Mar 102011
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Why do so many racquetball players hit the wrong shot at the wrong time? In other words, why do players make poor shot selections which are easily retrieved by their opponents, or even worse, hit a skip shot into the floor?

I believe many players get on the court and play in style which I describe as being on cruise-control with only one set speed and direction. What I mean is that your ingrained habits of play will severely limit your range of shot selections at any given moment during a match.

So, in order to improve your ability to take the right shot at the right time, you first need to learn to pay attention to the court position of your opponent. And second, you adhere to a set of shot selection guidelines until they become completely instinctual.

Shot Selection Guidelines

  1. Play off the back wall. In midcourt, if the ball coming from the front wall is waist high or higher, then let it pass you and hit a shot off of the back wall. Do not defend the back wall like a goalkeeper. You do not need to volley the ball in the air. After striking the floor and then the back wall, the ball will slow down, making it much easier to hit at knee level.
  2. Watch your opponent. If your opponent is behind you, and the ball is at knee level or below, then hit a pinch shot into the closest corner. If your opponent is next to you, hit a passing shot. If your opponent is in front of you, use a passing or ceiling shot.
  3. Passing shots should be struck when the ball is between knee and waist high. If the ball is above waist high, then hit a ceiling ball or around the wall shot.
  4. Whenever in doubt, hit a cross court passing shot. 
  5. Eliminate skip balls. Hitting good passing angles is more important than hitting the ball low. Passing shots should hit 12″ to 24″ high on the front wall.

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