By Ken Woodfin

Have a very Meta (my way) Racquetball shooting experience!

Racquetball Shooting Experience

As a player, set the reference point for how YOU compete. Make it a “Meta” shooting experience. There optimally play racquetball on YOUR own terms.

Attack Mode

A fundamental part of your game should be playing in attack mode. If you have a setup or familiar shooting situation, confidently take your favored, matching the pattern shot. The worst playing style is beating yourself. When you pick the wrong shot or stroke or you try for a target you can’t hit (or haven’t hit before) or when you force the ball into a shot angle it can’t go…then you are whooping yourself… Take and make YOUR shots. Pick from shots you take and routinely make. If you can’t shoot low, go high…

Improv

Your aim is the ability to improvise tactically. Play without losing your concentration. Play by hitting where THEY ain’t. Your being comfortable is the opposite of the way you want them to feel. You want THEM to keep guessing “What shot will THEY hit next?”.

Mistake Release

If you ever make a mistake, make sure to quickly adapt. Adapt rather than stubbornly retry a failed form or force an incorrect shot placement for THAT same pattern of play or pick the wrong stroke for the moment. DO WHAT YOU DO WELL.

Grind and Adjust

The thru line throughout your whole game is your push, your will, your drive, your willingness to grind out each rally. Battle. WHEN YOU make a mistake, own it. Adjust.

Composite Shooter

Be yourself. Use familiar feet-work form, a routine looping backswing, along with an uninterrupted typical, flowing forward-swing, all while using tried and true tactics you know well that work well.

Warm-Up Shooter Mode

Start with a good warmup before you play. Choreograph where in the court and what you warm up. Include fielding ball off the front wall, returning a ceiling ball, and even whack a ball into the back wall and field that ball rebounding off the front wall. As soon as you start rallying there’s only gonna be a drop-n-hit when you serve. You have to field balls coming off the front wall many ways. First, always have one, a warmup. Get into YOUR own personal moving, swinging, and thinking rhythm. Get your feel for the ball coming off your racquet face…THEN play. Don’t allow yourself to be rushed. Warm up your shots or your body and most of all your skill making good contact.

Feet-Work Fuels

Learn ALL of the playing skills. Movement-wise…be able to crossover step to return serve, with a jab step to sidewall and then crossover step diagonally along the sidewall.  Expand that crossover stepping to how you move throughout the court in rally play, such as…

Court Steps Include…

1- crossover: after hitting the ball, be able to start your run with a crossover step with your far foot anytime you’ve got more than a couple yards to cover;

2- drop step: to return an overhit drive Z serve, be able to drop step away from the corner with the deeper foot stepping away from sidewall. After the Z bounces, rebounds off the sidewall and is angling off the back wall right into the middle opening up, drop back quickly with back and tag along front foot to prepare, for example, a down the wall return;

3- make space: for back corner setups, drop step away from a back corner, as the ball bounces, deflects off sidewall, carries to back wall and pops off the back wall. You could step into the corner and spin to hit with your off stroke, like a forehand in your backhand rear corner. The objective is to make space, for instance, with a drop step, as you drop step away with your back foot, as your front foot drop hops away tagging along. Then, when the ball comes into range, step back in with your front foot and light up the ball with power or control your placement with cagey touch;

4- center court: after hitting, conscientiously crossover step to quickly flow into center court after you serve or shoot from deep court;

5- touch-n-go: touch in center court with a touch-n-go split step, while readying there to move to cover THEIR shot. A split step is done when you step in with one foot, take a little leap up off that foot, with the other leg’s knee rising, and then land when spreading both feet apart. Then, when you see or read the ball, go hit the ball;

6- sidestep stop: if it’s close enough to shuffle there as a sidestep, be able to quickly stop by bending your lead knee and then trail knee to put on the brakes, adjust and aggressively hit the ball;

7- no back pedaling: don’t BACK PEDAL in the court because you’ll be facing the wrong direction (forward) and moving back awkwardly, which encourages hitting while facing the front wall;

8- no jumping: don’t jump for a ball you can drop back and take off the back wall or one where you can retreat in the court and field the bounding high ball, as it drops down, for preferred, easier low ball contact.

Raise YOUR Level…

Scale up to use ALL of your physical AND mental skills. Set your feet as best you can. Turn and face the sidewall, as you loop your racquet back, and load your back foot. Then, to swing, drop down into the ball by bending your knees and turn into the ball, swinging thru with a sweeping, flowing, attacking swing making contact at chest high down to ankle level.

