Squash videos

Loading...

Strategy and tactics

The fundamental strategy of the game is to hit the ball straight up the side walls to the back corners referred to as a straight drive, wall, or "length", then move to the centre of the court near the "T" to be well placed to retrieve the opponent's return. Attacking with soft or "short" shots to the front corners (referred to as 'drop shots') causes the opponent to cover more of the court and may result in an outright winner. 'Angle' shots (see above) are used for deception and again to cause the opponent to cover more of the court.

Highly skilled players often attempt to finish rallies by hitting the ball at an angle onto the front wall and into an area known as the 'nick' (the junction between the side wall and floor) which if done properly will cause the ball to roll out along the floor and be unreturnable. If the shot misses the nick, however, the ball may bounce out from the side wall and allow the opponent an easy attacking shot.

A key strategy in squash is known as "dominating the T" (the intersection of the red lines near the centre of the court where the player is in the best position to retrieve the opponent's next shot). Skilled players will return a shot, and then move back toward the 'T' before playing the next shot. From this position, the player can quickly access any part of the court to retrieve the opponent's next shot with a minimum of movement.

Rallies between experienced players may involve 30 or more shots and therefore there is a very high premium on fitness, both aerobic and anaerobic. As players become more skilled and, in particular, better able to retrieve shots, points often become a war of attrition. At higher levels of the game, the fitter player has a major advantage.

Almost all players (inexperienced or experienced) will fall into the following categories of style of play:

* "Retriever"- Usually a very fit player, plays patiently, can retrieve most shots hit by an opponent, but doesn't have a particularly strong attacking game.
* "Shooter", or "attacking player"- May be a patient player as well, but is more comfortable trying to hit winning shots or going for "nicks". Generally has very good shot accuracy and deception skills.
* "Power Player"- Tries to overpower their opponent by hitting the ball with extreme pace. Not known for their fitness, or patience.
* "All-Around Player"- Is comfortable playing all different styles and places, comfortable in all areas of the court.

Ability to change the direction of ball at the last instant is also important to off-balance the opponent. Expert players can anticipate the opponent's shot a few tenths of a second before compared to the average player, giving them a chance to react sooner. Such skill is usually acquired by a lot of practice and game experience.