PAN AM Squash Footwork

pan am squash          Squash players maintain a continuous physical, mental and emotional connection with the ball.  This parlays into skillfully executed footwork and winning shots in a graceful game of active deception. At the highest skill level, players try to outwit each other – anticipating not just the bounce of the ball but ‘reading’ their opponents’ moves, adjusting their counter-moves, and trying to make their own next move even more ‘unreadable’.  Good judgment lies behind good predictions which can then lead to good reactions. A player must get to the ball before his opponent even hits it.

Anticipating the Moves

What are the keys to early anticipation?  A squash player uses the ball’s travel time to read his opponent’s body language in his set up and stroke. He checks all the visual cues, weighing them against his familiarity with the player. He assesses footwork relative to the ball’s position, weight transfer, length and height of back swing, racquet grip, and angle of wrist.  He knows what to do…unless, the opponent ‘pulls a fast one’ and strategically pauses, leaving his shot option to the last microsecond.

Making the Moves

Anticipation doesn’t take place in isolation.  The squash player uses the ball’s travel time to position himself to retrieve all possible shots. In between shots, he generally moves back to the ‘T’ at centre court and gets ready. He does a fast hop and quarter squat, a ‘split step’, landing on feet shoulder width apart to regain balance.  The split step stretches all the muscles that will propel the player instantly and powerfully to the ball.

Squash players do not ‘run’ through the ball in the way that tennis players are trained to.  By the time they get within striking distance of the ball, squash players have already stopped their centre of gravity, transferring weight into the shot and then moving back to the ‘T’.  Lunges are the move of choice with the many directional demands on the body, especially if the ball is low.  A reaching lunge can be elegant; the non-racquet arm counterbalances the outstretched racquet arm. The ball gets a good whack, hopefully as the opponent was blinking.

Go to –


Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last, but we do it to get a crown that will last forever.   1 Corinthians 9:25 (NIV)


PAN AM Fencing Footwork

pan am fencing      A fencer’s footwork during a bout with his opponent determines his advantage.  Whether advancing or retreating, he changes the speed and tempo of the contest with his feet.  His every move has a countermove. Good strategy requires that fencers recover from and make good use of any maneuver.  Fencers crisscross the floor laterally and linearly just as they crisscross blades. All footwork coordinates with blade work; there may be two or three blade actions per move. Fencers are so well-trained; their fluid, efficient, and instantaneous footwork becomes second nature.

On Guard!  

Stance:  When ready to attack, the feet form an L-shape.  The front foot points at opponent; the back foot is perpendicular with heels touching.  When defending, the feet are in identically reverse position. The fencer can deceive his opponent by having feet in the offensive stance and then twist his upper body into a defensive position.

Advance:  The attacking foot moves forward so that its heel replaces the toe’s position.  The knee of leading leg is over the toe. Feet are shoulder width apart. Body weight is evenly balanced over feet.

Retreat:  Feeling with the toe, the hind heel lifts slightly reaching backward and landing slightly upon the toe and ball before planting the heel of the foot. The forward foot toe then lifts and reverses a foot-length, landing softly on the heel.   Feeling with the toe produces an even flow and sure footing.

Lunge: Simultaneously, the attacking toe lifts and pulls the attacking heel slightly off of the floor, moving slightly forward in a kicking motion.  Propelling with his rear leg, the fencer lands with his attacking knee bent directly over his toe.

[These footwork descriptions are simple, out of necessity.  To give you a sense of how much more detailed the fencer’s footwork is, consider the names of Lunge variations:

  • Assisted Lunge
  • Breaking Lunge
  • Jump Lunge
  • Advance Lunge
  • Retreat Lunge
  • Front Foot Withdrawal Lunge
  • Front Foot Withdrawal Reverse Lunge
  • Advance Crossover Lunge
  • Retreat Crossover Lunge
  • Advance Check Step Lunge
  • Retreat Check Step Lunge.]

Go to –


Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last, but we do it to get a crown that will last forever.   1 Corinthians 9:25 (NIV)