Saturday, August 30, 2014

Match Situations

Today I got thinking. How do you handle an opponent that you don't enjoy playing? What if you're opponent runs into you, is rude, doesn't call his lets or his shots out or down? We have all played someone like this at one point or another. We cannot avoid it in tournaments and therefore some people avoid playing competitions altogether. Can you pretend it doesn't bother you? Can you take extra time to refocus when they've made you angry? Is there a way you can play this person and not let it get to you? After all if you do, this plays into their game. And that probably isn't going to suit you. So I know this is a tricky enough match situation. I have a list of a lot more below. 

Below is a list of possible situations that could occur. They are sorted into various categories to help you find what you are looking for. These situations are designed to help you prepare for potential situations in a match or tournament. This can increase your confidence to deal withthese situations as they arise and should help you maintain your composure.

Some of these questions are to get a sense of your competitiveness and fair-play. If the athlete fails to comply with how they said they would act then they have their answers to look back at and rethink the scenario and their answer. Ideally this will help you put winning and competition into perspective and will allow you to compare your on-court actions with how you want and expect to act and respond to various situations. If you are having trouble reacting how they would like to, then new strategies should be considered, or perhaps it will just take some practice and repetition.

I could probably write 100 posts or so; 1 based on each hypothetical question. I may just get to that over time. But for now I want you to prepare yourself for the upcoming season. Don't wait until you've encountered a difficult situation on the court or as a ref, think about it now and prepare yourself for these scenarios. 