Versatile Shot Contact Height

Although usually you SHOULD let the ball drop low, for instance, be able to turn and swing volley at a ball when taking it out of midair. There you’re taking advantage when there’s an opportunity to slide up and hit the ball into the open court when you read the space can’t be filled in time by the stranded on one side opponent. Also, when higher contact is required, be ready to crank up your pass to bounce the ball right at the opponent’s feet. Another option is to whip the ball all the way around them, while looking for your pass to catch the sidewall beside them in mid court, placing the ball well wide of them, as a wide angle pas (WAP), when you can’t go low in front of them.

Chill

Don’t make a big deal about anything. Be immune to pressure. Maintain your mental focus on only the task at hand that’s right there in front of you. Don’t get upset, discouraged or disconcerted, even if YOU just made a bad play. If something doesn’t work, don’t let it show. Reorient yourself after any lapse and refocus to show YOUR game. Allow a strange thing by the opponent go when, for instance, they call out right when you’re in the midst of hitting the ball. Play through it or just call hinder. If you’ve made them vocalize their frustration, that’s on them. Let it go. Refocus.

Get NEW Skills

Add to your armory of shot options and your moving skills. And add to your tactical plays by picking Where, When and then train up How to be able to do *What* you want matching your tactics and meeting your strategy goals.

The More Skills, The Better

From an open base or front wall facing stance or from a partially closed stance, with your front foot toes out closer to the sidewall, or less preferably when you’re fully closed stance, with the front foot way out much further to the sidewall than the back foot, focus on being able to turn into ball to hit horizontal shots, when deciding and placing the ball on your side or THEIRS.

Optimal Stance Shooter

Play kill-shot ball from your best stance, ideally with your front foot’s toes out just a little closer to the sidewall than your back foot’s toes, in a partially closed, easy-turning stance. Make preferably thigh high on down to ankle high contact. Although expand your range from making ankle bone low contact all the way up to upper chest high, when shooting the ball down low and going for low front wall targets or sidewall targets. Also, throughout your wide contact range, be able to hit passes down along the wall on your side of the court or cross-court to the other side. Include in those crosscourt targets a wide angle pass (WAP) that veers the ball all the way around the opponent in the center.

Find Horizontal Angles

Select side to side targets, when you shoot…

(1) DTL…as you swing, be able to cut the ball or swing in to out when contacting the part of the ball closer to you and targeting less than halfway across over on the front so the down-the-line pass rebounds out paralleling the faced sidewall so the pass goes right into that side’s back corner;

(2) Reverse pinch…be able to spin and quickly angle your feet from anywhere in the court to shoot across your body into the other stroke’s front corner, as a reverse pinch. Especially go for reverse pinch when the opponent doesn’t block that long diagonal shot from deep court and you’re shooting caddy corner into the far, front corner BEFORE YOU set your feet. A reverse pinch is NOT a stroke to its corner, like stroking a backhand into your backhand side’s corner. It’s an off stroke to the other corner. It’s like when you hit a backhand from anywhere in the court, even when you and the ball are along your forehand sidewall, and you shoot into your forehand front corner usually selecting sidewall first;

(3) Sidewall shots: when shooting into the sidewall you face, be able to cut the ball, as you impart heavy inside out sidespin, for your sidewall shots. That makes the ball spin in toward that sidewall as the ball deflects off and flows forward toward the front wall. That “cut” action keeps the sidewall shot down lower, as it rebounds out as a pinch or splat. The spin results in a lower, closer to the front wall carom;

(4) Cross-court: be able to hit a V cross-court to the far, rear corner by striking a 45 degree angled ball halfway over on your front wall target so the ball rebounds out veering directly toward the furthest rear corner;

(5) WAP: be able to hit a little over halfway over on the front wall from the ball at 34 feet on in to angle the ball off the front wall to the far sidewall, as you hit a wide angle pass all the way around the center to strike the sidewall in mid court so the ball then ricochets off the sidewall to bounce twice in the middle in the backcourt.

