We asked Malcolm Willstrop what the single most important attribute was in order to become a successful squash player. His answer… Accuracy.
Accuracy is fundamental in all sport, most notably when a ball is involved. In the more confined area of the squash court, precision becomes even more important.
The accuracy of the shot will deny opponents attacking opportunities at the same time creating chances. So to play straight well is the most important skill and requires regular practice with a variety of conditions.
Very occasionally it may be the good fortune of a coach to come across players with the natural ability to hit straight well. I can account for only four that have crossed my path and it is no surprise that they have all gone on to succeed at the highest levels.
Once the ability to play straight well is established, then is the need to hit cross-courts and angles equally accurately. Much of the required skill comes from hard work, so practice with the understanding that squash does not allow for inaccuracy and imprecision.
Jonah Barrington it was who left me with the lasting impression, when coaching one of my players of a very young age at the Lansdowne Club many years ago, said,’When a practice breaks down restart well’.
Apply that wisdom to every aspect of the game: the practice, the knock up, then the match itself. Develop the mentality that nothing less than precision will do and you will soon be heading in the right direction.
Watch the full film
“Do you know who I am?” is a full-length documentary which dives inside the mind of Malcolm WIllstrop. This is a must-see for all squash fans who want to get to know Pontefract’s legendary coach.Watch now