Here is an overview of the categories
  1. You
    1. Strategy and tactics
    2. Match preparation
    3. State of mind before and during
  2. Opponent
  3. Crowd
  4. Referee
    1. Reffing You
    2. As the ref
  5. Possible Team Situations
  1. You
    1. Strategy and tactics
  • What would you do if your opponent is attacking off almost all of your serves and is hitting a large percentage?
  • What would you tell yourself if you miss an easy shot?
  • What if you miss two easy shots in a row?
  • What would you do if the pace of the game is much higher than you're accustomed to?
  • What would you do if your opponent is having no trouble volleying your length? (on just the right or left wall? on crosscourts or straight length? When you're hitting from the front of the court?)
  • Your opponent makes a low percentage attacking shot winner off of what you thought was a good shot? (what if your opponent does it on consecutive rallies?)
  • What would you do if you believe that your opponent has better length than you?
  • What would you do if you believe your opponent has better attacking shots than you do?
  • What would you do if you believe your opponent is fitter than you?
  • What would you do if you believe your opponent is faster than you?
  • What would you do if your opponent plays at a faster pace than you are accustomed too?
  • What would you do if your opponent plays lots of lobs and drops (with little or no pace)?
  • What would you do if your opponent has good deception (flicks and holds)?
  • What would your strategy be if you have to play someone who is quite tall?
  • What would your strategy be if you have to play someone who is pretty thin?
  • What would your strategy be if you have to play someone who is short?
  • What would you do if you have to play someone younger or older than you?
  • What would you do if you had to play someone from the opposite sex?
  • What would you do if you had game ball(s) and your opponent ties it up?
  • What would you do if you had game ball(s) and your opponent ends up winning the game? (what if they were match balls?) (what if you know you have to play again soon?) (what if you're next opponent is watching?) (what if you are playing someone you think you should have beaten a lot easier?)
  • What would you do if you lose to someone you think you should have beaten and now you have to come back and play again?
  • What would you do if you have to play a good friend?
  • What would you do if you have to play someone you look up to?
  • What would you do if you had to play someone you have never beaten?
  • What would you do if you had to play someone you have never lost to? (has never challenged you?)
  • What would you do if your strategy isn't working after the first few minutes? (after the first game?)
  • What would you do if your opponent makes the adjustment to your strategy after the first game and he/she win the second game? (do you have the ability to play a different style, do you stick to what you were doing thinking that your opponent can't keep it up or got lucky for a game, what if they won the third game?)
  • What would you do if you feel you are having a slow start to the match?
  • What would you do if you notice that you aren't sticking to your gameplan?
  • What would you do if you are serving for a big point, maybe a game or match ball?
  • What would you do if you won the first 2 games but are very physically exhausted?
  • What would you do if you had failed to capitalize on a number of game balls in a row and your opponent is now within a single point of tying the game?
b. Match preparation and equipment
  • What would you do if your court opens up early and you aren't ready? (what if you're coach isn't there and they are pressuring you to get started?)
  • What would you do if the court is slippery?
  • What would you do if the temperature in the facility and court is very warm?
  • What would you do if the temperature in the facility and the court is very cool?
  • What would you do if the ball is very warm and bouncy?
  • What would you do if the ball is skidding off the floor?
  • What would you do if the ball has a small seam that looks like it is going to break soon (but doesn't)?
  • What would you do if the ball is not as bouncy as you are accustomed too?
  • What would you do if your mouth is dry before your match? (and during)
  • What would you do if you haven't fully digested your food and you are about to start your match?
  • What would you do if you have a short turn around for your next match and you are physically depleted? What is your regeneration strategy?
  • What would you do if your eyeguards fell off during a point?
  • What would you do if your opponent's eyeguards fall off during a point?
  • What would you do if you are a little sore going into a match?
  • What would you do if you are feeling sick before a match?
  • What would you do if you are having trouble at home, with a boy/girlfriend, at school, and you find yourself thinking about it before or during a match?
  • What would you do if you didn't have time to warm up properly before your match?
  • What would you do if there was no room or equipment to warmup on
    What would you do if you just get to a tournament and have to go from the car right onto the court?
c. State of mind before and during
  • What would you do if you feel yourself getting nervous before a game?
  • What would you do if you feel nervous in a warmup?
  • What would you do if you feel nervous at the beginning of the first game?
  • What would you do if you have trouble getting to sleep the night before a match?
  • What would you do if you are too relaxed before a match?
  • What would you do if you were expecting an easy match and then in the warmup you realize it might be difficult? (what if you hadn't warmed up properly?)
  1. Opponent
  • What would you do if your opponent appears overly confident and is taking you lightly?
  • What would you do if you believe your opponent is faking an injury?
  • What would you do if you believe your opponent is pretending to be sick or physically exhausted?
  • What would you do if your opponent comes out and isn't trying? (but you had taken it easy and then he/she starts to pick things up?)
  • What would you do if your opponent doesn't take a break between games?
  • What would you do if your opponent doesn't take a break after the 4th game and they look exhausted?
  • What would you do if your opponent doesn't take a break after you just won the game handily?
  • What would you do if your opponent plays a double bounce? (with and without a referee) (single occasion or on multiple occasions)
  • What would you do if your opponent isn't clearing properly? (with and without a referee)
  • What would you do if your opponent calls the wrong score (no referee)?
  • What would you do if your opponent appears to be stalling between points? (when you're serving/when they're serving) (with and without a referee)
  • What would you do if your opponent bumps into you? (and the referee isn't defending you?)
  • What would you do if your opponent isn't clearing properly?
  • What would you do if your opponent is calling an excessive amount of 'lets'? (with and without a referee?)
  • What would you do if your opponent has a dangerous or reckless swing?
  • What would you do if your opponent crowds you? (and you hit him/her?)
  • What would you do if your opponent hits you with the ball when they should not have hit the ball?
  • What would you do if your opponent hits you with their racquet when they should not have hit the ball?
  • What would you do if your opponent calls your shot down or out (when it wasn't)?
  • What would you do if your opponent is rushing to serve between points?
  • What would you do if your opponent isn't wearing eyeguards? (what if your opponent is crowding you?)
  • What would you do if your opponent is yelling or cursing at themselves? (what if they start distracting you by throwing their racuqet, hitting themselves with their racquet?

    3. Crowd
    a. Audience
  • What would you do if a girl/boy you like is cheering for your opponent during your match?
  • What would you do if the crowd is rowdy and very loud?
  • What would you do if the crowd is largely cheering for your opponent?
  • What would you do if the crowd is applauding when you make an easy, unforced error?
  • What would you do if the crowd is being obnoxious or sarcastic?
  • What would you do if there is nobody watching?
  • What would you do if you can hear an exciting match going on nearby?

