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Squash Game Strategies for Specific Opponents


  • Find out as much as possible about your opponent's game beforehand.
  • The table below will give some guidance to formulate a specific plan for the opponent.
  • Before going on the court always have a basic plan, eg the 10 Fundamentals are a good place to start until you settle down, and then, as required, put a more specific plan in place.
  • Having Plan A (the basics) and then Plan B (the more specific plan to suit that opponent) if or when Plan A shows no signs of working.

Remember, if you are not succeeding there is nothing to be lost by changing.  Always change a losing game.

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PSA Squash TV - CIMB Malaysian Open 2012

Pick a strategy

Things to look for in an opponent's game Strategies to offset those strengths/weaknesses
Opponent is big  and obese

Unfit?

Slow on feet

Moves awkwardly
  • Keep the rallies long.
  • Work the opponent long and short by using boasts, combined with length.
  • Drop shots will become more effective in the fourth and fifth games as the opponent tires.
  • Twisting and turning is more tiring than running in a straight line; keep opponent on the move.
  • Twisting and turning makes the legs get tangled, volleys keep pressure on the movements.
  • High shots take more energy to reach up, eg lobs.
Opponent is getting out of breath
  • Be patient, and make no errors (mistakes) to keep the rallies long.
  • Keep the opponent's heart rate high leaving less recovery time.
 Opponent good volleyer

Tennis player
  •  Caution when hitting cross courts.
  • Keep the length shots tight.
  • Move opponent off the T.
Opponent has a good backhand

Apply the same to the forehand
  •  Work out from which part of the court, eg front, back, mid?
  • If there is a weakness in the back corner work the opponent into that corner.
  • If the opponent hits "tin" from the front, use the boast more often than, say a cross court shot.
 Opponent hangs in the back of the court

Does not watch the ball and stares at the front wall.
  •  Be patient, and wait until the opponent is moving backwards, and hit a quick boast or drop.
Hits cross court shots off angles.
  •  Each time you play a ball  that hits the side wall (before the opponent strikes it) be ready for a cross court shot.
 Opponent hits cross court off a boast
  •  Often an opponent will hit drives straight, and when the ball comes off the side wall will cross court; be ready to volley.  Be careful for Strokes and Lets.
 Opponent bashes the ball.

Hits hard

Hits with power
  •  Try not to just belt the ball back. 
  • Try to use the opponent's  pace, and control the racket and wrist.
  • Slow the ball down (lob/toss) by aiming high on the front wall and bringing the opponent to the back corners.
  • Keep the ball close to the side wall.
  • Control the ball when you are out of position, and use power when the ball is in the middle of the court.
  • Try to break up the rhythm of the game.
 Power Serves
  •  Watch the opponent serve the ball to get an early indication of the height, angle and speed of the ball.
  • Keep away from the walls and back corners of the court.
  • Take the ball early by stepping in.
  • Hold the racket head firm and let the opponent's power return the ball.
Opponent is rushing me
  • Take your time in between points.
  • Breath slowly and deeply if there is a panic mode happening.
  • Try not to rush into the service box, but take your time, take a deep breath, to gain more control over the service action.
Opponent is muttering to themselves.

Arguing with the Referee.

Wasting time by bouncing the ball, or untying shoes.
 
  • This can be a tactic to upset your concentration so keep calm and ignore what is going on.  Do not get involved.
  • Put the remarks out of your mind. 
  • Focus on your game plan, and use the time to get your breath.
Is left handed
  • Serve from the left hand box.
  • Play the majority of the returns to the opponent's backhand if it is a weaker shot.
Has an excessive swing.

Intimidating swing.

Is a tennis player.
  • Play the shots away from yourself to the opposite side of the court.
  • Keep the balls tight along the wall.
  • Hit to the corners.
  • Hit and move out of the way quickly into a safe position and then run as fast as you can.
Opponent plays great drop shots
  • Move forward when the ball goes to thefront of the court, eg drops and boasts.
  • Only take the opponent to the front when they are held behind.
Opponent is very fit Expect every ball to come back.
Keep the ball tight to the wall to land in the back corner.
Keep the serves close to the side wall.
Go for the shot when the ball is in the middle of the court, eg volley, volley boast, drop.

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