They key to early racquet preparation is getting your racquet back as soon as you know whether it is going to be a forehand or a backhand. You should be able to tell whether you are going to have to hit a forehand or backhand as soon as your opponent’s ball hits the front wall. So, if you know it is going to be a forehand or backhand and you have to run to the ball, get your racquet back first and then run to the ball. This is true especially for those wrap around balls off the back wall. Once you have the ball in your hitting zone, all you have to do is step into the ball and swing.
Another great reason to get your racquet back and ready early is when a lob serve or ceiling ball barely comes off the back wall or a ball takes a funny bounce. If a ball barely comes off the back or side wall and the player doesn’t have their racquet back, then they won’t get their racquet around soon enough and the ball will either hit the side wall uncontrollably or maybe even skip because the swing is so late. Having your racquet back will also prepare you for any unexpected bounces of the ball.
Here I’d like to correlate early racquet preparation to a batter’s stance in baseball and softball. The only difference between a batter and a racquetball player is a batter has two hands on the bat and we have one hand on the racquet. See pictures 1 and 2 for forehand, 3 and 4 for backhand.
A batter is...