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September 2022

There’s a lot of misconceptions and misunderstandings regarding squash rules and one of the biggest areas is serve and service return.

Can I Use A Red Dot Ball In Squash Solo Drills?

Let’s get straight to the point. You can stand anywhere to receive serve as long as you don’t interfere with the server. It really is that simple. But there are two sections of the rules that must be considered. Interference The same rules for interference during a rally apply during a serve. So, yes, the returner *can* stand anywhere they want as long as they don’t interfere with the server. What to stand in the front corner on the same side as the server? Sure, go ahead, but you won’t reach the ball. Want to stand in the back corner on the same side as the server? Sure, go ahead, but you’ll probably won’t reach the serve. Obviously, the best place to stand is in the corner where the ball is going, but there isn’t one exact spot that you *have* to stand on. Depending on your confidence in your ability to volley, how fast your reactions are and most importantly, the kind of serves your opponent hits, your position to receive serve will vary ever so slightly. Distraction The next point to consider is distraction. You can’t be jumping up and down and singing when your opponent is about to serve. You can’t be trash talking to them as they serve, although that would be kind of fun. Trash talking is when you say things like “Your serve is the worst serve I have ever seen. I’m going hit it harder than your father used to hit you as a child” or similar! What you do want to do is stop your opponent’s ball from getting too deep into the back corner and limiting your options. To do that you could certainly move forward as the begin their swing. Or turn your shoulders a little if you think they are going to try to hit a hard, low serve down the middle. Rush Your Opponent At lower club levels,…

The rules state that there must not be prolonged contact between the ball and racket (strings). If this occurs it is often called a carry.

Please Play The Lob When Under Pressure!

As I have just stated in the introduction. A carry is when the ball stays on the strings for longer than a normal shot takes. In fact, here is the exact wording under the definitions section: CORRECTLY: When the ball is struck with the racket, held in the hand, not more than once, and without prolonged contact on the racket. The rule says “racket” but it means strings, because it defines racket as the frame, strings and grip. I’ve seen this shot/action called a scoop, as the movement of the racket almost certainly describes a curved trajectory. It occurs most often with beginners trying to get the ball out of the back corners. I can actually be dangerous and I have seen a few near-injuries because of it. I’ve also seen it happen at the very front of the court with low, soft shots, where the player has got their racket underneath the ball and somehow managed to scoop it across the front wall. Many times beginners don’t even know they are doing it as they haven’t yet developed the awareness through their hands about different types of contact with the ball. Over time and practice, players get better at hitting the ball more cleanly, with straight frame trajectories. Ignore the tongue and focus on the balance, wrist and almost perfectly-centered contact point of the ball and strings. Let’s Look at Some Other Similar Contact Issues. If the frame makes contact with the ball and it is clean, i.e. hits only one place once, then the shot is legal. However, if it hits the frame and strings on two separate occasions, although very quickly, it is illegal. Honestly, that happens even less often than the carry. The ball is NOT allowed to hit the hand, or any other part of your body, but if can hit any part of the racket and still be legal. However, the racket must be…

The Warm Up is very different from To Heat Up, and this brief article will clarify the difference.

Can I Use A Red Dot Ball In Squash Solo Drills?

Regular readers and viewers of my videos will know that I promote the idea that players should be “heating up” before matches not “warming up”. Heating Up is the process of preparing your body and mind for the coming match. You should go through a planned routine, including increasing your body temperature and heart rate, general stretches, then squash-specific movements and swings, all the while focusing your mind. Ideally, you should be sweating BEFORE you hit the ball in a proper match. Using the phrase “To Warm Up”, gives the wrong impression to people. They think that a few quick stretches before they walk onto court is enough – but it’s not. Especially if you want to perform at your best from the very first point. What Is The Warm Up Then? I would like to mention at this point that the “warm up” is also known more colloquially as “the knock up” in many places. The warm up is the period of time when two players enter the court together and hit the ball to get it hot. Of course, this only applies to proper, competitive matches and for most friendly games, the exact details are not important, but let’s have a quick look at them to ensure you know what you should be doing if you play tournaments. here are the rules taken directly from the World Squash Federation Singles Rules PDF. As you can see. You get a maximum of 4 minutes to get the ball hot, become accustomed to the court (if it is new to you) and try to learn a little about your opponent – although honestly, I find it’s better to just focus on yourself at this point. You can’t spend 3 minutes on one side and 1 on the other. At least not according to the rules. For inter-club matches and local graded tournaments, there is a lot of flexibility when it…

Over the years, I’ve seen a lot of different ways of holding a squash racket. From angles, to finger positions and one of the most personal is how high to hold it.

