Racket Control

Squash is a game of footwork and racket control. In simple terms squash is running and striking. If both aspects of the game are perfected, you will achieve the height of your game. In the process of perfecting the two, a player can forget to unite the two and develops a bad habit.

The bad habit of focusing on each separately will make running and hitting uncoordinated. Disjointed running and hitting creates segmented squash. This can carry over into concentration and strategy. To coordinate your running and hitting game you must develop a better way of swinging at the ball on your last step. There is a fine line as far as timing is concerned. You must strike the ball on your last step and then use the momentum of your swing to prepare for the next shot.

For example, in a backhand shot, you should anticipate the shot and get your feet moving first. Wind up keeping the racket close to your body. This is the inner circle and is ideal for balance. As you approach the strike zone, mentally focus on your steps and try to calculate the distance it will take to get to the ball. On your final step shift your weight onto your correct right leg then strike the ball before all your body weight has been shifted to that leg. As the ball exits the strike zone off your racket, continue to watch the ball, but focus on your backhand follow-through. At the end of the follow-through bring the racket back into the inner circle close to your body. Notice how on all follow-throughs the racket naturally gravitates to the middle of the court. Don't fight the weight of the racket. Go with it and begin to shift your weight and turn to the middle of the court with the swing in synchronized motion. This is coordinated running and hitting. The trick is never applying your full body weight at any particular instance during a shot and keeping your racket close to you in the wind up. Remember not to step through the shot. Your feet on the last step are fixed, it's just the weight distribution that's in continuous motion. You should feel your weight centered only when on the T.

This type of playing will keep your balance and racket control smooth. Again, smooth running and hitting develops better concentration. Better concentration makes for better strategy. Once you segment your running and hitting, your game and concentration will always lack that something you'll never be able to pinpoint.

My advice is whenever you focus on improving your drop or crosscourt, do it in such a way that you're incorporating motion with the shot. Effective body weight distribution going into and out of the strike zone can only be created while moving. Develop a hitting style that is synchronized with not only the point of impact but also the follow-through. Use momentum to your advantage. Never just stand and hit. If you do, then trying to improve your game will seem elusive.