before I start to move
I get to the ball early I always seem to struggle to return the balls
I started skipping each day to increase my speed on court After a few long rallies my legs feel tired.
I warmup and stretch before my match Sometimes I feel so stiff from the previous match

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Footwork When Striking the Ball

Balance and weight transfer
  • As the feet and body/shoulders are getting in position to strike the ball it is imperative the racket be in the "ready" to strike position.
  • Good balance will assist making this movement smooth and fluent.

More on Footwork while Striking the Ball

Squashgame Gold: Advanced Text and Video Content

More on Footwork while Striking the Ball

  • Ideally the player will arrive to one side of the ball closest to the centre of the court, being able to transfer their weight from the back to the front foot in the motion of striking the ball.

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Recovery to T

Move to give the incoming striker room to hit the ball
  • Move with a fluent movement, knees relaxed, long strides.
  • Keep watching the ball (never turn your back on the ball).

More on Recovery to the T

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More on Recovery to the T

  • Ideally the player will arrive to one side of the ball closest to the centre of the court, being able to transfer their weight from the back to the front foot in the motion of striking the ball.
  • When recovering from striking the ball keep a low centre of gravity.
  • Take long strides.
  •  Keep good balance.
  • Never bring the feet together (as this will decrease the length of the stride) which will cause a loss of time, and jerky movement.

Video clip Back Corner Reovery

Getting the ball out of the back corner
Chasing a ball that is travelling quickly into the back corner can be difficult to recover.  Notice in this video some important points:
  • starting off there are a couple of quick steps followed by long strides
  • adjustment to footwork
  • racket work necessary to get the racket under the ball
Also, there was some adaption to the wrist to bring the ball straight down the wall.


Video Resources

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