How to play squash - by Robert Forde
Sundry Squash Tips F to J
(f) Play some reverse angles. Everybody hates this shot being played
against them but plays hardly any themselves. Every time you play
one, it creates real doubt for the next 10 times that you don't
and thus has your opponent leaning that little more forward than
they would do if you had not played a reverse angle.
Thus, as you get better tactically, you will begin to get to the
Holy Grail: you will be able to hit 5 or 6 different shots (played
from the same technically correct square position) without your
opponent being able to tell which one you are going to play. You
are becoming a squash player.
(g) Routines. Stop brainless routines, i.e. you boast, I drive.
Every routine needs a basis but there must be options, like in a
So, with boast/drive for example, when at the back play mostly
boasts but some straight drops and even straight drives back to
yourself. When at the front, play mostly straight drives but also
some cross-court drives or lobs or drops (which you then play back
Any practise routine can be varied slightly in this way to make
it more realistic and useful. Quality not quantity. Brainless "one
shot only" routines reinforce bad habits. You will also become
predictable, one-dimensional and play shots from positions that
you should not do - eg play a boast off a ball that is too tight
to boast well.
(h) If your last shot is a good one, your next one will be easy.
If your last shot is weak, you will have to work. Every shot counts.
Thus, if your opponent hits a clean winner, you should not be thinking
"I must get fitter and faster". You should be thinking
"If I had played a better shot before, he could not have played
that winner. I will not give him such an easy one again".
(i) Don't fall for the sucker shot. However bad a position, there
is almost always a way out, and with interest. For example, and
most commonly, if your opponent plays a good boast and you are being
forced into playing a cross-court, then don't play the cross-court.
The easy option might be cross-court (which your opponent of course
knows) so if you actually play that shot you will merely go from
70/30 down to 90/10 down and with the end inevitable.
A good player knows that his opponent knows that he is being forced
into the cross-court so he will actually play anything but that
- probably a straight drive or perhaps a drop or (a great counter
attack under pressure) a cross-court lob. Indeed, the master player
will reinforce the opponent's belief that he is going to play the
naive cross-court by totally showing the cross-court (his body being
in a position where the ball is very much in front of the body thus
"confirming" the shot) but actually playing something
else. Hence, he has got out of trouble with interest.
(j) If you are being forced to play a boast at the back, don't.
Of course, there are times when it is the only shot left (but even
then it can be played slowly so as to finish at least fairly tight
on the side wall rather than very loose in the middle) but it is
possible to straighten many more deep balls than you think.
The trick is to shorten your grip if you see that the ball is going
to be difficult in the back corner. Move down the grip so that you
are holding the racket with your hand half on the top of the grip
and half on the shaft. You are therefore now effectively playing
with a racket that is shorter than standard and which can therefore
get closer to the back wall without hitting it.
With practice, it is amazing how a "difficult" deep ball
can actually be straightened and again you can therefore turn defence
into attack very quickly. There is nothing so demoralising for an
opponent who thinks they have forced you into a weak defensive boast
when you actually manage to play it deep.