My team at the Robina Squash Club made it into the semi-finals and they were played tonight. I wasn’t sure how I’d go, as the last few weeks I haven’t played anywhere near my potential and the semi-finals saw me pitted against a senior player named Steve who I’ve written about previously.
A bonus of making it into the semi-finals is that there is no set order of play, each team takes it in turn to decide who plays next. This might seem like a small thing, however it can be used to your advantage if handled well as it allows a team to apply quite an amount of pressure to the opposing team by playing in an order that provides them with the greatest lead. As it panned out tonight, Steve and I were on last – which meant we walked onto the court at about 9:30PM.
Steve is notorious for being a very crafty player on the court and has the ability to create a lot of angles and drop shots off unexpected balls. While he isn’t the faster on the court, those two features of him game and a consistent serve unsettles a lot of people in my grade at the club.
I went into the match knowing that I had to lift my game and had a very loose game plan in my head:
- vary the pace and placement of my flat serve
- include plenty of slower high serves
- make a point of varying the depth of my ground strokes, driving the ball deep isn’t a silver bullet
- capitalise on stray balls to create angles and shorten the point
- better foot movement, poorly managed feet significantly limits shots
This evening I served with consistency and solid accuracy, which meant only a few loose serves. Variety on the serve was very effective and it seemed to be enough to keep Steve on his toes as he wasn’t stepping in. Changing the length on the ground strokes was a good move as well, if for no other reason than it makes your opponent move on the court and pulls them out of position. It took a little mental effort tonight but making a point of getting my feet into a ‘better’ position really helped open up the court through shot variety, which also allowed me to shorten the points.
Those were the things that worked really well tonight but it wasn’t all sunshine and lollipops. I normally boast the ball regularly, however tonight I didn’t do it enough and was fortunate enough that it didn’t seem to effect the score. The trusty lob, not a shot I get to play all that often but is something I have identified that I really need to work on. I can hit the lob itself no problem, what I can’t do consistently is get it deep into the back corner of the court without going a little too high on the wall – frustrating!
The good and bad above produced the following results:
- 13 – 1
- 13 – 2
- 12 – 13
- 13 – 3
Now I just need to work out how to deliver that type of game week in an week out, but for the moment I’ll focus on the final next week and go from there!
If you’d like to learn to play squash or enjoy a good hit, get in contact:
Robina Squash Club
Robina QLD, 4226
0427 627 229