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What does it matter if you are a “Beginner” or “Improver”? Honestly, not much, but for some, knowing more about the types of players around can help them enjoy the sport more.

What Type Of Squash Player Are You?

I care about your enjoyment. Honestly, I really do. I love squash and want it to be more popular. The best way for “me” to do that is to help “you” enjoy it more. If I can help you love squash, you might play it more. The more you play it, the more likely you are to introduce to somebody and so the cycle continues. Sounds easy, right? Well, maybe it is, but if I just focus on what I can do, then I will let the rest take care of itself. So how does that little speech affect what type of player you are? Well, knowing the different types of player standards can help orientate yourself in the wider squash community. But I want to be clear, I do not want everybody to want to become an advanced player. That is certainly NOT my objective with my articles and videos. I do believe that being able to play all the shots, have a good understanding of tactics and being quite fit makes squash more fun. And FUN is my real objective. Here’s me trying to get down low! Quick Disclaimer The standards I describe below I just my designations. The ones I have used for years and the ones I categorize articles into on this site. Other people may use different names, other coaches may have more standards, other players feel these types of things aren’t helpful. Withing each of the standards below, it is possible to split them down further, but honestly it’s not important for this article. Lastly, this article is just a guideline. many people don’t fit into these names, and that is perfectly fine. Beginner A beginner is almost certainly somebody who has been playing for less than 6 months or less than about 25 times. I say 25 times because that’s about once per week for 6 months. Now, just because you start playing…

I’ve got to be crazy, right? Suggesting using an old racket. What a waste of time, right? Wrong. Read on to find out why it’s good for your squash.

Play With A Vintage Racket Once A Month

The first thing to know is that this article is not for beginners, improvers or juniors players. If you are just starting to play squash, keep with a modern, but not expensive racket and if you just play for fun with your friends, then this probably won’t interest you – but who knows, maybe it will. In my mind there are three periods of vintage racket that matter: WOODEN – basically anything from around the early 1970s to around the mid 1980s. Rackets before the UK boom of around the 70s are less common and probably should be kept on the wall for display rather than risk breaking them. They were heavy and unforgiving, but if you hit the ball it the sweetspot, they felt great.EARLY GRAPHITE – These are the types of rackets Jahangir Khan (Unsquashable), Jansher Khan (Ascot) and Rodney Martin (Prince) made popular. They were quite heavy, at least compared to today’s rackets, but were a significant step up from the wooden Dunlop Maxply Fort’s that were the king racket at that time.LATER GRAPHITE – These rackets are from around 1995 to around 2010. The can look very similar to today’s rackets and twelve years old (at the time of publication) might not seem that far back, but in terms of technology, it’s a big difference. This is the Grays Illusion 110- not vintage, but just as beautiful. So Which Should You Play With? Well, all three eras have something to offer, but put simply, the better you are and the better your swing technique, the older the racket to practice with. Do I have an exact formula for deciding how god is good enough to sue a wooden racket? No, but unless you would describe yourself as an advanced player, I would avoid the wooden rackets if I were you. How Will It Help? Firstly the weight. Using a heavier racket for at least 30 minutes…

What if there was a way for you to accurately measure your swing? A way for you to record the angles and speed of you racket on impact with the ball? Well, there is!

Racketware Squash Sensor

The first thing I want to tell you is that all the information in the article is out of date! WHAT! But don’t worry, the basics are still as true now as they were when I tested the sensor. The difference is that version 2 is now available from their website racketware.co.uk. So things are even better. Let’s Start With The Basics The sensor fits onto the bottom of your racket. You need to fixed a “dock” that goes under your grip. Racketware provides a grip in the box, so there’s no wasted grips. Once the dock is in place, you then attach the sensor to it. Fear not, it’s a very firm attachment and will not come off in play. You can also purchase extra docks to fit on other rackets, making it easy to switch the sensor between rackets. The sensor itself weighs about the same as a grip and it does change the balance of the racket ever so slightly. Version 2 is lighter than version one, but even version 1 wasn’t a problem. I like head light rackets, so that helped. If you prefer head heavy rackets then it will have an effect, how much I can’t say as that depends on the weight of your racket. Just bear that in mind before purchasing. You download a free app to your phone or tablet, which is available for both Apple and Android devices, which connects to your sensor. The sensor can record the data and transfer it to your device later if you don’t have your device with you when playing – so don’t worry about having to have your phone in your pocket when playing – you don’t! Want to hit that perfect nick? What is does The sensor records all the details of your swing in a 3D model, that is presented to you in an easy-to-understand graph. It overlays lots of swings of…

Yes, absolutely! Each player should be experienced though, so definitely no beginners. It helps if you have a good understanding of the rules related to Lets and Strokes too.

Squash Tips, Drills and Training Advice

Doubles can be fantastic on a singles court.

