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Topic # 115714 4-Apr-2013 11:27
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Hi There!

Anyone know if there is a NZ or Australian Squash forum which is fairly active? I would like to find some place to discuss my game and get tips and some encouragement (Struggling right now).

Cheers

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  Reply # 795101 8-Apr-2013 15:58
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There is a squash newzealand website but I'm not sure about a forum. My suggestion is to ask around at your club. OR if you don't play at a club, join one. If you're christchurch based I can help you with that.
Some clubs have a clubnight where you can meet and play different ppl of differing standards and get some hints and tips from the better players. How about going to watch the top level players when they play their team matches against other clubs. Most expereinced players are willing to pass on a bit of knowledge.



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  Reply # 795103 8-Apr-2013 16:06
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nikoftime: I am a member and I play clubnight twice a week, and recently I felt it worth while to get some tutoring but essentially the guy overwhelmed me and my game has collapsed. I was wanting to see what others had to say about it, etc etc too.

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  Reply # 795105 8-Apr-2013 16:11
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I'm an ex player now but played for over twenty years I'll try to help if you have any specific questions.
Perhaps your coach overloaded you with stuff. Some coaches can get too enthusiastic. What I found was as I improved I enjoyed the game more and more. I would highly recommend sticking at using a coach if you can afford it. Perhpas the first one didn't suit you?



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  Reply # 795107 8-Apr-2013 16:18
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Nikoftime: I'm an ex player now but played for over twenty years I'll try to help if you have any specific questions.
Perhaps your coach overloaded you with stuff. Some coaches can get too enthusiastic. What I found was as I improved I enjoyed the game more and more. I would highly recommend sticking at using a coach if you can afford it. Perhpas the first one didn't suit you?


Hi There!

Thanks that would be great. I am not sure but I'll give this coach another 4 sessions otherwise switch, but I don't "get" what he says the way it's happened for me when I had coaching before. I am keen to get a video of me playing sometime soon so I can "see" what I am doing wrong, as I struggle to be able to tell if  I "break" my wrist. 

I actually think I figured out a few days ago on my own that the issue isn't so much with what I have been told to do, but rather I am not able to do it in the time I have available, because I am "arriving" too late which I think is a condition of not being at the T quickly or at all (it's hard to remember to do that when you are trying to watch the ball as well). 

I watched Raziks squash tips on youtube, and I have to say, that I like his style of teaching but I am struggling to "get" it. Especially things like volleying, he has so much power and is barely moving, I have to smash it to get that same level of power (and I'm still not as fast)

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  Reply # 795115 8-Apr-2013 16:31
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Being FAST and returning to the T quickly are certainly beneficial but technique such as body/legs and head position, swing, (locked or at least not floppy) wrist should really be practised and practised and practised with lots of time. Ideally your coach "feeds" the ball so that you can practise the technique under controlled conditions, without having to scramble and rush.
Also, Speed and movement can be practised without worrying about hitting the ball. Put the ball down and just practise your movement and swing imagining hitting the ball. This is called ghosting or shadow hits and again should be practised over and over again. Foot movement and balance (as with lots of sports) is very important. This is why the top level players look like they have lots of time, they're always (nearly) in the right position 



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  Reply # 795120 8-Apr-2013 16:39
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Hi. That's good advice thanks. I am wondering if it's just a matter of practice or that I just don't "get" it because of the way that I am being taught. I am not trying to blame my coach, I know it's 95% likely it's me, but I want to be sure. I had the same problem with snowboarding, one day the switch just flicked and I 'got' it.

I worry that when I practice I am "doing" it wrong so reinforcing the wrong behaviour.

Yes the coach is feeding me shots, and I can make those, but he often says I "break" my wrist when I can't sense I did it, and even though the shot was "good", which I do know isn't "right".

It's when I am under pressure things start to collapse. Sounds like I need more practice I think.

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  Reply # 795296 8-Apr-2013 22:35
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I'm a newbie (2nd year) as well, so I am finding some of the same things as you. My club is pretty mint and I have had some lessons from a technically good B grader. I am starting to find that footwork is massive in squash as Nikoftime says.

If you get your footwork right, you are more likely to get into a grove and find yourself with much more time, and you will time the ball and hit it much more cleanly. If you don't have your footwork right you will have to take more steps to cover the same distance (and to get your balance) use brute force to generate power and generally end up feeling like you need to rush around like a headless chicken to stay in the game.

