There is an endless number of sports that will tell you to keep your eye on the ball. But in squash — it means some very specific things. We thought this was a rather important thing to cover for both beginners and advanced squash players because it’s an easy point to disregard if you don’t realise the importance. It is a crucial element to understand and will affect your game.
So what does it mean to watch the ball?
The Three Basic Court Positions
These are the only three positions your opponents can be. And there is a way to watch the ball for this.
The front position is the best place for your opponent to be. You can plainly see where your opponent is and when they are likely to strike the ball. The best way to win here is to stay as close to them as possible without being a shadow. That would be too close and may be considered crowding and certainly don’t touch them.
Behind or Parallel:
With these two positions you have to use your peripheral vision instead of your front vision. Don’t follow the ball with your head at all unless you’ve hit the ball off a the high wall in the back. Then using turning your head is necessay. Otherwise, keep your eyes locked on the serve line area.
Want to exercise your peripheral vision?
Do an exercise that looks a lot like a sobriety test. Stand or sit with both hands out in front of you—arms extended. Have both your pointer fingers up only. Now, keeping your head perfectly straight—move your arms—fingers still up—slowly to either side of your body. Keep your arms extended—you should look like a ‘T’. Do not look side to side to follow your fingers nor your eyes. Repeat as much as you like to strengthen your peripheral vision. You can also have your squash buddy bounce a ball off the wall and take turns following it with your peripheral vision only!
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