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Racquetball Techniques

You can’t just guide the ball around the court or aim your shots. You must prepare and then flow your racquet head thru the back of the ball, with deep meaning. What that means is you must have a plan for each ball you field and a matching stroking form that consistently produces THAT plan. As you read the bounce, move with the ball and pick your shot, while having a short movie clip running inside your mind on your inner screen of YOU pinpointing your shot. That movie runs in your mind from reading the ball to shot pick to setting, prepping and shaping your shot with the stroke you’ve picked to deliver the goods.

Serve is Shot #1 of New Rally

To simplify things, think of your serve as the very first shot that starts a rally. So have an image running in your mind for how you’ll place each serve, too. Keep that image running until the serve is heading past the short line. THEN switch to playing defense. ALWAYS get out of the box and into center court. Pivot toward the side you’re heading, while sneaking a peak over your shoulder at the receiver defending your serve. There in center court prep to move and play the receiver’s return, in attack mode.
Repeating Strokes Best Shape Shots
You must shape your shot’s trajectory with a long, fluid, trained up, repeatable stroke.
First, Picture Shot
As you play the bounce of each ball, begin to mentally form a picture of your potential shot path. As you read the bounce and narrow down your options, make your best shot choice. See your shot’s angle side to side and up to down, which is your chosen shot trajectory or shot path. From your options, pick the ONE shot in this situation that you “see” that fits, with this stroke…
(a) where the ball wants to go or where you read it CAN go;
(b) where your placement will strain the opponent’s ability to cover its angle; and
(c) where you know, from experience, you CAN hit a ball like this one based on your training reps and match play rallies much like this one.
—> Having chosen, picture this shot’s path throughout your stroke and keep picturing it until you complete your follow-through and you switch from shooting to defending. There rebalance to move and cover the court, as you focus on protecting your shot’s placement.
Back and Forth Swing
Fully form your shot image, as you initially prep your feet and repeat looping your racquet upwards and back, like YOU do. There you have already read the bounce of this ball. That includes even when reading your ball toss for THIS serve. Although your ball toss should be very solid because you train it up and plan a repeatable ball toss. Sometimes your ball toss may not be perfect. With a similar concept, to hit your shots, set the ball right where YOU want to make contact. As you set your feet, get behind your contact point. So…for each rally ball, after moving to play the ball as you read its bounce, with your moves get behind planned contact. You decide when, what height, and ultimately where or what contact point where you WILL strike THIS ball. As you begin to prep your stroke and as you continue on throughout your forward swing, keep picturing your shot trajectory at THAT chosen contact-point-of-emphasis. Keep THAT image of your contact point and shaping that shot path uppermost in your mind, in both your Back and Forth swings. For the Back, picture your shot, as you set your feet and swing Back (backswing). Then, when the ball is coming into range and entering your contact zone, as you’re still focusing on both ball AND shot, swing Forth (forward swing), with your shot seeking, sweeping, fluid contact swing. Flow thru the ball at your contact spot with your racquet head. There optimally set your racquet face, as you make contact at your contact spot, while ideally shaping the shot angle or path you picture from pick thru hit.
Picked Contact Point = Set Feet and Windup Begun
WHEN you get down this ball’s bounce and you’ve picked your attack zone (including most importantly your contact point), set your feet a little behind where you’ll move in and contact the ball. Simultaneously begin looping your racquet head back just like clockwork, while using YOUR adjustable to time and contact height, trained up windup.