    4. Referee
    a. Someone reffing you
  • What would you do if your opponent is constantly foot faulting?
  • What if your opponent continuously argues with the referee? And what if the referee starts siding with them?
  • What would you do if your opponent misses a shot and plays it good (and the referee misses it)?
  • What would you do if you feel the referee has it out for you?
  • What would you do if before the match even begins that you think that the referee does not care for you?
  • What would you do if the referee is being friendly with your opponent? (before the match? Between games? Joking around?)
  • What would you do if the referee is a friend of your opponent? (or a teammate? Or from the same club? You think is being biased?)
  • What would you do if you feel the referee's decisions are being influenced by the crowd? (parents? Coaches? Teammates?)
  • What would you do if the referee is being inconsistent with his/her calls?
  • What would you do if the referee gives you no lets when your opponent is blocking you from getting to the ball?
  • What would you do if the referee changes his/her call? (after being challenged by your opponent)
  • What would you do if the referee is not enforcing a rule?
  • What would you do if the referee won't listen to your reasoning or provide an explanation for a questionable call?
  • What would you do if you believe that the referee is becoming involved in the match when it isn't necessary?
  • What would you do if you can't hear the referee call the score?
  • What would you do if the referee gives the opponent a 'no let' or 'let' decision when it was a clear stroke? What if it was an important point? What if you were winning? What if you were losing?
  • What would you do if you made an error (hit the ball out or hit the tin) and the referee doesn't notice? What if it was game or match ball? What if your opponent doesn't notice either
b. You as the ref
  • What would you do if you had to ref two of your teammates?
  • What would you do if one (or both) of the players your reffing are giving you a hard time?
  • What would you do if you know you made a bad call? (would you change it?) (would you owe one to the other player to even it out?) (would you be consistent with your calls for the rest of the match?)
  • What would you do if you had to make a call on a big point (game or match ball) and you are pretty confident the result (let or no let) is the right decision (which would end the game or match)?
  • What would you do if one of the players wanted an explanation for a call that you think was pretty obvious and not questionable at all?
  • What would you do if an opponent is later getting back on court between games? (the first time, second, third)? (how much grace time would you give them? And then what?)
  • What would you do if one of the players got hurt at fault of the opponent and needed a medical stoppage?
  • What would you do if one of the players got hurt at no fault of the opponent and needed a medical time out?
  • What would you do if one of the players was foot faulting?
  • What would you do if you think a ball bounced twice and they kept playing?
  • What would you do if one of the players was reckless and kept hitting (or almost) hitting the other player?
  • What would you do if you were reffing a junior and they didn't have any eyeguards on?
  • What would you do if another squash ball (or object) landed on the court during a point? (when the rally was basically over?)
  • What would you do if a parent is bickering at you about a call?
  • What would you do if you had to ref a player who has a tendency of being tough on refs?
  • What would you do if you had to ref on a concealed court where they couldn't hear you call the score?
  • What would you do if the crowd was awwing and moaning after you make a call? (would you stick to similar decisions in the future?)
  • What would you do if one of the players continually ran into the other player?
  • What would you do if a much bigger player was being overly physical with a smaller player?
  • What would you do if one of the players doesn't ask for a stroke, just grabs the ball with their hand or racquet and goes to serve?
  • What would you do if someone asked you to ref and you felt that you weren't capable or comfortable reffing that caliber or those particular players?
  • What would you do if you had to ref after your match but you want to stretch and cool down?
  • What would you do if you made a couple of questionable calls and both players were now complaining and arguing before every decision?

5. Possible Team Situations
  • What would you do if you haven't played your match yet and the results are already decided? (the team either won or lost)
  • What would you do if you were injured or sick and there was a team meeting?
  • What would you do if a lower skilled player on the team asked you to hit with him/her?
  • What would you do if someone on the team was planning on going to a party the night before a team match? What if you were invited? What if the whole team was planning on going?
  • What would you do if a teammate was arguing with a referee and was visibly upset?
  • What would you do if your teammate just lost a game at love? What type of advice would you give him/her between games?
  • What would you do if the teams result comes down to your match?
  • What would you do if your teammate was playing a good friend of yours?
  • What would you do if you had to play a teammate in a tournament?
  • What would you do if your teammate was reffing you and made some questionable decisions against you?
  • What would you do if you had to watch two of your teammates play each other (who would you cheer for)?
  • What would you do if you have a couple of teammates playing at the same time on different courts?
  • What would you do if your teammate had to go on soon and was hungry (and had no food) and you had 1 granola bar left?
  • What would you do if you're teammate is running a cardio session and is goofing off or not giving a good effort?
  • What would you do if your teammate was not giving a good effort, but the team had already lost/won?
  • What would you do if a teammate was continually missing practice?
  • What would you do if a teammate was continually late for practice?
  • What would you do if you had a practice and an exam on the same day (the exam being after the practice)?
  • What would you do if your coach was late for practice? haha I'm sure this never happens!
I hope this got you thinking a bit. You've probably already encountered a number of these situations. Which ones were you happy with how you handled and which ones were you not? Try and come up with a strategy to handle that incident as you would like in the future so you can play fair, keep focused and play your best squash. If there is a challenging scenario you've encountered that I don't have on the above list let me know and let me know how you handled it. Thanks for reading and good luck! 

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