Topspin

To keep any driven ball lower WHEN coming off the front wall, impart Topspin or overspin. That Top causes the ball to dive down when rebounding off the front wall. Then a topped ball bounces first further up in the court by retaining that “Topspin”. That keeps the ball lower and makes the ball tougher for the opponent to scrape back, as they have to counter that tumbling over spin. When topping the ball, you’re dropping the ball slightly on your strings or picture it as placing your racquet sweet spot on the upper half of the ball and swing thru THAT part of the ball you designate. Find Top in drilling AND when visualizing making contact. It’s just a little tumble, but the results are MASSIVE! A ball struck with Top has less drag as it flies to the front wall and after it rebounds out spinning going backwards, too.

Rollercoaster

Learning in racquetball is a rollercoaster ride. Set your bar to stay on the ride, but enjoy taking the curves, the fast drops and patiently take the more plodding rides up. You’ll have some tough learning curves and some long, (when-will-it-end?) plateaus. Keep your balance on the ride and do your best to keep building and sharpening your skill set when moving, shooting, and serving, while seeking rally dominance and weak returns from the opponent with your serving attack, as you receive serve how you move them to recapturing center court, and also attack or move them with your rally shot attack.

Flex-ability

Be fluid. Move between roles. From striking the ball, transition into positioning to defend YOUR shot placement. Include being ready to move from center court to move to get to the ball and productively place your feet and then the ball. As you play keep-away with the ball from the opponent, use your best moves, stance setting, and racquet looping back, and then down and thru, while tactically placing the ball where, based on its bounce, it’ll be most challenging for THEM! and doable for you.

Be Thick Skinned

Let it go if you miss. It’s okay. Do better next time.

Swing Free

There’s no impediment or immediate defense that waves a hand in your face as you shoot in racquetball, like there is in basketball. You get to move and take the ball at the best contact height your moves, reaction time, stroke timing and patience can afford. If you can take the ball lower, you CAN shoot lower and win more. If you must take the ball higher, normally shoot a pass or parse thru your splat or 3-wall shot options where high contact is routinely, effectively done.

Control your body and control your shot picking. In addition, control your racquet face by mastering your contact point that’s off shoulder or just out in front of your racquet arm shoulder. And effect that final racquet flow as you optionally bevel, which means angle, your racquet face to point down where you want to shape most of your shots. Optionally you may drop the ball on your strings or make contact on the upper half of the ball. It’s like the grip, it’s a player choice how YOU make contact.

Every Shot Chance is Simply Unique

Margins are so, so slim. Don’t try too hard. Do what YOU do well. If you want a really versatile contact range, practice contacting lots of ball at different contact heights, from the same off shoulder contact point. Set your feet to balance and use your feet and legs, while you also diligently prepare your racquet with a repeating loop to swing the best you can in THIS situation that’s a one-off, happening here only once. Know that other patterns may be similar, but this one is a snowflake, a unique shooting pattern, a one of a kind. Make it a special one.

Make Yourself a Shotmaker

Be a shotmaker. Be decisive with your kill-shot shooting. Be aggressive with your shots intending to strain the opponent’s coverage. When a ball isn’t killable, be able to place the ball outside the opponent’s coverage range with your passing shot, deeper targeted ceiling ball, or High Z shot.

Make It YOUR Project to Become a Great Shooter

Make it your project to develop your stroking, shot selections and versatility with a array of shots to become a fierce shooter from stroking at multi-height, from a multi-stance, multi-prep-sized mechanics. Have no stroke you circle around to crank the other, more favored stroke. With that goal, you’ll then develop adaptive stroking forms. There you either make contact out front of your deeper racquet shoulder, as you face the sidewall (forehand) or up front (backhand) at contact with equal, effective ability. Having that versatility and belief allows you to avoid the wrong choices at the wrong time or a shot directed toward a wrong, unattainable placement. An example would be where you take a ball above your shoulders and still try to shoot with an over your head contact to a very low target. Want to shoot when making contact from chest high down to waist high and as all the way down to as low as your ankles when you go for a kill-shot or passing shot. Flexibly shoot WHEN, and not BEFORE, you have trained up how, when and where by doing the reps, grooving your stroking form, and perfected controlling your racquet face with your looping swing.

Compensation Theory

That training is WHEN you use compensation theory to angle your racquet face down slightly (or drop the ball on your strings or contact the ball above its equator) to shoot high to low, even when making contact from as high as chest high on down to contact as low as shin high. If your shot is too low, compensate and raise your target slightly. If it’s too high, picture and go for a little bit lower target. The corrections make you find your “just right” racquet flow and racquet face control thru contact. To shoot high to low from ankle high on up, find your reference point to contact the ball…

(1) Ball spot: contact the upper half of the ball just above the equator or its middle;

(2) String spot: picture contacting the ball on the lower half of your string-bed’s sweet spot; or

(3) Racquet face control: by feel, angle your racquet face strings … as YOUR image produces your desired declining shot trajectory.

