Who is your opponent? We all have the same one!

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Who is your opponent? We all have the same one!

Who is your opponent? We all have the same one!

Is it that fast player who returns every ball? Is it that great shot player who is so tricky at the front court? Or is it that one player whose game you just can’t work out and feel so uncomfortable on court with that you can’t execute your own game plan? Competition means opponents – how do we best approach them? At MSquash, our strategy is based against one and the same opponent. The ball!

 

A new squash season has kicked off – whether you’re playing junior or senior squash, school, college or professional squash. We are convinced you will have set goals and worked hard during the summer months. And now it is time to make it happen. So – do you worry about who your opponent is?

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You can only control the controllable

You can’t control what your opponent is thinking or feeling. How well they are playing or their motivation levels. So forget about it and them. Focus on the one constant, the ball. This strategy simplifies things and often takes a lot of emotion out of the situation.

A seeding is just a number, not a limit nor a definition!

A seeding is a requirement for a tournament director to structure a draw. It does not limit you nor define you.Forget about seeding, ranking, rating of any player you are about to face. You can check it if it doesn’t change or effect your mindset – but do not allow it to give you more – or less – confidence. Never let it help you make predictions about a match and how you should approach it. Treat every match the same, prepare for every match in the same diligent way. Your opponent may have improved a lot since last time, may have been injured, you may incorrectly under- or overestimate them. These thoughts are only distractions. Keep it simple, you only have one opponent to focus on: the ball.

focus on the same opponent -always – the ball.

and have a strategy for it.

Focus on the same opponent always – the ball. And have a strategy for it.

Two very important and underestimated strategies are:

1.      Keep the ball in play – error-free

2.      Return the ball on the first bounce – or earlier

This seems almost too easy and actually, it is easy. The tough part is having the discipline to execute in a consistent way.

1. Keep the ball in play

Keeping the ball in play means – without errors. It means ‘staying in the rally to win the rally’. Each ball you bring back to your opponent is another shot one he/she has to play. Your shot doesn’t always need to be perfect, just underneath the out of court lines and above the tin!!

2. Return the ball on the first bounce – or earlier

The second basic strategy – completely unrelated to your opponent – is making sure you return the ball on the first bounce – or earlier. Sounds basic and self-explanatory but most players place more importance on hitting the ball than returning the ball. Yes, they are two different mindsets and importance values.

Make sure you put the effort it to get to the ball as early as you can to have a good position to hit a strong shot, then take it early and move back to the T. Try to volley where you can and where it makes sense – . Put a lot of effort to getting to the ball on time and being ready for your shot.

How can you even improve these two strategies?

·        Improve ‘Keep the ball in play” by playing tighter against the walls and deeper in the 4 corners.

·        Improve ‘Return the ball on the first bounce’ by playing each ball earlier and earlier.

Squash is a simple game made difficult. Yes, that’s right! Squash is not golf or tennis where perfection is required. Just keep the ball in play and return it on or before the first bounce!

For more MSquash Videos: MSquash You Tube  Channel

For more MSquash Blogs: www.msquash.com/blog

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