Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Our Students' Squash Lessons 9/1/09

Haadibe -- 13 year old Pakastani squash player started taking lessons 25 lbs heavier about two months ago. He loves this game, is intense, and a bit of a perfectionist -- a short fuse sometimes. Reminds me a bit of a certain, hmmm, son of mine. But then again both witnessed a terrible outburst from me when so frustrated with my shots because I wasn't moving my feet, I threw one of those fits only squash can bring on. I was able to use that fit as an example of what not to do. And of course my son simply said run some laps to loosen up ranting and raving isn't going to make you move your sore legs. Anyways, Haadibe is a natural. Big kid, but blessed with great hands and feet. For a kid his size, he moves like a gazelle at times. And his hands produce some really nice shots. We are shooting for later in the year to start in tournaments. Right now we are concentrating on fitness and technique. For fitness, he runs sprints, laps, lunges, push ups and star drills; for technique more star drills and endless ghosting and rails and cross court shots. We are focusing on what it takes to hit a good rail, easier said than done as most of us in the first few years of playing know. Everyone starting out wants to crush that ball, crush the life out of it, the racket becomes a club and the squash stroke becomes nothing short of bludgeoning something to death. He's got it though. When he takes 40% pace off the ball he doesn't over rotate and spray the ball nor does he get fatigued from putting all this energy into bashing the ball. Today in practice he was hitting good length on his rails and they were tight to the side wall. As I moved the ball more to the front of the court to pressure him a bit his footwork began breaking down. We stopped to ghost the hitting the ball out of the the front court. This was on the forehand side. As he ghosted the movement to the front court we corrected his first step to the ball. He had the first step correct, right foot first, but he came out a bit in that old upside down J movement. I also noticed he was too close to the stationary ball and was bending at the waist. It's hard to convince someone they can get to the ball in the front of the court when they feel pressured. Negate the pressure the best you can. We made adjustments so the first step was towards where he was going to strike the ball (shortest distance is directly to the ball) and set a marker a foot and a half before his own positioning where he would strike the ball. So here we shave off nearly two feet in distance to cover and recover. Next we had to fix the bending at the waste. This is not only hard on the back but makes you late in your recovery. We did this by practicing lunges and keeping the back postured properly. I told Haadibe to watch Gaultier how he postures himself. So now we needed to anchor him as he lunged in to strike the ball. We started him dragging his back foot forward to slow his momentum, keep him balanced, and quicken his recovery. We made sure he didn't come up too quickly after striking the ball because this invariably causes a loose shot. We did this over and over and by the end of the session it was something else, he looked and moved like a real squash player. Sorry, Dude, you're going to be pretty sore the next couple of days. And to keep it in perspective you have to move like that when the ball is live:)

1 comment:

haadi said...

well that was great will. u know im a beast but i got a long way to go... thanks