Saturday, 4 July 2009

Just to start

29th June - 5th July 2009
For my first three blogs ive chosen to give you some tips..... hope they help. The next are about Damian Burges and the coaching of Orange Squash.....

4th July today, Independents Day for the Americans. Today i have been coaching in Newport Squash club, actually been coaching there most of the week. Started Monday with sessions at Newbridge from 2pm. A few one to one sessions to start then the school session with Newbridge Comp, followed by the small juniors at 4pm, the older juniors were then on at 4.30. With it being the end of the month i had to finish my ladder matches at Newbridge, i done so with max points...... I then finished with a one to one with up and coming young star Joel Gould, he did well considaring he had sunburn and spent all day running i the sun in his sportsday.

A busy way to start the week, Tuesday and Thursday i was at Newport coaching all ages. The numbers are somewhat low, its summer and wimbledon is on so its all good. Some of the elite boys and girls were leaving for Germany and the Pionner Open this weekend, good luck to all of them. I took Dan Bergin onto court before he left for Germany. If he sticks at his squash he should be fine.

Friday was the penultimate week for the school children of Malpas Church down at Newport Squash Club, lots of fun all day. Thanks to all the kids who turned up, what a great few weeks we've had. Some of the kids have started to come to the Saturday sessions and done really well because of it.

Now to Saturday, the day started at 11 am with the open group at Newport, a massive 16 jids turned up. WOW!!! We all had loads of fun and can't wait to see if they come back next week. The second session we only had james turn up but had a good 5 for the last group. One of the boys who did turn up was Jack Timothy, he is coming on very well and is in the squad to face Saudi Arabia on the 15th July. good luck jack! A good day and a good week of coaching..... more next week.


Taking the ball early

It is key that when receiving your opponents serve that you take the ball early and volley, this gives your opponent less time to prepare. When volleying, don’t go for a fancy winner; keep the ball straight and as far away from your opponent as possible. This makes him do more work and if your length is tight and deep he or she will find it difficult to retrieve. This then puts you in control and ready for the boast or loose shoot that follows.

Try and do this also when in a rally, cut out the crosscourt with a volley length, don’t let the ball come past you! If your opponent plays a good shot, acknowledge this and give respect to the ball, don’t try and play a volley on the stretch, you will probably hear the sound of the tin shortly after.

Be patient. A key element when playing squash, but is forgotten easily in the heat of a long and fast rally.

Give it a go in your next game and see the results for yourself.


Watch the ball

All squash players say "watch the ball". But, did you know that there is a certain way of watching the ball? During a rally your opponent will be either in front, behind, or parallel to you. There is only one way to watch in each of these circumstances.

When your opponent is in front of you, it is easy to see where and when your opponent is going to hit the ball. The secret is to stay as close to your opponent as possible, without crowding, as he or she is striking the ball. This adds mental pressure to your opponent because by doing this your opponent knows you're ready, especially for a drop. If your opponent is in front, remember the drop is the most likely shot to be executed. And this means trouble. So get close to your opponent when he or she is in front of you.

When your opponent is next to you or behind you, try not to look directly at the ball. Use your peripheral vision. The reason to do this is that it may be physically impossible to follow a fast crosscourt and turn your head at
the same time. Follow the ball with your eye to the service line and then lock your eye at the serve line area and let your peripheral vision track the ball to your opponent's racket. The only exception is if you've hit a high length shot that comes off high on the back wall. In this instance you need to watch your opponent closely. Just make sure you're watching from the front while on the "T".


Defence to Attack

In a game of squash you will find in every rally that one player is on the Attack and the other is retrieving the ball and is playing the defensive game. The work rate is the big difference between the two; the attacking player is usually moving the other player around the court and making him do all the work. This is because the defensive player is only just getting the ball back and is usually playing retrieval shots that can sometime be loose. The main thing to remember when being on the wrong end of a hard rally is to try and keep your shape and always get back to the T, if you can get back to the T position you will have a great chance of turning the rally around. When being stretched by your opponent, at the front or back of the court, remember to lift the ball to length; this then gives you time to get back to the T. Rally mentalities will change frequently over the course of a match, the way to stay on the attack is to remember the T, and when on the defensive the T position even more so. Give it a go in your next game and see the results for yourself.