Monday, August 11, 2014

First Video Analysis

Today is a good day:) back to beautiful Victoria and someone was finally brave enough to submit a video for my analysis. This is the link if you wish to have a look for yourself
He is the man in the red shirt. For the record I still have the offer out there for critiquing 2 more videos so please send them in. You'll see I'm not being too tough on him and he is getting some free advice! 

So here is my analysis:

I could say 'you need to hit deeper and tighter length' or 'improve your short game,' but that is very generic and common for all of us. So I'm going to give you a few ideas on how you can do this and what exactly I would focus on if I was your coach. 

First of all I want to compliment you on some of the good things you do besides your bravery for submitting this video. You have a quick wrist and are tricky to read, especially at the front. I also think you are good at digging balls out of the back corners as you seem to be more of a defensive player. 

So that is kind of getting to where I would like to see you make some changes. I have 2 main areas that that will help you play better squash and hit tighter and straighter drives. 

If I start from you being on the T, this is where a lot of the issue begins. You often lead with your right foot into the back left corner. So improving your movement from the T into this back left corner would be a big priority for me. As you split step you should be pushing off of your right foot and taking your first step with your left foot. To go along with the footwork into the back corner is how you are positioned when you arrive to the back corner. You are often in with both feet and stationary as you hit the ball. Combine this with your wristy/short backswing you cannot get enough power to drive the ball down the wall with any authority. Explaining the footwork pattern into and out of the back corner is simpler done in person, but I will try and explain it for you here: pushing off of your right foot and your first step is with you left. then your right foot steps behind your left foot, then your left foot steps backwards towards the corner and then you step into the ball as you hit off your front foot. There are of course other ways to move and hit into the back corner but this is the method I recommend when you have sufficient time to do this. 

Okay, so movement into the back left corner (your backhand) is the first thing. The other area I would focus on is taking a full swing. This means rotating your racquet shoulder more (and also shaping up earlier/on the way to the ball). From the from of the court it is okay to hit with a shorter and wristy swing, but you want to use your bigger muscles and transfer the kinetic energy. 

I don't want to give you too many things to work on, but if I had critique your forehand I would say it's pretty solid. You will however hit the ball tighter if you can square up your shoulders and hips to the side wall when you hit. You hit with your body open to the front wall and this makes it awkward to hit it straight and tight. If you turn your hips and shoulders and hit the ball beside you, so that your parallel to the side wall you will hit the ball much tighter. I know this is challenging to do under pressure at the front right, but even when hitting off of your right foot (on open stance) you should try to get squared up and hit the ball beside you, squaring your hips and shoulders to the side wall. Often if you think about pointing your toes to the side wall or even your belly button this can correct the entire body. This will help you hit it tighter and straighter and with more power. I think this will help another area, where your forehand drives are hitting too low on the front wall and coming up too short. 

So I do have a couple of other tips for you, but I don't want to think too much out there! Making a change in your footwork and in your mechanics takes some time. You will need to do this via ghosting and simple drills. Solo hitting will help with your forehand, as you hit beside the ball squaring up your body. Even just having someone hit crosscuts as you move from the T and try and square up and hit a straight drive to yourself before boasting back to them will help a lot. While solo hitting you can also play around with the extra torque from the shoulder rotation on your backhand. Your head should stay still as your shoulders rotate backwards. If you can figure this out your backhand will improve a lot. Cause if there is a bit of chip in the armour in the backhand corner a good player will just keep it there all day. 

A final note, at the 3:15 and 7:12 mark I felt like those were both lets! Thanks again for being so brave and submitting your video. If you have any questions let me know. And maybe you can work on these things for a couple of months and submit a new video to see how things are coming along:) 

Well this is my first post ever directed towards a single person, but I'm hoping that some of you may have similar areas in your game that you need to work on. I am also thinking that this submission may lead to 2 more! If you want to hear what I have to say about your game send me a link to one of your squash games. And if you agree or disagree with any of my comments feel free to share. I'd love to know what you think!


  1. Thanks for the great feedback Chris! I was playing today and tried squaring up more when hitting forehands and already noticed a big improvement. Changing the movement into the back left will require a bit more effort, but I will give it a shot and keep you posted. By the way, I told my opponent about the feedback you gave me and he was wondering if he could get some analysis as well. Thanks again, Vadim

  2. You're welcome. And that's great! Glad to hear it's already helping you Vadim. As long as your opponent doesn't mind me writing a post about him i'd be happy to do that. I'll get to it later today. Thanks for sending in your video!


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