Be a Contact Hitter AT Your Contact Spot
You want to be a contact hitter. That means you want to make consistently solid ball contact. Know racquetball is not a slice game outside of when you must lift a ceiling ball. In racquetball, you often look to hit the ball flat and very solidly. Adding Topspin can be good stuff, too. That’s because Topspin keeps the ball down low and the spin adds to the ball bounce challenges for the opponent. Sidespin can also be imparted to aid shot angling and opponent challenges…so…focus on making solid contact right at YOUR preselected contact spot, with your well-prepared, unrestricted stroke, just how you plan contact, with or without spin. That solid contact is especially required when you serve and for all of your rally setups when you can let the ball descend and and you can swing thru and shoot low-to-low. Play the ball to attack your chosen contact zone and ideally flow the racquet thru the ball right at that planned contact spot. There time sweeping your racquet head thru your contact spot. You read contact is right…THERE…as you swing thru THAT contact point, while setting your racquet face’s angle to form your shot path. After contact, flow the racquet head on toward your mentally pictured wall target to ensure solid contact and guarantee shot accuracy.
Fine Tune Your Ball Contact Focus, with Spins
In addition to picking your contact point, select the part of the ball to strike for each shot to create your shot angle. Optionally you could select the direct center in back of the ball. There you’d be striking a flat ball without spin. To fine tune your contact, you may create your shot angle by adding spin to the ball.
Inside Out Focus
If you strike the part of the ball closest to you or the inside of center of the ball or inner half of the ball, you’re stroking the ball with inside out sidespin. Also your swing motion could flow in to out. For example, you could cause the ball to strike the front wall halfway between contact and the sidewall you face to make the ball rebound off and tail out along that sidewall all the way back into that rear corner. There swinging in to out and striking the inside of the ball makes the ball spin in to out toward the sidewall. So, with an inside out swing, you can hit THAT cursive “i” ball angling back into that rear corner, as the ball breaks away from you back into that rear corner. Optionally you could angle the ball in to out off the front wall so it will angle back and crack-out on the sidewall past the short line. Another option is to hit an in to out spinning ball into the sidewall you face, as a sidewall shot. From a few feet off the sidewall, you could hit a sidewall splat (with your wall target just up ahead of contact and slightly lower than where you strike the ball). From 5 or more out from the sidewall, you could hit a pinch (into front corner, while usually going sidewall first).
Outside In Focus
On the other hand, you could hit the ball to the other side of the court, with one option striking the other side of the ball or the part furthest from you, as you swing out to in across your body. That makes the ball spin toward the far sidewall, as you hit a crosscourt shot, as a cross-court pass or a reverse pinch into the cross front corner.
In to In Spin
As a big wrinkle to your cross-court serve, you could strike the inside of the ball just on the inside of the center in back and still swing out to in across your body. Then you’d still flow your racquet head toward your front wall target that’d be a little over halfway over from where you make contact to the sidewall behind you. That will angle the in to out spinning ball toward the far, rear corner. That ball contact focus and in to in swing creates a very unusual spin. The inside out spin causes the cross-court ball to angle back more tightly along the far sidewall. Often a cross-court ball will rebound off the front wall and catch the far sidewall on the fly or after it bounces. Some cross-court shots bounce, graze the sidewall and then pop off the back wall. If an inside of the ball contact cross-court shot were to bounce and glance off the sidewall, it’ll more hug the sidewall, as it heads backwards, than an outside in spinning ball that would ricochet out further off the sidewall. Even if a ball were to bounce, glance off the sidewall AND carry to rebound off the back wall, the unusual in to out spinning serve will more hug the far sidewall and corner than a cross-court serve struck with regular outside in spin. A hot or overhit out to in spinning ball will bounce, catch the sidewall and pop out into the center in back, not staying in so close along the sidewall. And the out to in spinning ball could create a juicy setup situation for the industrious covering opponent. Train up the inside out spin when going cross-court and when hitting up along the sidewall you face.
Add Top
One more spin keeps the ball down lower. Striking the top half of the ball above its equator or its middle creates over the top spin or Topspin. Topspin causes a ball to come out lower as it rebounds off the front wall. A Topspin ball caroming off the front wall dives down and takes its first bounce sooner or further forward than a ball hitting at the same height on the front wall without Topspin, as a flat ball. After rebounding off the front wall, a Topspin ball retains that Topspin going backwards, which causes it to stay lower. A topped ball also takes its second bounce earlier. That way a Topspin kill-shot will optimally bounce twice before it reaches the first line. A Topspin passing shot will take its second bounce before reaching the back wall.
