David Heath - squash coach

For inter club players there are 5 main areas to improve your squash game:

Contents

Racket Movement

1. Speed of racquet preparation to increase shot options, accuracy & power.

2. Shortening of stroke. This is connected to racquet preparation. Increase possibilities by using the wrist. Especially useful in the front and the middle of the court.

3. Pause before stroke. Again this can increase deception in all areas of the court.

4. Grip position. Basic open position for backhand and, especially, forehand! Low and open for defense (in the corners), high and open for attacking kills, early volleys and drops, high and flat for power strokes.


Movement Technique

1. Ready position - split your feet to gain maximum balance at your opponent's point of contact of the ball. "T" position depends on your own quality of shot, how well you can read your opponent's swing and your own confidence!

2. Explosive first movement / step. Speed & power

3. Balance, poise, thought, stretch to the ball!

4. Explosive movement out of the shot, back to the "T". NB: Movement to the ball, striking the ball and moving away should all come together to increase rhythm and timing.


Match Tactics

1. Try to impose your preferred style of play on the match. Be aware of your own strengths and weaknesses and try to discern those of your opponent.

2. Try to control the "T" as much as possible. Take the space you require and be positive about all your strokes.

3. Be prepared to change quickly from attack to defense and vica versa.

4. Use the dimensions of the court to your advantage - high and wide, low and tight or fading. Don't give your opponent too many easy balls to volley.

5. Use the warm-up to concentrate your mind on your own strokes and see if your opponent is confident/nervous or has any obvious weaknesses.

 

Physical Conditions

1. Aerobic fitness will be improved by cycling, running, swimming, but during the squash season most training should be done on the court.

2. Strength and power can be greatly improved in the gym/fitness studios. Leg squats and lunges will make your upper legs and hips much stronger. You should also keep your stomach and back strong. Any work with weights should not be too strenuous during the squash season.

3. Ghosting on the court will improve your movement technique to make you balanced and stronger in your position on training any squash player can make. Anaerobic fitness will be improved by quick ghosting and court sprints.

Mental Approach

1. Do a good warm-up/stretching, using the time to visualise how you would like to play. Find the right level of excitement to suit your personality/style of play.

2. Always try to stay positive during a match. If you get a bad refereeing decision always remember that it is ONLY ONE POINT! Forget it and move on to the next point. If you feel your opponent is being unfair, then ask the referee to watch out for it. Don't become involved in arguments with your opponent or the referee.

3. If you feel tired, try not to let your opponent see this. Take your time and only play the next point when you are ready. If you feel good play quickly.

4. Set yourself a target of scoring at least one point every time you get the service. Also try never to lose more than two points in succession. If the game score goes 8:8, always choose to play to 10. Yours chances are always greater that way.

5. Believe in yourself! And enjoy the challenge!

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