Racquetball Shot Selection

Racquetball Shot Selection

Racquetball Pregame Strategy

Which racquetball shot to select is a difficult decision. A lot depends on where you are, where your opponent is.  Another factor is your ability to hit certain shots with a high percentage of success.  You also have to keep in mind your opponents weaknesses.  With the ball frequently exceeding 100 mph on a 40 x 20 foot court, there isn’t much time to think.  It is important that you have a general strategy for all matches and a specific strategy for your current opponent.  You should have these strategies firmly in mind before you get on the court.

Racquetball Back Court Strategy

When you are in the back of the court you can choose between offensive and defensive shots.  If you have the opportunity and skill to hit offensively from the back court, it is the better decision.  If not, choose a defensive shot that may force your opponent into hitting a weak return.  Then, if you are lucky, you will be setup closer to the front wall and can use your offensive shots more successfully.  Your defensive choices from the back court are the ceiling ball, the around the wall ball, and a reverse Z shot.  The reverse Z shot is the reverse of the Z serve, but hit higher (about shoulder height).  Hit this shot into the side wall, at a downward angle, and ricochet it toward the opposite corner of the front wall.  If your opponent isn’t watching closely you will surprise them with this shot.  It is especially effective if they are in the back of the court.  It is not the highest percentage shot, so use it sparingly. The other two shots are covered in the video below.

Racquetball Front Court Strategy

When you are in the front of the court (in front of the dashed lines), you should be hitting an offensive racquetball shot.  Maintain good center court position (2.5 feet behind dotted line) so that you are always in the right place to hit an offensive shot when the opportunity arises.  Never hit a ceiling shot from the front of the court.  If your opponent is behind you, hit a pinch shot.  If your opponent is in front of the dashed line as well, hit a passing shot.

Watch racquetball pro John Ellis and World Outdoor Racquetball champion Jose Diaz give excellent demonstrations of which shot to select in the video below.


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