It is crucial to learn that your shot selection should be based on your opponents court position. Your goal is to play your opponent, not the ball.
This means that during your backswing, you must expand your awareness to include both the ball and your opponent. If you swing and don’t know the location your opponent, you might as well be playing blindfolded.
Awareness of opponent during backswing
Don’t look at your opponent before you set up or while you are approaching the ball. Your opponent is making up his mind on where to go by watching how you set up. So start by selecting the most logical shot to hit, set up for it, then look for your opponent. Practice keeping your eye on the ball, while using your peripheral vision to track your opponent.
Plan B from outer space
If you have a set up¹ in front of your opponent, you need to immediately hit a rally ending shot. From this advantageous position, you have two or more winning shots—covering them all is an impossibility for your opponent.
For example, if you are in the front court in the middle left side with an easy forehand, then set up for a pinch shot to the right front corner. If your opponent moves up to cover the pinch, hit a wide angle pass to the left wall, otherwise, if they stay back, hit the pinch shot.
Here is another scenario. Let’s say you are in front court with a set up very close to the left side wall. Your opponent is up front far enough to get passed. Simply set up for a down the line pass along the left wall. If you can see him behind you, do not hit a pinch shot because he may not to stay there. He might get your pinch shot by running past you at the moment you turn your head to hit the ball. Instead, hit a wide angle passing shot to the right side wall. A passing shot is much safer and cannot be covered at the same time as the down the left line or pinch shots.
This post was inspired by this helpful webpage of racquetball drills and tips.
1. Set up — An aggressive offensive shot hit at knee level or below, eg, a killshot.