Top + Side Spin = Spiral
Adding Topspin AND sidespin spirals or corkscrews the ball. Spiraling spin causes a sidewall shot to stay down even lower than just a side-spun ball. A cross-court spiraling ball can go very fast and bounce very erratically for the covering opponent. Note that an overhit cross-court corkscrewing ball can carom very hot out of the far, rear corner. Again, that happens when the ball bounces, deflects off the far sidewall and goes on to carom off the back wall. There it angles out as a rear corner setup when the ball angles out into the center in back. There the player who hit the setup can’t be in the center unless they’re airborne when the returning player is shooting. Usually the hitter has to slide over to the far wall, as they should to give up the rule-required V cross-court shot to the far, rear corner.
Use Spin to Fine Tune Your Focus and Pressure Them
Imparting spin is extra special focus. It works wonders for down the wall serves, sidewall shots, and powerful, though under control cross-court passes or serves. That contact focus and control can make the ball spin AND angle very challengingly for the opponent when they attempt to return your spinning shots and serves.
Your Muscles Remember How
It works like this…as you stalk down the ball to shoot, while you read its bounce…in your mind’s eye you begin to “see” yourself shaping your shot angle right as you first pick your contact and you finalize your “best shot available” (BSA). Then, as you feel for that angle, your muscles remember exactly how YOU DO IT.
Make Space, Set, Then Whip
As you ready to hit each shot, your body follows suit. First, get your spacing (by how you space yourself from the ball, not crowding the ball). Set yourself initially behind and beside the ball. There set your best possible striking stance in the moment. Ideally arrange a stance that offers you balance and an opportunity to move into the ball so you can exert force. Setting your feet starts as you first Turn and Face (the sidewall). Setting the toes of your front foot out closer to the sidewall than your back foot produces an optimal, balanced, and importantly rotation-friendly stance. Also, at the same time as you set your feet, begin looping your racquet up. Continue looping your racquet throughout your prep so you’re ready to change gears and optimally loop down and forward, as the ball is arriving in your contact zone. After the full loop back and as the ball is arriving at your contact point, start the forward swing with an racquet throwing motion. Push off the back foot, as you toss your racquet head pointing back behind you, with your elbow beginning its small arc down and driving forward until it will just trail your shoulder. When the ball is almost right at your contact point and your weight has moved forward (or you’ve moved into the ball), violently whip your racquet head out, around and thru the ball. The climax is how you set your racquet face angle thru contact, which translates into shaping the shot angle you imagine throughout.
Prep Matching Time
A sufficient backswing is a must have. Although often racquet prep is one of the first things to be left out in match play, when tensions rise. Also the tendency to under-do moving your feet to set your best effort stance can occur, too. Instead focus on moving your feet and sizing your prep to match the time YOU MAKE. Do that by how you move your feet to track down the ball and approach it, as you’re reading and playing the bounce of the ball, by adjusting the position of your feet. There the goal is to efficiently get your feet under you to swing on balance. Also, while initially setting your feet, begin to loop your racquet up. Then you’ll be ready to down-loop and strike the ball at your contact point and shoot the shot you’ve been picturing. Move Your Feet, Pick, Picture, Set, Loop Up Then Down and You Make More Shots!
Shape Mentally, Then Feel Your Swing
Subliminally you shape your shot path. In the moment get in-the-zone, as you watch the ball, pick your shot, and choose your swing’s contact spot. Then flow your racquet head back, as you get your feet under you, before beginning to move into the ball and sweep your racquet down and thru the ball. Feel for your picked ball contact point, using your chosen stroke to achieve your picked shot path, completing your contact with your racquet face maneuvering thru the ball. Swing thru with feel and the ball will tend to mind you.
