The Importance of Controlling the “T” in Squash
Squash is a game of movement – it can be something that helps take a player’s game to the next level, and it can also be something that brings them down a notch. When it comes to experiencing success as a squash player, it’s imperative to master the movement aspect of the game, which includes having control over your opponent.
Taking the time to be mindful and perfect your own footwork, body positioning, and movement — like we teach at our Connecticut squash camps and at all of our other locations – will allow you to control the pace of a match much more than before. Starting with a mid-court attacking shot will allow a squash player the flexibility to move their opponent in anyway they’d like on the court, which would allow you to effectively control the “T” as much as possible.
Beginning a volley with control of the “T” is important, but it obviously doesn’t end there – they have to keep it up throughout the duration of a volley, too. Just performing any old kind of stroke isn’t the most effective way to stay in control and continuing to move your opponent all over the court. Ensure that you’ve put your body in the best possible position to hit a clean and strong stroke. This enables you to have choices as to where you’d like to send the ball, how hard you’d like to hit it, and at what specific angle. It keeps the opposition on the toes instead of being lazy with your body positioning, which could make your return volleys that much more predictable.
A solid strategy to put into play in order to keep your opponent guessing along the way would be to mix things up by hitting cross-court shots and deep balls down the line. That’d also get them tired pretty quickly! As your body is going through the ebb-and-flow of a particular match, it’s vital to not put anything on autopilot. You always need to be thinking on your feet and be two or three steps ahead of your opponent to maintain control of the pace of play.
How can you practice taking control of the “T” in a squash match? The Star Drill is a good one to practice consistently. While using proper footwork, move as fast as possible from each point on the court back to the “T”. An example of this would be going from the back left corner to the top of the left service box, down to the left line, back up to the left front corner, over to the right front corner, down the right line, and finally, back up to the top right service box before finishing at the back left corner. Move as fast as your body allows from each spot back directly to the “T” and then move to the next area.
There are many aspects of squash to consider in order to be a successful player throughout the duration of any given match. However, learning how to consistently control the “T” is a great way to impact many parts of a match, along with the person you’re facing.