Stepping Up

Tonight I turned up at the squash courts for the semi-finals, only to find out that because of the timing of the Easter weekend that it was not scheduled for tonight.

As soon as I arrived and didn’t see the normal swarm of people, I immediately released what had happened. I was however, pleasantly surprised to find two A and one B grade players there having a hit; of course they realised that our semi-finals weren’t on and organised a hit none the less. At the time, both of the squash courts were free so with three players there at the time, the other court was begging to be used, so I asked if they’d mind if I joined them and they were happy to accommodate me.

Across the course of the evening, I was able to play each of the players a few times and it was an excellent opportunity. This has been the first chance I’ve had to have a serious hit with a bunch of players well above my grade, so I looked upon it as a training session and it was invaluable.

I managed to take a game off Murry (A), which was a bit of a surprise but a lot of fun and he got the second one by a much closer margin. The highlight though, which you might consider a strange highlight, was having my arse completely handed to me by Phil (A); who is the top guy in our fixtures and he wasn’t even working that hard on the court. Phil takes pleasure in holding the ball for as long as possible and then firing the ball where ever on the court he chooses. Since he is holding the ball so long, I always seem to be out of position and scrambling to get the ball, which just gives him more opportunity to hold the ball, hit it late and make me run a little more; it’s a vicious cycle.

I felt I played very well tonight and had good control of the ball, most of the time. My serve was surprisingly effective, I really expected the guys to destroy it but that didn’t happen. I was taking quite a bit of pleasure in changing the serve up, high lobs, driving into the wall or straight down the T; kept them guessing just enough. One thing I did feel that was letting me down tonight and it really was letting me down was my foot work. I continue to move on the squash court like I used to move on a tennis court, which while similar in some respects isn’t right. When the ball is moving fast, my tennis style foot work just doesn’t allow me to get my feet and hips into position fast enough to keep the ball tight down the walls when under pressure; so that is going to be something I’ll make a point of focusing on at the semi-finals next week.