When Rushed, Move Quicker
Even when time is squeezed down for you due to a faster moving ball or your proximity to the front wall (closeness), slow down time by making your moves fit into the moments you DO have. MAKE time by how you quickly move your feet, set them as best you can here, and how you size your stroke to match the time you quickly recognize you have. As you make your approach moves, use an adaptive, time-sensitive compact backswing, starting with a shorter version of your full prep.
The QuickDraw Prep and Rip
To speed up your backswing, QuickDraw the racquet back. Here’s how…for your forehand, thrust your elbow back…and, for your backhand, punch back your racquet hand across your body. For both strokes, flow your racquet head across your chest. For your forehand, loop your arm up into a 90 degree angle. There your arm is drawn back behind you and lift the racquet head above your shoulder. For your backhand, loop and coil back into a bow-shaped arm (>90 degrees). There pull your racquet hand back level with your non racquet shoulder. Your QuickDraw prep transitions right away into your timed, contact driven, compact forward swing to produce ample power and form the shot you feel and you KNOW works right–>HERE!
Be comfortable. Have no doubt.
Don’t play it safe.
Don’t talk yourself out of a shot. Believe you can.
Let your creativity bubble to the surface.
Build “Almost” Instinctual Strokes
Although your moving and stroking is not instinctual or innate where you’re born with it, your feet-work and stroking CAN become as close to instinct as possible…WHEN you practice your moving and stroking forms both Physically AND Mentally, as you build them up thru…(a) moving, stroking, and shooting; (b) off court visualization; (c) active, courageous shooting in practice and tournament games; and (d) post play hitting or next training session making recognized form touch-ups and drilling to perfect your moving and stroking forms and build up highly-developed shots.
From Reps to Crunch Time…
Your moves and stroking, when they’re trained up, become muscle memories or second nature moves. You perfect YOUR form thru reps. There on the practice court assess your off the ball moves and your strokes, as you train them up and they become trusted skills. Make minor self corrections in practice (and even as you play). When you’re comfortable, lean on your form in rally play. After you play, make it a habit to assess your moving and stroking form. Then, in follow on training, tweak your forms until you fully trust ‘em. They become moves you do without conscious thought. Build up your form over time in a series of practices and games. Reinforce and fortify your forms in the heat of exciting rally play. By moving and shooting in rallies, you quickly see and learn what works in a “crowd”, when you share the court with other competitors in singles or doubles games. You also see what works in the clutch during the Big Points in match play.
Keep Up
Always continually tweak and evolve your playing forms. No Open or Pro player allows their game to plateau. They keep improving their form, serves and shots by keeping up with the current Zeitgeist of the game. By keeping up a player at any age can hang tough with even more physically gifted players by having great form, nuanced tactics and no tendency to stretch the rules in a gamesmanship way. Don’t just play. Play within the spirit of the game to be a fair player and a good sport. Be a good egg and you’re the a winner. Don’t take advantage of the opponent. Take advantage of your opportunities…I digress…
Shoot with Deep Rep-Based Belief
Sure you might skip a few, but know you’re gonna hit your fair share of kill-shots, too…when you use your trained up, solid form, as you patiently allow the ball to drop into your optimum contact zone where you hit out or take your best cut at the ball. Definitely go for kill-shots when you can set your feet under you and let the ball drop extra low. Best case set your stance, prep in a smooth loop, and then ideally sweep your racquet head thru the ball at knee high down to ankle bone low, while setting your racquet face thru ball contact to achieve the designed shot angle side to side and vertically you train up. Although you must also train up and be ready to shoot a ball from chest high down thru thigh high and be able to kill the ball, too, at 6 inches high or lower. Although choosing sidewall targets can work at those higher contact heights. So make it a goal to expand your contact zone. Increase your shot arsenal by training up more shots. Make it a goal to shoot from all over the court to make, with shots as… (a) front corner pinches; (b) deep sidewall targeted splats; (c) 3-wall kill-shots or boasts angling into the faced sidewall level with your front shoulder to zip across into the cross front corner; (d) Twooze shots, when you face the far sidewall and crush the ball into the sidewall at your back to diagonal the ball into the cross front corner that in part you face; and (e) kill-pass angling away the ball as a keep-away from the opponent. Train up shooting from spots all over the court. There, as you drill, “see” your shots, use both strokes all over the court and Go for Winners!
