Keeping a simple approach brings the best results

by hadrian

Squash is an extremely demanding game requiring many elements to work together at the same time often at high speeds. Rallies can be short and points disappear quickly if your opponent takes charge. For this reason, we need to keep things simple in training and in matches. From the perspective of a coach, this is difficult as there are so many possible areas that can bring improvement and better results. Choosing the right areas to focus on and managing to stick to them and finish the job is a challenge especially during the season when each match can show a new area that needs attention. For this reason, a clear plan and timescale are crucial. 

Making a development plan

  1. Decide the areas to focus on within the: technical/tactical/mental/physical framework. For example: forehand technique / pace variation / speed
  2. Identify how you will improve them, for example, coach feeds / solo practice / off-court training and how many sessions per week this requires. 
  3. Set the time frame eg. 4 weeks 
  4. Stick to the plan and continuously review and check progress, tweak and change as needed. 

This simple approach also applies during matches. Without a doubt one of the main struggles for all players is making composed and effective choices during the rally. This is where some tactical foundations are vital. Set some defaults to ensure you do the simple things well. 

Tactical foundations 

  1. Start the rally with a clear intention every time – SERVE WELL with attention to where your opponent is standing and their technical weaknesses. For example lob high to the backhand side. Take time over this shot and see it as a potential weapon every time. 
  2. RETURN WELL – as with the service, this shot can also set the tone for the rest of the rally. Use straight and deep as default with occasional variations when the opponent’s serve allows is weaker. 
  3. Use the template of hitting two shots in a row to hit the back wall before considering any short options – if you feel by this stage you have a great opportunity and control of the rally then a straight drop is a good option. 
  4. Volley where possible – the player who spends more time on the T overall is most likely to win the match so cut the ball off and push the opponent back to dominate the middle. Volleying the ball is a sign of confidence and purpose.
  5. When the rally feels hectic and you are not in control play high, straight, and deep to hit the back wall. 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

read

British junior championships review

by hadrian

As always the team at Edgbaston priory club and Birmingham university provided an excellent experience for the British junior championships. Somewhere close to 500 kids battled it out across the two venues and it was very encouraging to see so many young players at such a high level when there is plenty of talk about…

learn more

Where focus goes, energy flows

by Hadrian Stiff

As part of a personal development, I am part way though there is a section on ‘state’. The state being referred to is the combination of a physical and mental position which we hold ourselves. Many things will affect the state, from the posture of the body to the internal dialogue in the mind. For example,…

learn more

The challenges of being coach and parent

by Hadrian Stiff

My 11 year old Son Elliott has just begun his junior tournament career and last weekend we travelled to London for the first event away from home. The main purpose of this event was to introduce the experiences of different courts, opponents and the pressure of this foreign environment and see how he responded and…

learn more

Learning happens in the gaps.

by Hadrian Stiff

We have many different environments in which we can improve our squash. From lessons with a coach to solo practice, group training and matches there is always lots that can be learned from each. The key question for me as a coach is how best to help everyone to absorb and retain the most impactful…

learn more

Another big thank you to Avon squash!

by John Welton

One of the hardest areas to maintain sustained growth in any country is in the junior programs. The pandemic has had a huge impact on our sport and particularly our junior programs. We have seen a really positive return to our junior squads but there has been a small drop in numbers. It is now…

learn more
We use cookies to make the ELITESQUASH website a better place. By using the site, you agree to their use in accordance with current browser settings. To learn more about this and how we use data we collect, check out our Privacy Policy
Contact us

How can we help? Are you looking for something special?