The Basics of Strategy and Tactics in Squash
The fundamental strategy in squash is “dominating the T”, the “T” being where the red lines intersect in the centre of the court. The reasoning behind this is simple if you are in the centre you are in the best position to retrieve your opponents next shot. So once you return a shot you should move back to the “T” in anticipation of your opponents next shot.
By being in the centre of the court you minimize the distance you have to travel in order to retrieve your opponents shot and therefore the amount of time it takes to get there.
A common strategy in squash is to hit the ball straight up the side walls into the back corners of the court. This is commonly known as “rail”, straight drive, wall, “length” and is a basic squash shot. After executing this shot a player should then return to the “T”.
A player may often utilise drop shots or “short” shots to the front corners of the court. This has the effect of forcing your opponent to have to cover more area and could result in you winning the point.
Shots that strike a side wall first are sometimes deliberately used, these are known as boasts or angle shots. These are used as deception and to force your opponent to cover more ground in order to retrieve the ball.
It is common for experienced players to have rallies containing over 30 shots and so it is important to have a high level of fitness. At higher levels of the game, where players are highly skilled and are able to retrieve a large number of shots from all areas of the court, points often become a war of attrition and so it is vital to have a high level of fitness. The fittest player will often have the advantage.
It is important to have the ability to alter the direction of the ball at the last possible moment in an attempt to unbalance your opponent. More experienced players can often predict their opponent’s shot slightly faster than the average player giving them more time.
There are multiple styles of play that you can adopt, these are commonly referred to as:-
Attritional Players – This is for players for base their game around their physical strength and fitness levels, they will often play tight shots.
Power Players – This is for players who build their game around powerful shots.
Retrievers -This is for players who excel at court coverage and retrieving their opponents shots.
Shot Makers – This refers to players who emphasize the shot making part of their game.