Learn YOUR Loop
A key starting point is always your almost machine-like, repetitive racquet loop up and back, as you set your feet. Draw your racquet back and up for setups and near setups. Learn YOUR loop and how to time looping your racquet up and learn how to switch to looping down according to the bounce you’re fielding, when striking the ball at different contact heights and in an improvised stance. After you loop up, then swing thru without a hitch or delay. Getting ready too early you insert a pause before your forward swing. With a delay, your rhythm suffers. It can cause a choppy swing and unreliable contact.
Shooting at High Contact…
…when you have a “near setup”, for example you could go for a chest high splat, while feeling for your sidewall target spot up ahead about 7 feet and slightly lower than where you strike the ball. There you shear the ball off the sidewall, by using a cut, in-to-out, exaggerated swing motion where you impart inside out spin. From there at chest high or from lower contact, go for your felt sidewall splat target up ahead that’s a little lower than where you make contact. As you face the sidewall and strike the ball into the sidewall, you swing spins the ball in to out into the sidewall. After the ball ricochets off the sidewall it continues spinning in toward the sidewall. Then the inside out spinning ball flows on toward its low, noisy, front wall splat ending. The splat rebounds out off the front wall veering wildly across the front court toward the far sidewall. A splat comes out at a much narrower angle than a pinch that’s struck into the front corner. A pinch goes in to the front corner at a 45 degree angle, usually sidewall first, and then a pinch rebounds out at matching 45 degree angle.
Self-Inspired Stroking
When using YOUR form and performing your mental plan, your shooting becomes self-inspiring, as you’re making shots and it becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy.
Play Your Style
There’s a style of racquetball only YOU can play. That’s the way you want to play once you have put in the time to build your style of moving and stroking, after you do your forms as an integral part of your training and after you’ve used them successfully in play. Then you play at your tempo, while making your moving and stroking the keys of your game strategy. Put your strategy’s tactics, that you preplan, into effect in your match play rallies. Swing at your tempo and move at your own personal rhythm, with well-trained up feet-work moving skills.
Dial Up Pace
If you like power, wind back big. If you like finesse, still loop back large. Then, to hit with touch, smoothly flow thru contact, with just a little less racquet head speed, but still a full follow-through. There your still sizable stroke prep still will freeze the opponent, making them wonder, “What shot IS coming?”. Will you hit your shot hard or will you hit a change-up, when dialing down your pace? By playing with YOUR form and dialing in your chosen shot pace and spin, your game brims with versatility and confidence. Then your opponent’s uncertainty confounds THEM.
Imagery Freezes Time
As you play, you make decisions in mere nano seconds. Trained up moves and confidence in your ball read, ball tracking, feet setting and picking your stroking form depends on your imagery of a successful performance, which prepares you to correctly perform YOUR form in a vast array of rally patterns, even when time seems to be almost too little for you to have enough of it to swing; but you do because your form is conditioned to time.
Swing Almost Unconsciously
At times it may even seem like you’re beginning to swing before the opponent’s shot has even made it to the front wall. In the moment, on command, you seem hardwired to do it. In reality, you are! You’ve trained up your form with frequent physical reps and even mental rehearsals. You drill consciously on and even off court. And you even shoot subconsciously in your mind’s eye.
Release your swing.
Play free. Be yourself.
Take risks.
Play so YOU create something special.
Play YOUR way.
If you play with fear, you play not to lose. Instead play fearlessly. Play to express yourself.