Racquet Face Control

Racquet face control requires loads of trial and error. To gain that desired control, adjust your swinging form UNTIL your different shots become refined with contact at many heights. By being able to do the same motion over and over, your shooting WILL improve. Then it CAN be counted upon over a fuller contact range and from adaptive, earnestly set striking stances, when going for your variety of front and side wall target spots.

Bounce = Live Feet

When reading the bounce of the ball, move your feet. Be able to pick an adaptive, doable stance and then doable shot from your versatile technique and flex shot choices, using your stroke’s form, as its level-raising coveted, adaptive skill.

Take Straight or Cross Shot

Decipher the shot angle quickly. Again, when no defense can be played save positioning in center court and taking off early anticipating your shot, the opponent must consistently give up the shot angle range to the front wall from straight in on over to the middle of the front wall to cause a ball to rebound out and angle cross-court to far, rear corner. That’s ALL THE TIME, even when the defending player is the server. That’s where both crack-outs and jam serves require the server either move to the far side of the court or jump as you return goes under them. As receiver, hit the return where IT wants to go. Don’t hit it where THEY want it.

4-Corner Placements

From virtually anywhere in the court, be able to place the ball tight in any of the 4 corners of the court with your shots. Be able to go for the front 2 corners or the back 2 corners. With your shotmaking versatility and improv shooting skills, play full court keep-away. Best case play put-away ball with a kill-shot placement, along with an untouchable pass when a pass is better than a kill-shot option, especially when the opponent is way over on the far side or stranded in the front court.

Have a Very Meta (My Way) Racquetball Shooting Experience

As a player, set the reference point for how YOU compete. Make it a “Meta” experience. There optimally play racquetball on YOUR own terms.

 

Attack Mode

A fundamental part of your game should be playing in attack mode. If you have a setup or familiar shooting situation, confidently take your favored, matching the pattern shot. The worst playing style is beating yourself. When you pick the wrong shot or stroke or you try for a target you can’t hit (or haven’t hit before) or when you force the ball into a shot angle it can’t go…then you are whooping yourself… Take and make YOUR shots. Pick from shots you take and routinely make. If you can’t shoot low, go high…

Improv

Your aim is the ability to improvise tactically. Play without losing your concentration. Play by hitting where THEY ain’t. Your being comfortable is the opposite of the way you want them to feel. You want THEM to keep guessing “What shot will THEY hit next?”.

 

Mistake Release

If you ever make a mistake, make sure to quickly adapt. Adapt rather than stubbornly retry a failed form or force an incorrect shot placement for THAT same pattern of play or pick the wrong stroke for the moment. DO WHAT YOU DO WELL.

Grind and Adjust

The thru line throughout your whole game is your push, your will, your drive, your willingness to grind out each rally. Battle. WHEN YOU make a mistake, own it. Adjust.

Composite Shooter

Be yourself. Use familiar feet-work form, a routine looping backswing, along with an uninterrupted typical, flowing forward-swing, all while using tried and true tactics you know well that work well.

Warm-Up Shooter Mode

Start with a good warmup before you play. Choreograph where in the court and what you warm up. Include fielding ball off the front wall, returning a ceiling ball, and even whack a ball into the back wall and field that ball rebounding off the front wall. As soon as you start rallying there’s only gonna be a drop-n-hit when you serve. You have to field balls coming off the front wall many ways. First, always have one, a warmup. Get into YOUR own personal moving, swinging, and thinking rhythm. Get your feel for the ball coming off your racquet face…THEN play. Don’t allow yourself to be rushed. Warm up your shots or your body and most of all your skill making good contact.

