We’re honoured to again be hosting 3x World Champion and Commonwealth Gold Medallist Nick Matthew here on SquashSkills for our latest playlist, where this time ‘The Wolf’ is turning his expert eye to the tactical side of the sport with a focus on game plans.
One of the finest British players of all time, Nick had a hugely successful career spent entirely within the upper echelons of the game. Now working as a highly successful coach and a key part of the England Squash elite performance team, he’s put together for us an exclusive playlist focused on developing game plans to play different types of players. Building a strategy to win is one of the foundations of the game – technique and fitness will take you so far, but as your level increases that mental and tactical edge becomes ever more crucial.
Nick offers some great insights in the playlist around the idea of balancing your game plan between a focus upon your own strengths and weaknesses and upon your opponent’s strengths and weaknesses. He discusses how he went full circle with this in his own career, from strategising 70/30 in favour of focusing on his opponent’s particular skills when formulating a game plan as a younger player, to flipping that on its head when he was at his very peak and concentrating much more on game plans built around his own unique physical strengths rather than worrying so much about what his opponent could or couldn’t do. As his career wound down however, he found himself shifting back to being much more shrewd and trying to once again base his tactics more on his opponent’s limitations as he had done as a younger player, to help conserve his effort and energy as he moved towards his mid-30s.
All this is to say, that everybody’s approach is going to need to be balanced and take into consideration what works best for themselves at their level of play while trying to avoid leaning too far completely in favour of one way or the other.
Nick goes on to discuss the pros and cons of different styles of play, including archetypes such as the shot maker, the marathon runner, and the crafty lefty. Whether you’re building a game plan based more around yourself or your opponent, there’s plenty to delve into within this fascinating playlist.
The aim of this blog is to introduce Nick’s video series, along with the related solo and pairs sessions that we’ve created to help you improve your control, tactical awareness, and shot selection, and put it all into practice. We’ve also included links to some of the other content we have here on the site on similar topics, to help really develop your strategic brain and all-round game. Explore the videos most pertinent to you within the playlist, but take time also to check out the full series – there might be a nugget of wisdom there that you hadn’t considered before, that can help take your play up another level.
Put it into practice
This solo session is designed to get you started off with some of the basic technical fundamentals to help aid your ability to adapt to different styles.
This pairs session works through a series of drills where you can practice working on both implementing and combatting different tactics and game plans.
Developing your conditioning will help with any game plan you’re trying to develop, as you’ll be able to move faster and last longer. Try out this great multi-element session created by SquashSkills Fitness Director Gary Nisbet.
In this series with the legend Peter Nicol, he takes us through the mental preparation needed to succeed and stay focused when building up to a match.
In this new series, Peter Nicol teaches the fundamental tactics for amateurs to step up their game.
In this series, Shayne Duncan takes us through his process for improving the foundations of your mental game.
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 brand new series where Nick introduces us to the idea of creating a game plan for specific types of players.Watch now