A topical #throwback post. Not new, but quite important for everyone in the program to understand.
When having a conversation "about squash" with anyone, definition of terms is often a helpful first step. At an introductory level it may be, what is a drive, what is a boast, what is a lob. At a higher conceptual level it becomes less obvious and more important. if we don't share a common Squash Tiger vernacular, we can't have substantive discourse.. hence the explanation below...
“Unforced error” is a term used a million times a year in a million different clubs across the world. From the perspective of our program, as with all things, we need to be clear… what does the term mean? For many coaches the term unforced error means an egregious mistake… "a wow, good golly I’m trying not to say something inappropriate error."
However that’s not how we roll.
For intents and purposes we define an unforced error as being when a player voluntarily takes the ball short and hits the tin. The key aspect is “short” or, to the front of the court and the more important part being “voluntarily” in as much as it was a decision rather than something forced upon us. We are always looking to make sure that players are in control of the process. We can’t control our opponent, we can’t control winning and losing, but we can control the process and what we do ourselves, hence our definition. We might be outclassed, we might not win, but we can make very few unforced errors and finish a match with a sense of accomplishment and dignity… Unforced errors can be a helpful statistic, as long as we make sure we know what it means in context!