Feet-Work Fuels

Learn ALL of the playing skills. Movement-wise…be able to crossover step to return serve, with a jab step to sidewall and then crossover step diagonally along the sidewall.  Expand that crossover stepping to how you move throughout the court in rally play, such as…

Court Steps Include…

1- crossover: after hitting the ball, be able to start your run with a crossover step with your far foot anytime you’ve got more than a couple yards to cover;

2- drop step: to return an overhit drive Z serve, be able to drop step away from the corner with the deeper foot stepping away from sidewall. After the Z bounces, rebounds off the sidewall and is angling off the back wall right into the middle opening up, drop back quickly with back and tag along front foot to prepare, for example, a down the wall return;

3- make space: for back corner setups, drop step away from a back corner, as the ball bounces, deflects off sidewall, carries to back wall and pops off the back wall. You could step into the corner and spin to hit with your off stroke, like a forehand in your backhand rear corner. The objective is to make space, for instance, with a drop step, as you drop step away with your back foot, as your front foot drop hops away tagging along. Then, when the ball comes into range, step back in with your front foot and light up the ball with power or control your placement with cagey touch;

4- center court: after hitting, conscientiously crossover step to quickly flow into center court after you serve or shoot from deep court;

5- touch-n-go: touch in center court with a touch-n-go split step, while readying there to move to cover THEIR shot. A split step is done when you step in with one foot, take a little leap up off that foot, with the other leg’s knee rising, and then land when spreading both feet apart. Then, when you see or read the ball, go hit the ball;

6- sidestep stop: if it’s close enough to shuffle there as a sidestep, be able to quickly stop by bending your lead knee and then trail knee to put on the brakes, adjust and aggressively hit the ball;

7- no back pedaling: don’t BACK PEDAL in the court because you’ll be facing the wrong direction (forward) and moving back awkwardly, which encourages hitting while facing the front wall;

8- no jumping: don’t jump for a ball you can drop back and take off the back wall or one where you can retreat in the court and field the bounding high ball, as it drops down, for preferred, easier low ball contact.

Raise YOUR Level…

Scale up to use ALL of your physical AND mental skills. Set your feet as best you can. Turn and face the sidewall, as you loop your racquet back, and load your back foot. Then, to swing, drop down into the ball by bending your knees and turn into the ball, swinging thru with a sweeping, flowing, attacking swing making contact at chest high down to ankle level.

Versatile Shot Contact Height

Although usually you SHOULD let the ball drop low, for instance, be able to turn and swing volley at a ball when taking it out of midair. There you’re taking advantage when there’s an opportunity to slide up and hit the ball into the open court when you read the space can’t be filled in time by the stranded on one side opponent. Also, when higher contact is required, be ready to crank up your pass to bounce the ball right at the opponent’s feet. Another option is to whip the ball all the way around them, while looking for your pass to catch the sidewall beside them in mid court, placing the ball well wide of them, as a wide angle pas (WAP), when you can’t go low in front of them.

Chill

Don’t make a big deal about anything. Be immune to pressure. Maintain your mental focus on only the task at hand that’s right there in front of you. Don’t get upset, discouraged or disconcerted, even if YOU just made a bad play. If something doesn’t work, don’t let it show. Reorient yourself after any lapse and refocus to show YOUR game. Allow a strange thing by the opponent go when, for instance, they call out right when you’re in the midst of hitting the ball. Play through it or just call hinder. If you’ve made them vocalize their frustration, that’s on them. Let it go. Refocus.

Get NEW Skills

Add to your armory of shot options and your moving skills. And add to your tactical plays by picking Where, When and then train up How to be able to do *What* you want matching your tactics and meeting your strategy goals.

The More Skills, The Better

From an open base or front wall facing stance or from a partially closed stance, with your front foot toes out closer to the sidewall, or less preferably when you’re fully closed stance, with the front foot way out much further to the sidewall than the back foot, focus on being able to turn into ball to hit horizontal shots, when deciding and placing the ball on your side or THEIRS.

Optimal Stance Shooter

Play kill-shot ball from your best stance, ideally with your front foot’s toes out just a little closer to the sidewall than your back foot’s toes, in a partially closed, easy-turning stance. Make preferably thigh high on down to ankle high contact. Although expand your range from making ankle bone low contact all the way up to upper chest high, when shooting the ball down low and going for low front wall targets or sidewall targets. Also, throughout your wide contact range, be able to hit passes down along the wall on your side of the court or cross-court to the other side. Include in those crosscourt targets a wide angle pass (WAP) that veers the ball all the way around the opponent in the center.