Playing doubles is so much fun. I’ve only ever played on a singles court, but at the international level and in some special locations, there are proper doubles courts. Even typing the phrase “Singles Squash Court” seems weird, but the reality is that 99% of squash courts are singles squash courts. Sports like Tennis and Badminton use the same “court”, but use different lines, squash has the same lines but a different court! As I said in the introduction, if you play squash doubles on a squash singles court it is important that each player has good court awareness, a safe swing and a good understanding of the basics of Lets and Strokes. I spent many happy hours playing doubles against Abbas Kaoud and his son, plus another player and not once did we have an incident. I would recommend wearing squash goggles and being prepared to play more lets than usual though. Can It Help You Game? ABSOLUTELY. Not only is a it a great game, but being good at doubles has a direct effect on your singles game. To be good at doubles, you need to avoid hitting too many crosscourt – just like singles! You need to keep the ball tight to the side wall – just like singles! You need to use the boast as a way of getting opponents out of position – just. Like. Singles! Get the point? The skill comes from playing great shots, not from being super fit or being a fast or great mover. Using the length of a court become your main focus, and by using a variety of speed and height you can develop that ability. You also develop patience, because doubles rally rarely finish in 2 or 3 shots. lastly, even though I said you need good court awareness, I do believe that your awareness increases from playing doubles. You HAVE to be more aware of the other…

Crazy right? Asking people to take a course before playing squash. What faster way is there to kill a sport? Well, firstly, it would be optional and secondly free.

Squash Tips, Drills and Training Advice

Notice how carefully he is watching the ball

Squash is an absolutely fantastic sport. It’s great for the mind and body. It can be played indoors and outdoors, yes, outdoors – although there are currently only a handful of outdoor courts, that is going to change soon. Because it is mostly played indoors, it can be played at any time of the year, i.e. the season doesn’t matter, in fact I prefer squash in the summer! But I will admit that squash does have its issues and ignoring those is wrong. I am not affiliated with ANY organization, manufacturer, event, team, player or anything official in squash any more, so anything I say or write is just a personal opinion, but because I don’t need to worry about “keeping my job”, you know that what I say is my honest opinion. I do write for Squash Player magazine but I don’t have to worry about following any rules. Squash is not hard to learn, although racketball is probably easier. The rules are quite simple, except for Lets and Strokes, but with some guidance for most recreational and club players that issue can be addressed. The balls are a little more problematic and as I have said many times, that’s Squash community’s fault. And finally because of long rackets, a smallish space and lots of movement, safety can be an issue, especially for new players. So how do was address these issues? Well, how about a Squash License? Seriously, A Real License? Well, I mean no, not an actual license, but a course that covers the different balls, and when and why to use them, the basic rules and scoring (including strokes and lets), and finally safety. Isn’t that all covered by group coaching courses? Maybe, maybe not. But this course wouldn’t be about coaching at all. It is NOT trying to teach you how to swing a racket or how to move – well, maybe a little about…

Too many new players think you can keep playing with a ball until it breaks and they are wrong, Oh so very very wrong.

Don't Play With Shiny Squash Balls!

One of the constant issue new players have with squash is the balls. I am not going to lie: the way squash organizes and promotes the different squash balls is ridiculous. However, this article is about a related topic and that is shiny balls. What are shiny balls you ask? and I say, look at the photo. Can you see how the balls are not completely black? How they have a whitish surface? This is a combination of being old and collecting the paint/plaster from the wall. Think of it like a piece of sticky tape that has lost its stickiness. The fact is, that it hasn’t lost it’s stickiness but dust or other particles have stuck to it. The Effect of Shiny Balls When a squash ball is shiny, it skids on the floor. Skidding means that instead of bouncing higher it stays low and is very difficult to hit. This makes squash boring. Who wants to try to hit a skidding ball? Not me. This all comes back to the fact that because the ball is not “broken”, too many people continue to play with these balls. As a player, when somebody gets a ball like this out of their bag, refuse to play with it. make sure you have a newer one available and use that. A beautiful new squash ball! How To Clean Shiny Balls I recommend putting them in the washing machine with your sports kit at 30 degrees. the abrasion of the clothes with the ball should be enough to remove 90% of the shine. other people simple rub them on carpets or even use sandpaper, and those methods definitely work, but since I am lazy, cough cough, really busy, I use the washing machine. So, make sure you clean your squash balls! Somebody actually made a device to “scrap” squash balls clean, but after 5 minutes searching I couldn’t find it on the…

One thing I try to encourage players to do is share a court when doing solo drills. Many players think this is crazy: if there’s another player on court, why don’t we play?

Sharing A Squash Court For Solo Drilling

It’s that kind of thinking that shows those players don’t really understand the benefit of solo drilling. I suppose you could argue, that they do realize how valuable solo drilling is, but want to take advantage of having a partner. And a lot depends on how much time you have available for your squash. One other aspect is the cost. Not everybody can afford to pay for a court just to do solo drills, and I full appreciate that point of view. That’s why you should schedule a training session once-per-week with a partner, where you spend the first 15 minutes doing solo drills (I’ll give you some ideas in a moment), the next 15 minutes doing pairs drills and the final 15 minutes playing conditioned games. if you court times are different, then adjust the times accordingly. This way, you will get the benefit of the three main types of training methods – just like a pro! Nick Matthew has spent many hours doing solo drills.. Shared Court Solo Drills When you think about it, unless you are running around, and there are some solo drills where you go from corner to corner!, most of the time you are either on one side of the court or in one half (front or back), so sharing a court really is quite easy and safe. Safe, that is, if you remember that there is another player around and if you shot goes to the other side of the court, you can’t just walk over and get it! Many regular viewers of my videos (you do know I make videos, don’t you?) know that I promote the idea of performing solo drills is sets and and mega sets. A set is a combination of drills, mostly a power-based drill, followed by a skilled-based drill. This allows you to keep the ball hot, provide a fitness workout and keep things from getting boring.…