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February 2021

One of the things I love about coaching is encountering ideas and concepts from other fields of endeavour, and adapting them for use in squash. A little while ago, I was reading some Reddit posts and one was about “finance and how to spend your money” and it got me thinking about whether I could use the concept in squash. After a little pondering, I came up with this shot selection system that I call “The Shot Budget” and as far as I know, it’s a new way of looking at things.

The Squash Shot Budget

Under normal circumstances, I would have experimented with the idea using it with my pupils before posting about it, but as I no longer coach “on-court”, I have to admit, I haven’t tried it in a real-world situation. Therefore, the purpose of this article is to not only introduce the concept to coaches, but also hopefully generate discussion and dissection with a view to develop, modify and improve it. In addition, I hope self-motivated squash players may read this, try it for themselves and then have a new way of thinking about which shot to play and why. I believe that its core concept has value for most standards of players above improver level, but is really aimed at players who currently lack the willpower or self-control to not go for winners when they are not well positioned to do so and those who lack any framework for choosing shots when they play. For the sake of simplicity, I will be using Dollars, but you could easily use any currency, including made up ones that appeal to younger players. Decisions, Decisions, Decisions! When we play squash or any sport that requires shot selection decisions; where to hit the ball, how fast , how high etc, having some gameplan or strategy means that some decisions are easier to make, or at least can be made faster or earlier. I call these types of shots “Default Shots” – shots that almost choose themselves based on the situation. You could argue that with that definition, *all* shots are default shots as the situation is most often the deciding factor in shot selection, but a default shot covers situations where the choice of best shot is very limited. Imagine you find yourself in the back right hand corner of a squash court.  The ball has come off the back wall enough to allow you to play any shot you want. What shot do you choose? Well, the…