Find Horizontal Angles

Select side to side targets, when you shoot…

(1) DTL…as you swing, be able to cut the ball or swing in to out when contacting the part of the ball closer to you and targeting less than halfway across over on the front so the down-the-line pass rebounds out paralleling the faced sidewall so the pass goes right into that side’s back corner;

(2) Reverse pinch…be able to spin and quickly angle your feet from anywhere in the court to shoot across your body into the other stroke’s front corner, as a reverse pinch. Especially go for reverse pinch when the opponent doesn’t block that long diagonal shot from deep court and you’re shooting caddy corner into the far, front corner BEFORE YOU set your feet. A reverse pinch is NOT a stroke to its corner, like stroking a backhand into your backhand side’s corner. It’s an off stroke to the other corner. It’s like when you hit a backhand from anywhere in the court, even when you and the ball are along your forehand sidewall, and you shoot into your forehand front corner usually selecting sidewall first;

(3) Sidewall shots: when shooting into the sidewall you face, be able to cut the ball, as you impart heavy inside out sidespin, for your sidewall shots. That makes the ball spin in toward that sidewall as the ball deflects off and flows forward toward the front wall. That “cut” action keeps the sidewall shot down lower, as it rebounds out as a pinch or splat. The spin results in a lower, closer to the front wall carom;

(4) Cross-court: be able to hit a V cross-court to the far, rear corner by striking a 45 degree angled ball halfway over on your front wall target so the ball rebounds out veering directly toward the furthest rear corner;

(5) WAP: be able to hit a little over halfway over on the front wall from the ball at 34 feet on in to angle the ball off the front wall to the far sidewall, as you hit a wide angle pass all the way around the center to strike the sidewall in mid court so the ball then ricochets off the sidewall to bounce twice in the middle in the backcourt.

Topspin

To keep any driven ball lower WHEN coming off the front wall, impart Topspin or overspin. That Top causes the ball to dive down when rebounding off the front wall. Then a topped ball bounces first further up in the court by retaining that “Topspin”. That keeps the ball lower and makes the ball tougher for the opponent to scrape back, as they have to counter that tumbling over spin. When topping the ball, you’re dropping the ball slightly on your strings or picture it as placing your racquet sweet spot on the upper half of the ball and swing thru THAT part of the ball you designate. Find Top in drilling AND when visualizing making contact. It’s just a little tumble, but the results are MASSIVE! A ball struck with Top has less drag as it flies to the front wall and after it rebounds out spinning going backwards, too.

Rollercoaster

Learning in racquetball is a rollercoaster ride. Set your bar to stay on the ride, but enjoy taking the curves, the fast drops and patiently take the more plodding rides up. You’ll have some tough learning curves and some long, (when-will-it-end?) plateaus. Keep your balance on the ride and do your best to keep building and sharpening your skill set when moving, shooting, and serving, while seeking rally dominance and weak returns from the opponent with your serving attack, as you receive serve how you move them to recapturing center court, and also attack or move them with your rally shot attack.

Flex-ability

Be fluid. Move between roles. From striking the ball, transition into positioning to defend YOUR shot placement. Include being ready to move from center court to move to get to the ball and productively place your feet and then the ball. As you play keep-away with the ball from the opponent, use your best moves, stance setting, and racquet looping back, and then down and thru, while tactically placing the ball where, based on its bounce, it’ll be most challenging for THEM! and doable for you.

Be Thick Skinned

Let it go if you miss. It’s okay. Do better next time.

Swing Free

There’s no impediment or immediate defense that waves a hand in your face as you shoot in racquetball, like there is in basketball. You get to move and take the ball at the best contact height your moves, reaction time, stroke timing and patience can afford. If you can take the ball lower, you CAN shoot lower and win more. If you must take the ball higher, normally shoot a pass or parse thru your splat or 3-wall shot options where high contact is routinely, effectively done.

Control your body and control your shot picking. In addition, control your racquet face by mastering your contact point that’s off shoulder or just out in front of your racquet arm shoulder. And effect that final racquet flow as you optionally bevel, which means angle, your racquet face to point down where you want to shape most of your shots. Optionally you may drop the ball on your strings or make contact on the upper half of the ball. It’s like the grip, it’s a player choice how YOU make contact.

Every Shot Chance is Simply Unique

Margins are so, so slim. Don’t try too hard. Do what YOU do well. If you want a really versatile contact range, practice contacting lots of ball at different contact heights, from the same off shoulder contact point. Set your feet to balance and use your feet and legs, while you also diligently prepare your racquet with a repeating loop to swing the best you can in THIS situation that’s a one-off, happening here only once. Know that other patterns may be similar, but this one is a snowflake, a unique shooting pattern, a one of a kind. Make it a special one.