Take calculated risks.
Play Like a Pirate!
Play with swagger. Make yours a buccaneering style of play. Take chances. Hustle down balls. Impress yourself. Shoot hard and low when you have any attackable opportunity. That means even shoot “near setups”, when making thigh high up to chest high contact by choosing from shots you’ve practiced up and trust. Use touch and spin, when you read it’s soft skills that are needed. Use that finesse vs forcing a hard shot when you’re stretching, off balance, and especially when the ball is coming at you really fast or when you’re literally on the run as you play the ball.
Play Smoothly
Play free, risk-taking, creative, surprising yourself racquetball. Seek a naturally silky stroke and a flowing, smooth game.
The Crux of Natural Shooting Is Timing Your Racquet Head Spin Thru Contact = “Seen” Shot
Your racquet loop up and then loop down sets as a goal sweeping your racquet head thru the ball, while setting your racquet face angle at contact to shape your exact picked or “seen” or pictured shot. The leap is you naturally swing back and then, as you loop down, you time your forearm and wrist roll which spins your racquet face to point precisely where actually do angle the ball to set your combo sideways and vertical angle. Plus you have spin control based on what part of ball you strike and where you flow your racquet head AFTER contact. Trained up skill is very brave, very rep-based, and imagery-based belief exhibited, as your form meets the ball at your contact point. The more confidently you sweep thru the ball, the better you shape your “seen” shots. It comes down to how you commit to hit, as you focus both on ball and pictured shot. The more you do the reps and just as importantly the more you play when your adrenaline is flowing and your heart pumpin’, the better shooter you become in match play and the more shots you take and make with your form-based strokes, when the score is called before a rally begins.
Finish on Balance
Make it a point of emphasis to end up on balance as you finish each stroke. Work on that swinging on balance in practice. That ending up on balance allows you to start your defensive stand much faster. 60-40 front to back foot at contact is about ideal for your striking stance balance at contact to max your striking power and balance, which translates to shot accuracy. After swinging from a balanced stance, then push from front to back foot and move to defend. If you lift your back foot and finish all on your front foot or if you lean back and hit off your back foot, your balance is lost, you risk poor contact, and recovery after contact would be a struggle at best. There your stroking power may be compromised, your accuracy iffy, and definitely your ability to quickly rebalance and move quickly is significantly reduced. Your defense will most likely suffer. Optimally set your feet with your front foot toes ideally out further toward sidewall. Wind back or load your back leg and foot. That allows you to move into the ball as you rotate your body. Swing forward moving back to front, keeping your back foot down, while swinging thru and finishing on balance…then you’re ready to move…
From Hitting, Move into Defense
After contact, dovetail your stroke right into your court coverage. Champ at the bit to hit again. To do that, prioritize getting into center court. Just as importantly be hungry to move from OUT of center court to cover “their” shot that you read or expect. That way you can leg out the ball and shape your next artful shot by how efficiently you move off the ball to track down and set your feet best and adjust your prep to aggressively play that next ball.
Hit and Counter Back
After swinging, physically shift from front to back foot. That empowers your defensive move with the least amount of waisted motion. Then takeoff either to seek optimal center court position or bolt right to where you see their shot is going. Be prepared to make that immediate run, especially when you’re playing against a cutoff artist. A cutoff artist cuts off your shots when they’re further forward than most and they often flick a left up ball you CAN cover, WHEN you hustle really hard to get to the ball. Also inspire your defense with tactical risk taking to move from out of center to cover the opponent’s shot. That way you get to shoot more often. You want to play keep-away or even hit put-away kill-shots, when you read you can. When you hit the ball, you don’t want to just…
(a) flick back a weak, killable shot; or
(b) weakly push or bunt the ball back to the front wall; or
(c) be relegated to lifting up a purely defensive ceiling ball; or
(d) have to toss up a high lob; or
(e) be forced to turn and whack the ball into the back wall high and hard, as a desperation back wall save…
—> You want to shoot assertively by getting there early and on balance.
