Good foot movement on the court is critical for setting up to hit racquetball shots. Ladder drills and jump-rope drills can be used to cure “lazy” feet.
Great racquetball players have great footwork. They know where the racquetball is going and seem to glide into it in one or two steps. And, most importantly, top players time their steps so they arrive at the ball at the perfect moment.
So, without proper racquetball footwork, you cannot get into the correct setup position to hit the ball. You can have perfect swing techniques but still find it difficult to hit the ball due to awkward foot movement. Because the ball is moving and changing direction, your footwork requires you to track and move on a parallel path with the ball.
Beginners tend to run directly at the ball and end up getting too close to the ball. But much like in squash play, you need to learn how to approach the ball in a curved or banana shaped pathway. And you must pivot into the correct position facing a side wall when striking the ball.
The most common foot and leg movements in the back court are the split-step and the shuffle-step. The split step gets your feet ready and on your toes to begin movement in any direction. Use the shuffle-step to move towards the back wall.
There are two categories of racquetball shots. The first group are shots which move your opponent from the front of the court to the back of the court. These shots include ceiling balls and passing shots. Passing shots can be hit either down the line or cross-court. Again your intent is to move your opponent from their center court position into the back court area. Your goal is to move up into center court position.
The second group of shots are meant to end the rally. End of rally shots include kill shots and pinch shots (a pinch shot is hit low into a front corner). If done correctly, an end of rally shot will bounce twice in the front of the court before your opponent can get to it.
So a good rule of thumb is to hit ceiling balls and passing shots when your opponent is in front of you. And if you are in front of your opponent, and can hit the ball at knee level, then hit a pinch or kill shot.
This is a very helpful video by John Ellis on returning a difficult drive serve.