PROPERTIES OF THE COURT
can be very subjective elements in any game. However to give us
a good basis upon which to build some general tactical ideas in
squash, I think it's a good idea to take a "helicopter view"
of the court. The court can be split roughly into two sides -
forehand and backhand - and into front, middle and back. This
gives us a good idea of depth and width. The element of height
is the other physical property to consider. The idea of any player
should be to maximise shots played in areas of strength for him/her
and concentrate on playing shots into areas where the opponent
will experience difficulties.
ATTACK AND CROSSOVER
a squash rally a player may find him/herself in any of the areas
mentioned, in various states of comfort or discomfort. This could
be considered to be a state of attack or defense. Shots played
from a position of defense should be intended to enable the player
to regain a position of attack. These shots could be referred
to as "crossover" shots. Good players will play rallies
that may have long exchanges of crossover between defense and
attack before the point is won.
speaking, most defending is done at the back and in the front
of the court, while most attacking is done from the middle and
take the back corners first. If the ball is fairly low and/or
tight to the side wall, the player could be considered to be in
a defensive position. In such a position, to keep the ball straight,
deep and tight is normally the most effective option. The aim
of a length from a defensive position should be to strike the
back wall after the bounce. This will limit the opponent's chances
to volley and provide time to re-claim good position on the "T".
Crosses should be played very infrequently in such a position
as most reasonable club players will be able to punish all but
very good shots. The defensive 3-wall boast is another option
to use occasionally here, but it must be played well or more trouble
will soon follow. In the front corners the straight drop, looping
straight drive or cross lob are probably the best of the options
from a defensive position.
soon as a player realises that the opponent is in a defensive
position(s)he should be looking to seize the moment and cover
any loose returns. Any ball that comes within a step and a stretch
of the "T" should be punished with an attacking, dying
straight drive or cross to one of the back corners, or an attacking
kill, drop or boast attempt to the front. The idea should be to
patrol the short line to punish any loose lengths or crosses with
volleys, and to move quickly to the front to cover short balls.
The position taken by the player on the "T" will be
dependent upon his/her perceived level of advantage at the given
stage of the rally. Speed of preparation of racquet and movement
technique is paramount to effective attacking play. Poise is a
vital quality for me in helping the player gain advantage in the
rally. It suggests good balance, awareness and readiness to seize
the opportunity to gain the upper hand when it presents itself.
Good poise will enable the player to increase pressure through
taking the ball early and/or increase time for shot selection,
with consideration of the aspects of delay and deception.