– If your opponent plays half a (bad) length and you can come in front of your opponent, you play the boast (two walls) so that your opponent comes under pressure at the front of the court.
– When you no longer have any other options
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Observation/perception: looking at opponent’s body position and racket sheet for ball contact will help the player to better anticipate the hit being played and thereby estimate speed, height and width of ball
Decision: attacking or defending / right target
Action: Move from “T” to battle zone and start racket preparation. Provide some space between elbow and body. Last step in balance turn a little more to the back corner (more than drive). Release racket with open racket blade in smooth movement with your body stable at the moment of impact. Drop off on your front foot to get back to “T” zone. Stay relaxed!
Note: The higher you get into squash level, the less often you will use the boast. This is due to the fact that when you play too much, you give your opponent too many chances to end the rally with an attacking shot. (e.g. drops)
Part 6 of our “styles of play” series is about the most complete squash player. After the “attacker” of last time, it is now the turn of the “complete player”. The prototype in this style is without a doubt James Willstrop. In order to achieve this style, a natural talent is needed from the start. Especially the skill to learn a lot of different techniques quickly and to perfection. “Hand – eye control must be sublime, as must perception.
Here are the characteristics of the “complete player”
– Most difficult player to play against
– Is fit and also has enough speed to start his game.
– Has “awesome” length game
– Attaches very well when offered an opening
– Is very constant in all his shots and that at any time
– Very accurate
– Doesn’t actually have any real weaknesses in his game.
– Every player sometimes has a hard time in certain situations, including the complete player.
– Try to get them in these situations
– Play from your own strengths
– Keep looking and anticipating
– Attack with confidence
– Keep shots deep and well along the wall
– Vary the speed
– Try to find a weaker point…
D.What definitely “don’t” do
– Waiting too long for your opponent to use his strengths even more
– Don’t be tempted to go too fast for winner either
– Show no frustration
– Going along at his pace
The “complete player” is very difficult to play. For coaches, we all want to train our young talents in this mode, but in the long run, that’s not the case.
The beauty with which these players approach the game is delightful. It’s also great that they can play against any type of opponent, they can easily absorb other styles of play and because of their technical ability they can execute all tactical plans to perfection.
At the World Championships for women’s teams, which took place earlier this month in Nîmes (France), it was again clear that the use of your own strengths can take you very far in a match. Sometimes it’s just not possible to exploit your opponent’s weaknesses, because you just don’t have the technique and style to play that kind of game yourself. My advice at that moment is to focus on your own strong qualities and use them as perfectly as possible. Playing a game that doesn’t suit you at all isn’t going to help you much either.
The style of play I want to develop this time is that of the Runner.
– Is very fast and also moves very well over the entire track.
– Has an enormous stamina, is fit
– Forces his opponent to make mistakes by continuing to pick up everything
– Seduces players to play risky shots
– Is used to playing long games, is even a kick for this kind of player
– Technically usually not very good
– Tactically not brilliant
– Be patient and really play out the points
– Make a minimum of 4 shots to the back of the court.
– Find the volley
– Be ‘deceptive’
– Use your boast and drop in a ‘calculated’ way
– Minimize angles by keeping the ball tight.
D.What certainly do NOT do
– Don’t be tempted to hit ‘winners’ too quickly.
– Don’t be discouraged when your opponent picks up ‘normal winners’.
– Don’t play shots you don’t feel comfortable with
– Play within yourself, keep focus on your own game
The runner is a difficult player to play against. The rallies are long, the runner does relatively little with the ball and is not able to play with the ball.