We’re thrilled to welcome back Dutch star LJ Anjema to SquashSkills this week, taking a look at the topic of ‘attacking patterns of play’.
LJ was a fantastic professional, who reached the world’s top 10 on the way to claiming 12 titles on the PSA tour across a glittering career. He had a reputation as being one of the toughest match-ups on the circuit, combining a very physical style of play with a tactically astute and cerebral approach to the game.
Squash is a game made up of many different angles, speeds, and directions, and when watched from the outside it can often appear somewhat chaotic, even at the very highest level. What the trained eye will notice upon closer examination however, is some very deliberate patterns – what may appear frantic and random, is actually very considered and calculated. High-level players will use different shots and ball placements to force different responses and outcomes, which they will then look to pounce upon and capitalise. Not for nothing is squash often referred to as physical chess.
Learning and understanding these patterns is key to improving your game, and giving you an additional tactical edge. In this brand new playlist, LJ takes us through 3 of the most common attacking patterns – following up a boast with a straight volley deep, hunting a straight volley drive off of your straight volley drop, and countering an opponent’s boast with a counter drop.
In this interesting and insightful series, LJ explains how these patterns work, why we use them, and then breaks down the technical points you need to be aware of to best implement them. Whatever level you play at, starting to see some order within the chaos and looking for some set sequences of shots will give you a massive edge over those more tactically naive opponents.
The aim of this blog is to give you some ideas of drills and practices you can use to start exploring the use of attacking patterns in your game and help you really start adding some of these elements to enhance your rally construction.
We’ve put together a selection of brand new solo and pairs sessions for you to try, built around the technical and tactical areas you’ll need to focus on to master these attacking patterns that LJ introduces. Watch through the videos from the playlist and then click through the links to the sessions below to check them out, and start thinking about how you can add some calculated patterns to your play.
Put it into practice
This session is structured around linking the different shots together within a standard rally base and is a great place to start if you’re new to the concept of attacking patterns.
This pairs session uses a series of shot sequences to start practising the main patterns of play that LJ introduces, and grooving them in to enhance their familiarity.
This second pairs session is based around conditioned games, to allow you to start applying your attacking patterns into a more realistic match-specific environment.
To make best use of attacking patterns, you need to be fast and mobile enough to follow up your shots and capitalise on opportunities. Check out this great ghosting session to help develop your movement and footwork.
In this series we learn a selection of drills he uses to sharpen up his players’ response to pressure on court.
Paul Carter talks through the importance and benefits of routines and condition games and shows the implementation for both players and coaches.
In this series, Jesse looks at the idea of shot combinations and partnerships that are used in the game and how to play them effectively.
Let us know how you get on with the sessions, we’d love to hear your feedback!
Haven't seen the full playlist yet?
LJ highlights three successful patterns of play that can be used effectively by players of all levels. The key premise of the series is about creating space and then capitalising on the opportunity to hit into the open court.Watch the playlist in full