How to become a more consistent squash player
May 01 2022
The reliability & consistency of executing strokes is one of the basic requirements to becoming a better squash player.
Without consistency, a player will not be able to construct many rallies & will often be on the losing end in matches. Reliability of strokes will give players more possibilities to play the game with enjoyment & confidence & therefore it makes perfect sense to master the strokes with consistency before trying to hit the ball with too much power.
To become a consistent squash player, you must practice & master certain components of technique, in combination with the tactical, physical & mental skills.
All four components must work together to make improvements. Many of the matches on the international circuit show how endurance, focus & strategy all must come together to enhance consistency.
As players progress, they will experience a positive feedback from the enhancements they make to each of the individual components. This positive feedback is generally known as confidence & is extremely important for improvements of any stroke. Especially when playing under pressure, this factor drives the determination & commitment of a player to hit the stroke without any technical breakdown during execution. Let’s have a look at all the components that influence stroke consistency.
Technical components will help you execute each stroke with uniformity that promotes muscle memory. This becomes important, after much practice, in order to hit the ball with an automated motion. Automated motions are more consistent & break down less under pressure.
To practice technical components you have to pay attention to:
Early preparation of footwork & racket
Correct contact points of the stroke
Good timing of the stroke
Proper & complete follow through
The physical skills of a player can greatly enhance the performance of a player with consistency. To play longer rallies takes more endurance, improved coordination & balance, & more power to perform efficiently. New racket & string technology makes it possible to hit harder with greater accuracy. However, players do need to move quicker to reach these balls in order to establish greater consistency.
You can practice the physical components of consistency by spending time training the following aspects:
Practice coordination by hitting with less power & producing smooth strokes
Improve the balance before, during & after the stroke with good recovery footwork
Improve efficiency of the strokes with weight training
Improve endurance of consistency by practicing long rallies
Making proper shot selection & choosing the proper strategy can improve consistency as well. Shot choice will depend on the positions of each player on the court & the possible shots available to each player. It will determine if a player is able to play a defensive, neutral or offensive shot.
The basic strategy of each player can assist in improving the consistency when the strengths & weaknesses of the opponent are exploited in your advantage. To improve consistency in a tactical way, target choices have to be chosen wisely with a larger margin for error. Good shot choices improve the possibilities of reaching the next ball by understanding the shot choices of the opponent.
To practice the tactical aspects of consistency:
Place targets on the court to practice a larger margin for error
Practice offensive & defensive patterns & improve consistency in both
The mental aspects are of great influence to the degree of consistency that is performed. It takes excellent focus & concentration to make continuous adjustments to the racket head angle & swing path of the stroke to control the bounce, trajectory, & spin of the ball in coordination with the footwork. Once the strokes begin to improve in consistency the feedback will improve confidence for players to excel even further.
To practice the mental aspects of consistency try out the following points:
Improve focus & concentration by playing different games & scores
Practice the mental endurance by playing more sets & matches in one day
Get positive feedback for your confidence by keeping track of your improvements.
As you can see, becoming a consistent squash player entails a lot more than just hitting the ball & keeping it in play.
Try to practice each component separately for optimum results with your consistency & you will experience the joy of accomplishment every time you win long rallies…