As you field the NEXT ball…
Use your court sense that’s a combo of reading the bounce of the ball, your positional awareness or court savvy, and your feet-work when tracking down the ball, approaching it and best effort setting your feet to stroke this ball, while prepping your body and racquet, too. To move your best, include crossover steps to cover more court quicker. Focus on the ball and your adaptive shotmaking for your picked and pictured shot, as you play each ball assertively by aggressively setting your feet and looping your racquet.
Hit and Center Up
Be a shooter starting by getting in good center court position every time after you hit your shot that ideally moves the opponent to field your ball out of center court or after you strike your serve. That first move after serving or after returning serve and very often after taking your shot in a rally is best done as a crossover step. That crossover step most quickly and efficiently begins your move to center court or to sprint when you must make a longer run. Cross with the foot furthest from the direction you’re heading, as you also pivot with your body. Stay low and hustle into center court or go directly to the ball. For example, as your doubles partner serves, to help cover the back corner on your partner’s side, crossover with your front most foot to cross the short line, touch and then go from center court when you need to hustle diagonally back all the way into the far, rear corner.
Center Court Moves
From center court, be positioned ready to move while watching the opponent’s moves. Try to read or even guess exactly where you’ll be going next to cover their shot. Then, when you either see their shot or you read their shot, right as their racquet arm flies forward, flow straight to intercept the ball along its retreating angle off the front wall. Start that move from a balanced, upright, not leaning or drifting one way body position. Freeze as the opponent is setting to contact the ball. Be ready with your feet a hip’s width apart, your knees flexed and your mind saying, “Get it!” or “Hustle”.
Take Direct Line to Ball
Don’t allow yourself to be blocked or made to run around the opponent to take a less desirable, less direct, less effective line to intercept their shot. As you track down each ball, look to move to the ball on the line you feel is best to aggressively shoot EVERY ball, but DO respect their follow-through.
Curve Your Approach
For a back wall setup or a ball you can let bounce and drop to its lowest, take a low, curving approach into the ball with your feet to set your optimal striking stance where you can rotate your whole body into the ball AND make a very aggressive sweeping arc with your racquet head thru the ball to confidently shoot your best, in the moment, shot.
Rhythm and Style
Play with a rhythm and style all your own.
Be a Deadly Shooter!
Make the opponent worry you’re going to shoot every ball because, HEY, YOU WILL! Then you’re dictating play. Then you will often catch the opponent positioning too far forward, as you set to shoot, and you can see them out of the corner of your eye. Or they may move to cover your shot toooo soooon, expecting you’ll shot low. Then your passing game or power ceiling ball game opens up so you can hit into the open court or hit behind them or where they just were, as you shoot behind them, as you wrong-foot them. At best it’ll lead to a winner with your keep-away shot. Or the expectation you’ll shoot can force the opponent to make an error or try a wish shot they leave up. Pressure can cause them to hit a defensive return to the ceiling. Their error or defensive return can give you just the opening you need to go for your kill-shot or your winning passing shot, as you cover their shot the opponent CAN’T play offensively. Make THEM guess wrong, pick wrong, or move prematurely. Make them think you will kill every ball, IF they don’t kill theirs first. Then you’re making THEM play unnaturally. As shooter, hit ‘em where they ain’t. Don’t force a kill-shot when you should hit a passing shot, a ceiling ball, a High Z or even whack a back wall save. Be a selective shooter, but be very aggressive. Be a deadly shooter when they set you up and you can let the ball drop low, as you get your feet under you to shoot low. Even from higher contact, search out offensive opportunities when you can show your stuff and conclusively end a rally. Go with a shot you own, as you unfold your familiar, matching the bounce stroke, while you consistently look to place the shot you picture that you see capitalizing on this situation. Play in YOUR natural, attack mode way.