The simple answer used to be, the higher you held the racket, the more control you had and the lower you held it, the more power you had. And while that still might be true to some degree, modern rackets give plenty of power already, so there is very little extra power to be gained by holding the racket near the butt. The Case For Holding It High As you can see, Jahangir is holding the racket quite high, with plenty of space near the bottom of the grip. The main reason I recommend players how the racket higher rather than lower, is for the index finger to wrap around the tapering grip. I, and most coaches and players, feel that this allows a firmer grip and a more natural position of the hand. Holding the racket higher, means your hand is closer to the point of contact and this mens you have more control. Imagine a racket twice as long as a current squash racket – the further away you are from the ball, the harder it is to move the racket head precisely. The Case For Holding It Low Here, you can see Geoff holding the racket very low, almost with his hand extending past the butt of the racket. I remember practicing with some Pakistani professionals back in my time as coach at Wembley Squash Centre and they all held the racket very low on the grip. Their argument was that they had slightly better reach and could hit the ball harder. I tried it, but it never felt natural to me. While I do recommend the higher grip, I understand that there isn’t one “perfect” position and players need to have some ability to personalise how they hold the racket. Dunlop’s Vintage Answer to The problem. Maybe. Above is the normal model and below is the S.G. model – Short Grip. I want to emphasis that…

Back when I used to coach professionally, one thing that fascinated me was seeing different people respond to my coaching, particularly different professions.

Squash Tips: Turn Practice Skill Into Competitive Success

I developed a theme of asking some of my pupils what they did for a living and using that to frame squash concepts so that they might better understand them. I vividly remember two examples: Ballet dancer. One time, a professional ballet dancer came to me wanting to learn to play. He was a COMPLETE beginner. It was very interesting to see his movements become more fluid in a much shorter period of time than most other new players. He loved the idea of ghosting as it felt simply like rehearsal to him. However, what he wasn’t very good at was decision making. Over time, I tried to present the idea of shot selection as the idea of a dance that had certain fixed movements, but within a range of few options.Actuary. This was even more interesting. In case you don’t know an actuary is like an accountant who has to make risk assessments – it’s much more than that, but that description is enough for us now. His movement and technical skills were limited at best, but boy! did he use his skills to his advantage. We would discuss why this type of training was better for him than others and why some shots, while looking great if they won the point, didn’t often work. He seemed to click when I framed it like that. So I asked readers of the squash subreddit what they did for a living and tried to explain squash concepts in terms of their profession. I don’t guarantee that it will help you or even make sense, but I’ll try. I haven’t added the responses to my description here, but you can read them if you follow the link above. This article should be viewed as entertainment rather than a rigidly researched scientific analysis of job function in relation to squash tactics! Landscape Architect This is all about seeing the bigger picture and thinking…

You must master three things to hit the ball hard and with accuracy in squash. They are: Strength, Technique and Timing. Let’s look at why.

Vary Your Speed And Height

If you play enough squash, you will play against, or at least see, players who are small and light, yet they hit the ball with incredible ferocity. Conversely, you will see larger, seemingly strong players who never seem to be able to make that ball smack the wall. With regard to body: size doesn’t matter. Strength Did you know that an untrained muscles can become twice as strong without getting bigger? Big muscles aren’t necessarily strong muscles. I mean they are strong, but not necessarily as strong as smaller people. Being strong in squash, is not a case of having big muscles or looking like a bodybuilder. What you really need is power. Power is strength times speed. Being able to lift very heavy weight quite slowly is not as useful as being able to lift lighter weights faster. There’s also core strength that isn’t a fashionable 6-pack. You only need to do some yoga, pilates or certain Swiss ball exercises to realise that core strength can be found in very slim bodies. So how do you get this “Squash Strength”, well, I’m not a fitness expert, but I will give you a tip at the end. A good example of the right kind of strength is being able to not let the racket head twist on contact with the ball if the ball is slightly off-centre. It’s not something that can be trained in gyms. Technique Each sport has its own technique that works best with the equipment used. Tennis has a much heavier racket and ball, so therefore the technique used is very different from squash, and tennis doesn’t have the opponent and back wall to consider. Badminton also has different technique due to the lightness of the shuttlecock and racket. I’m not going to discuss the finer points of each shot’s technique in this article, but as far as drives are concerned a very good way to…

In today’s world of waste, pollution and climate-change, anything we can do to save ourselves money and help save the planet should be considered. Buying second-hand items does those two things. Here are some thoughts on buying second-hand squash rackets.

I see lots of posts on Reddit about which racket a beginner should buy. And sometimes their budget is quite high. But honestly, until somebody has tried quite a few different rackets, I feel it’s better for them to have a cheap one. Getting recommendations form the internet is helpful, but ultimately you need a racket you are comfortable with and the only way to know is to play with it. Starting Point This article is for new players or players who play once a week with friends. If you take squash seriously then a second-hand racket is probably not your best choice. However, if you have just started playing and need to buy a racket, and good option is second-hand. You can get a model that might be a few years old, but in today’s rackets that’s fine. Set A Budget Your first task is to set yourself a budget. Of course, that’s not for me to say, but you can get some great rackets for 25 UK pounds and I’ve even seen some good ones for under 10 pounds too. I wouldn’t recommend spending more than 30 pounds on a second-hand racket, because at this price you can get a new one. Do A Little Research If you are new to squash, it is overwhelming to find many brands and even more models of squash racket available for sale. Use the internet to search for the brand and model. Most can be found with their original price. Then you can make a knowledgable decision on whether the price is fair. if you can’t find the racket for sale, it might be quite old. That’s doesn’t mean you shouldn’t buy it, it just means it’s probably not a recent model. Places To Buy There are plenty of places to buy second-hand squash rackets online; Ebay, Wallapop, Shpock, CraigsList, Gumtree are the first ones I think of, but there will…