Do you make the same mistakes on the squash court, over and over again?
If you do, you are not alone.
Some mistakes are harder to fix, some are not. If you recognize a mistake as soon as you make it, you have hope. You can try to avoid it the next time around. Bad habits acquired over a period of time are hard to shed overnight. But if you feel that you do make some of the mistakes shown below, you can pick a couple to work on.
So, here’s a look at ten mistakes on the squash court that can impact your game.
Advertising your shot: A good squash player always keeps his/her racquet back while approaching the ball to play a shot. This makes it difficult for the opponent to anticipate the shot and prepare for it. Approaching the ball with the racquet in the front, limits your options. A smart opponent will take advantage of your situation and prepare to counter your shot even before it is played. Your winning drop can quickly turn into a let or even a stroke.
Admiring your shot: How often have you played what you thought was a winning shot only to find that your opponent got to it and put it away? Club players often forget that a point is never won until the ball dies. Shots that win you points against a lower level player may not yield the same results when played against a player who is better than you.
Crowding your shot: Have you felt that some players seem to be able to cover the court with minimal effort? It is all about footwork. Many club players often overrun and find themselves too close to the ball to play a shot with accuracy or power. In effect, you end up wasting your energy and hitting a bad shot.
Rushing your shot: Good players seem to have all the time in the world to get to their shots? Very seldom do they appear to be in a scramble. They pick and choose which shots to attack versus which ones to keep in play. Occasionally, club players forget that there are walls around the court. Most of the time, the ball does bounce off the side and back walls back into play. Patience is sometimes a virtue in squash.
Punishing the ball: Squash is not only about raw power. While there is a time and place for power, hitting the ball too hard often gets it back in play, essentially giving up any advantage that you may have had. A ball that dies in the back corners of the squash court is worth a lot more than a shot that bounces off the back wall.
Committing early –Do you often get beaten by your opponent because you committed to your shot too early? A low hard cross court shot can leave you stranded if you commit, with your body turned, in anticipation of a rail shot. Good players seem to turn their heads to watch the ball without turning their bodies.
Not getting back to the T: How many times have you been told that you don’t get back to the T? If you hit a good length shot or a tight drop, you are putting yourself at a disadvantage by not getting back to the T. Good players control the T.
Flat-footed on the T: Do you have trouble pushing off the T to get to a ball? When you serve and move to the T, you may be cementing your feet to the floor. This makes it harder for you to do a split-step or move quickly to your next shot. Staying on the balls of your feet will enable you to move quickly off the T or turnaround.
Not calling your lets: If your opponent has a tendency to poach and take away a portion of the front wall from play, stop. Call a let. If you chose to play on, you are technically limiting yourself to one half of the front wall making it easy for your opponent to volley or play to the far corner making your next shot difficult.
Volleying shots that you should not: While a good volley takes time away from your opponent, a bad volley just leads to a weak return. Knowing which shots to volley and which one to play off the floor or off the back wall differentiates a good player from a not so good one.
So, do you make any of these mistakes?