Squash lessons - How to play squash
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Playing against different skilled players

Playing against weaker players

As you develop into a B player, you will find it harder to meet opponents of your level. There a number of games you can play against weaker C , D and even E players to keep the match challenging and interesting. The key idea is you want to win against the weaker player with your weakest shots. Here are a few suggestions:

Playing someone one level below you

Backcourt and front-court rules The back-court and front court games are excellent ways to level the playing field against a B and C player for example. In back court the better player has to hit everything to clear the short line. The worse player gets to work on their boasts and drops, while the good player works on hitting good length under pressure. The opposite goes for front court game where the better player only hits to the front, i.e drops, boasts and kills, while the lower ranked player gets to work on hitting the ball deep.

Playing someone two levels below you

Backcourt - no cross court Same as backcourt game, but all shots must be hit straight, no cross courts allowed. Keep it deep and tight to win. Practice using the full height of the frontwall to achieve depth. Also practice different paces to get the ball to die in the back corner.

Quarter court rules Same as above except retrict yourself to just hitting the ball in one quarter of the court. Play 4 games while rotating the quarter so that you practice getting the ball in different areas.

1/8'th court rules Same as above except retrict yourself to just hitting the ball in areas defined by the service box lines. Use this when playing someone two levels below you, i.e a B player against a D player for example.

Playing a beginner

Backwall-boast and corkscrew game This is my favourite game when teaching a beginner how to play squash. Use the corkscrew shot to get the ball deep and the backwall boast to put the ball short. Since the ball is in the air for so long, it will give your "student" plenty of time to return all your shots. At the same time you will be practicing two important shots in squash.

Avoiding better players

Most players think the only way to get better is by playing better players. Unfortunately, this is not true. In fact, exclusively playing better players will worsen your game. It is ok to play a better player once in a while to identify weaknesses in your game. But don't fool yourself into thinking your game will improve from continuously getting beat up by them.

In my town there is only one other good player and he is a half-level better than me. So he always ends up putting me under a lot of pressure while he calmly controls the game. I have been playing him for four years and my game has hardly improved. I used to think, "no pain, no gain", but I have finally realized I am never going to get better if I am always under pressure.

There is no way I can develop my attacking game if I am always tired and frustrated. One loose ball and he immediately puts it away. As a result I can only play length with him .

You have to work on your game with equal and lesser skilled opponents. With a lesser skilled oponent you can work on your weaknesses, thereby equalizing the game for both of you.

As we all know, variety is the spice of life. Too much of anything is never good. Mix up the type of opponents you play and have the right expectations for what you hope to achieve from playing each of them.

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