To get easy power into a shot without using upper body strength it pays to arrive with your racquet up waiting, and you need some weight transfer, generally from the back to the front foot.

I would agree with Nikoftime on the ghosting or shadow hits to practice this. When you practice, make sure you are not planting your rear foot. Generally the rear foot will up on the toe and you will bring it/slide it through as you hit the ball. It doesn't have to be a huge movement but it is important not to 'plant' your back foot.

Once you have played the shot, you will push off the front foot and on the return to the T you will generally incorporate a hop/skip step to 'reset' your feet (for lack of better term to describe).

You will generally also do the same hop/skip step when you leave the T to go to the ball.

The hop/skip step seem to me to be the keys to having lots of time and getting around the court easily. Next time at a clubnight, watch just the feet of a good player. You will see what I mean about the hop/skipping.

Here is a video of what I am talking about:
(edit - cant get it to embed properly?)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CN-AfIcqcDE

In the backcourt on his backhand he actually brings the back foot right through and switches them to get his balance. Not sure about that part, probably easiest/best to do the side to side and front left/right movement first.



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  Reply # 795300 8-Apr-2013 22:41
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Thanks Blair.

With an hour today I think I made some progress finally. We had been at it about 50 minutes and I hadn't got the "broken" wrist thing and couldn't work out why. I could feel he was getting frustrated and that didn't help, though I do understand :)) We took a video at my suggestion and that made the difference since I had been assuming he had been talking about at the time of impact or post hit, when he had been talking about before I even made the shot when my racket was up. I have to practice plenty now to force my body to make that stick. The footwork is definitely the top priority though. It's especially hard for me with footwork as I am COMPLETELY flat footed, and planting my rear foot is almost impossible not to do. The ghosting is my next thing. Thanks for the tips. It's been a discouraging few weeks but I can hopefully see some light.

Razik is da man, his videos are awesome, though it's hard when what you are watching won't go into practice in person :) 

I have seen this video before, but he must be a big dude to be able to reach from the T to the Service box boundary! Do they use smaller courts or is it just my imagination?


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  Reply # 795303 8-Apr-2013 23:10
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I reckon the video is a great idea. I have never seen video of myself but I think it could highlight or illustrate what I need to change pretty well.

For me, footwork is proving much harder to get right than the wrist position and swing action. I still haven't got it, but I am going to start trying properly now to make it come naturally in a game situation (I have avoided drilling it often until now as its a bit boring. I think I will warmup with a ghosting drill each time I go down now).

I feel like once you get it right you can improve your game but if you don't have it right you have a handicap because you have a basic building block that is not working effectively.

Anyway -- keep it fun. And don't be too discouraged if you feel like you have gone backwards sometimes... or if some little kid is way better than you..happens to us all.

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  Reply # 795308 8-Apr-2013 23:25
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networkn: Thanks Blair.

Razik is da man, his videos are awesome, though it's hard when what you are watching won't go into practice in person :) 

I have seen this video before, but he must be a big dude to be able to reach from the T to the Service box boundary! Do they use smaller courts or is it just my imagination?



I don't think he is overly tall, its mainly your imagination (or because you know that you can't make the same distance as easily as him). Google says different numbers though at tallest he is 6ft (wikipedia says only 1.7m which is 5.5 feet)

Good players of any height make the court seem small though, and once you have your footwork down it is pretty small. If you watch, it is a jump/skip half step then into a lunge. He takes a decent lunge on the front foot. He is able to do that because he drags his back foot through to give him balance.

If you try and lunge without bringing your back foot through you will be off balance and your shot will suck.

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  Reply # 795313 9-Apr-2013 00:22
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If you're in Auckland I know there's an A grade player Phil Somervell who does coaching at several clubs. He coaches a few people on Sunday mornings at Henderson Squash club and charges something like $50/hour split between however many come, so the more the cheaper it is.

The guy also plays guitar for the band The Datsuns :)



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  Reply # 826354 27-May-2013 15:18
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Hmm well I seem to be struggling to get my straight drives straight. I can do it most of the time but the times I don't do it (bounces off the wall on the way to or from the back wall) I am not sure why. I am trying to keep my shoulders square to the wall and left (and tried right) foot forward, but it's inconsistent.

I am also struggling to hit my backhand with significant force. I have my wrist cocked and it looks ok on video for technique, but I watch videos of people hitting and I am far from that!

I have done some coaching with Phil.

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