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How to be deceptive on court...Peter Nicol
This week we are looking at
deception and how to and when to use this tactic to gain an advantage in
a match. I always found this technique really difficult to master,
especially as I have a relatively slow arm and therefore tend to be
committed to one shot early in my preparation. So, I had to create
deception through being in the same position all over the court and
therefore "showing" my opponent as many different options as possible
without relying on my arm and wrist. We look into how you can add some
simple techniques to incorporate deception into your play.
During my career I was very fortunate to play against a man who had a
great arm/wrist, was able to get into the correct position most of the
time and then had the brain to implement correctly into his game –
Jonathan Power's Deception -
What it was like to play against!
My main rival had an outstanding ability that I struggled against
throughout our 45 professional matches – deception. Jonathon Power used
this to create indecision in my mind and therefore a much greater
workload on my poor body, which made for some very difficult movements.
The hardest aspect for me to deal with was the fact Jonathon could hold
his shot from all areas of the court and under all levels of pressure.
Imagine how difficult it is to be on top of your opponent, moving them
around the court and finally you put the ball in short and cover, only
for THEM to play an outright winner. It was incredibly frustrating.
Holding the Ball (Delay Playing
Sending your opponent completely the wrong way is one of the most
satisfying feelings on a squash court. Making it happen however can be a
Jonathan power is generally regarded as the master of deception. What
does he do when holding the ball? When you start to break it down it
actually appears to be very simple. There are a number of key points
that keep occurring when Jonathan holds the ball, including an open
stance, early racket preparation and having the ability to hit the ball
anywhere from the top of the bounce until it is just a few inches from
Show your options and Prepare early: A key element to the art of
deception is making your opponent feel like they have to cover at least
2 parts of the court. To make them do this you need to be able to show
them that you can hit to two parts of the court. This means getting your
racket up early above the ball and creating a body position that does
not close off part of the court. This probably means being in a slightly
open stance that will allow you to hit either straight or crosscourt.
Jonathan Power is an excellent exponent of this.
Get to the ball in the correct position, so you COULD play
several shots from the same stance. Vary the shots you play, so you do
not become predictable.
With thanks to