Poncha, an Indian coach in Chennai, India who has most recently
coached the Indian Junior Women's Team in Malaysia, offer ten basic
tips to improve your squash game..
Dear Squash Player:
Are you a beginner looking for basic
advice? Are you a good player seeking to reach for excellence? In either
case, it is good to alway keep in mind the basics. The principals of
squash are fairly simple -- we coaches often over-complicate things.
Here are ten simple rules to always
keep in mind as you work to improve your game:
1. Hit to a good
Stroke the ball to the front wall with
sufficient judgement to make it bounce at the back of the court behind
the service box. The ball should never hit the back wall on the full or
fail to hit the back wall, ideally after one bounce and die. Develop it,
as a reflex action with practice, by hitting hard below the front wall
service line, or soft above the service line. The objective is to confine
your opponent to the backcourt, moving him out of the dominating position
at the T.
for the back corners
As well as good length the standard shot
should be played to the back corner. One can see the opponent's options
are reduced when you play in the back corner. Thirty feet away he can't
attack and his swing is restricted. While playing a cross-court you should
hit should hit wide so that he reply with a volley.
it close to the sidewall
As a routine, keep the ball straight,
in the corners, along the sidewall (easier said than done). This will
cause your opponent to move away from the T and hinder him from attacking
or volleying. He will be on the defensive and there may be a possibility
of a weak return.
importance of the 'T'
Moving to the T after playing your shot
is most crucial. This will allow you to move and pick up your opponents
shot, be it a drop to front court or a shot to the back court. Generally
take long strides to the ball, so the body is in the recommended position
when playing the stroke, and can also recover quickly for the next rally.
The player controlling the T will invariably control the point. Even after
playing a drop or front wall boast you should move back to the T, to await
your opponents stroke. Practice correct movements by on court shadow (ghosting)
routines and shot specific drills.
Some players find it hard to watch the
ball, especially when the ball is hit behind the player, they just watch
the front wall. Players also tend to lift their head to see their opponent's
position, before playing their own stroke. Make it a practice to watch
the ball unto impact on your and you opponent's racket. This will give
you the extra milliseconds, to respond and can also avoid injuries of
being accidentally hit by your opponent, his racket or ball.
your opponent around
It sounds simple, but most players tend
to play strokes mechanically without relation to their opponent's position.
Strike a balance between trying to hit winners or just defending and returning
every ball. Try and spot your opponents strengths and weaknesses by watching
their previous matches and also during knock up. Use this info to frame
your game plan. Move your opponent to all four corners and especially
if they have a weaker side, which should be exploited.
There is no perfect diet, as everyone
has different needs and requirements. The best diet is one that provides
adequate fuel and is balanced with nutrients in the required amounts.
If you eat healthily, you will train harder, and be in better physical
and mental condition. Water and proper hydration are very important. Unreplaced
fluid losses can impair performance. Please drink water as required by
your system during training and matches. Eat well during tournaments,
about your game
Squash is a mental as well as a physical
sport. Analyze your strengths and weaknesses and try and improve upon
them. Even if you do not have a coach take the advice of a friend. Also
learn from the pros by studying their matches on TV or video for tips
and traps. Check out the squash sites on the net.
"You have to be fit to play squash, not
play squash to get fit". Balance your on and off season training with
a mixture of flexibility, aerobic, anaerobic and strength training and
conditioning. Training must be combined with appropriate diet and also
provide adequate recovery periods for your body to rebuild and develop.
Stick to your training schedule, avoid short, hectic training and concentrate
on longer and systematic training to avoid injury and build up your body's
reserves. Everyone needs as specific training program, dependant on your
genetics, physical shape and training history. This will determine how
much training you can do now and your body's response to the training.
In the end -it's just a game
Your friend, Cyrus