Sunday, November 4, 2018

Footwork: Playing Open Stance

When I was a child I was told to always hit off my front leg. I hated doing this from the front right as I wasn't very strong or comfortable hitting off my left leg moving forwards. Eventually with enough practice I got comfortable playing off of both legs from everywhere on the court. In the middle of a match you shouldn't be focusing on which foot you're playing off of, but in a controlled practice setting you should intentionally practice hitting off of both legs from either side of the court. Obviously there are certain shots and specific areas which will require more open stance shots.


The problem most people have playing open stance is the they are unable to maintain their balance and get any power on their shot. If you are under a lot of pressure moving backwards and playing off your back leg you have to focus on opening the racquet face and lifting the ball. If you try and drive the ball when you're weight is shifted solely on your back foot you will have trouble with your accuracy. On the other hand if you are in a strong posture you should still be able to drive the ball with a decent amount of pace off of your back leg.


I've seen than video clip of Greg Gaultier ghosting to all areas of the court on 1 leg and then again with the other leg. He knows at that level he must be entirely comfortable playing off either leg from anywhere on the court. I've been guilty of using my dominant leg too much and during the course of a hard match or tournament and an entire season it begins to break down and fatigue and it can lead to issues either chronic or acute injuries in your hips, knees and back.




In a lot of my lessons I start off by warming up the pupil with intentionally having them play drives off of both legs to ensure they slowly but surely get more comfortable playing off of either leg on both sides. Here's a rally from last week where I played every shot open stance. And the next time you watch a PSA match look how often they do this. It might surprise you.



If you want to improve your court movement check out The Advanced Secrets Of Solo Hitting (and Movement). It's available for just $5 and comes with a no questions asked money back guarantee. Also try and do some solo hitting off of both legs on each side so you become more comfortable with the transfer of energy/timing of these swings. If you want to check out the instructional film you can find it here: SeriousSquashShop.com/collections/coaching-videos

Here's the trailer for the solo hitting and footwork combo Serious Squash film