We’re welcoming back SquashSkills regular Jesse Engelbrecht this week for his latest featured playlist, where this time he’s turning his expert eye to take a look at one of our real squash fundamentals: Controlling the T.
Most players will no doubt be at least somewhat familiar with the concept of ‘T control’, but for this series Jesse has really drilled down to the nuts and bolts to give you a good clear outline for the what’s, why’s, and how’s of this crucial tactical area.
Building pressure around the middle third of the court is something that the elite players do so smoothly and gracefully; making something that is actually a real challenge, look so simple and effortless. This only comes through many hundreds of hours of practice and focus, however, and watching two elite players battling it out for that strategic T position is something that can be fascinating to watch, each trying to gain control and then turn the screw on their opponent. In conjunction with this blog and playlist, try watching a few PSA matches and see how this jockeying for the T manifests itself at the highest level – watching the experts at work is one of the very best ways to improve!
Something else Jesse talks about in the series that is an extremely important component of the topic is how the dual elements of psychology/tactics and physical/technique interact with each other here. For you to become a true T control master, you need to work both on your mindset and on your execution – focusing too much on just one or the other will likely leave you found wanting when it comes to the crunch of a tough game.
Other areas that Jesse covers in the playlist are the idea or a ‘floating T’, and the importance of good volleying mechanics to really exploit the position. The T isn’t just one set physical mark, but actually an ‘area’ that needs to be judged and adjusted depending on your opponent’s position and the angle of the previous shot. This ties in also with the idea of ‘dominating the radius’ and using that aggression and intent to really create pressure on your opponent.
The purpose of this blog is to give you some ideas of drills and practices you can use to start better dominating the T area in your game, and help you really start exerting more pressure and control upon your opponents.
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 maximise your ability to control the T. You can click through the links below to check them out, but make sure to watch the whole series of Jesse’s videos first for the very best tips and advice for you to focus on in your practice!
Put it into practice
This set of solo exercises will focus on the skills and technique required in order to become more confident and adept with controlling the T.
This pairs session uses a series of conditioned games to help develop both your T control technique and your mindset.
To dominate the T area effectively, you’ll need to work on your lateral speed and quickness – this physical session is a great place for you to start.
In this 3 part series, three-time World Champion Nick Matthew takes us through his guide to volleying, from the basic fundamentals through to advanced techniques and tactics.
Lee Drew explains how to hit off either leg, highlighting how important it is to be comfortable with both legs in all areas of the court.
Throughout the series David explains how to improve your volleys, focusing on T position, racket preparations, body weight and size of swing.
Let us know how you get on with the sessions, we’d love to hear your feedback!
Haven't seen the full series yet?
Check out the full series where Jesse Engelbrecht explains how to take charge of the T and ensure your opponent is the one doing all the work.Watch now