Make Yourself a Shotmaker

Be a shotmaker. Be decisive with your kill-shot shooting. Be aggressive with your shots intending to strain the opponent’s coverage. When a ball isn’t killable, be able to place the ball outside the opponent’s coverage range with your passing shot, deeper targeted ceiling ball, or High Z shot.

Make It YOUR Project to Become a Great Shooter

Make it your project to develop your stroking, shot selections and versatility with a array of shots to become a fierce shooter from stroking at multi-height, from a multi-stance, multi-prep-sized mechanics. Have no stroke you circle around to crank the other, more favored stroke. With that goal, you’ll then develop adaptive stroking forms. There you either make contact out front of your deeper racquet shoulder, as you face the sidewall (forehand) or up front (backhand) at contact with equal, effective ability. Having that versatility and belief allows you to avoid the wrong choices at the wrong time or a shot directed toward a wrong, unattainable placement. An example would be where you take a ball above your shoulders and still try to shoot with an over your head contact to a very low target. Want to shoot when making contact from chest high down to waist high and as all the way down to as low as your ankles when you go for a kill-shot or passing shot. Flexibly shoot WHEN, and not BEFORE, you have trained up how, when and where by doing the reps, grooving your stroking form, and perfected controlling your racquet face with your looping swing.

Compensation Theory

That training is WHEN you use compensation theory to angle your racquet face down slightly (or drop the ball on your strings or contact the ball above its equator) to shoot high to low, even when making contact from as high as chest high on down to contact as low as shin high. If your shot is too low, compensate and raise your target slightly. If it’s too high, picture and go for a little bit lower target. The corrections make you find your “just right” racquet flow and racquet face control thru contact. To shoot high to low from ankle high on up, find your reference point to contact the ball…

(1) Ball spot: contact the upper half of the ball just above the equator or its middle;

(2) String spot: picture contacting the ball on the lower half of your string-bed’s sweet spot; or

(3) Racquet face control: by feel, angle your racquet face strings … as YOUR image produces your desired declining shot trajectory.

Racquet Face Control

Racquet face control requires loads of trial and error. To gain that desired control, adjust your swinging form UNTIL your different shots become refined with contact at many heights. By being able to do the same motion over and over, your shooting WILL improve. Then it CAN be counted upon over a fuller contact range and from adaptive, earnestly set striking stances, when going for your variety of front and side wall target spots.

Bounce = Live Feet

When reading the bounce of the ball, move your feet. Be able to pick an adaptive, doable stance and then doable shot from your versatile technique and flex shot choices, using your stroke’s form, as its level-raising coveted, adaptive skill.

Take Straight or Cross Shot

Decipher the shot angle quickly. Again, when no defense can be played save positioning in center court and taking off early anticipating your shot, the opponent must consistently give up the shot angle range to the front wall from straight in on over to the middle of the front wall to cause a ball to rebound out and angle cross-court to far, rear corner. That’s ALL THE TIME, even when the defending player is the server. That’s where both crack-outs and jam serves require the server either move to the far side of the court or jump as you return goes under them. As receiver, hit the return where IT wants to go. Don’t hit it where THEY want it.

4-Corner Placements

From virtually anywhere in the court, be able to place the ball tight in any of the 4 corners of the court with your shots. Be able to go for the front 2 corners or the back 2 corners. With your shotmaking versatility and improv shooting skills, play full court keep-away. Best case play put-away ball with a kill-shot placement, along with an untouchable pass when a pass is better than a kill-shot option, especially when the opponent is way over on the far side or stranded in the front court.

Develop YOUR own “Meta form”, with great shot-making versatility, by putting in the reps in solo drilling, on the warmup court experimenting, and even include off court visualizing shooting. Then groom it, groove it and ultimately prove it on the challenge court and in your pickup games. Eventually travel test your meta, versatile keep-away shooting form and your shooting times put-away shots on the tourney tour.

Meta Racquetball

Develop YOUR own “Meta form”, with great shot-making versatility, by putting in the reps in solo drilling, on the warmup court experimenting, and even include off court visualizing shooting. Then groom it, groove it and ultimately prove it on the challenge court and in your pickup games. Eventually travel test your meta, versatile keep-away shooting form and your shooting times put-away shots on the tourney tour.