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A lot depends on you. Are you strong? Are you having coaching or have good technique? Do you play once a week with a few friends or do you want to play local tournaments? There is no “one simple answer” because each person is different. So let’s look at the reasons those questions matter. Before we do that though, let’s talk hypothetically.

Should a beginner start with a heavy or light squash racket?

The weight of a squash racket is less important than its balance, i.e. where most of the weight is. If most of the weight of the racket is in the head, a light racket can feel heavy, and conversely, a heavier racket with most of the weight in near the handle may feel light. If you use a very light racket when you first start to play squash, your technique has to be good otherwise you generally won’t have racket solidity when you hit the ball. However, if you use a heavy racket or head heavy racket when you first start playing, you may develop bad habits because you are unable to control the racket correctly due to lack of strength. In general, I always recommend a medium weighted and medium balanced racket for new players. Over the first six months, players should try as many rackets as possible, to begin to understand what feels good in their hands, and the only way to know is to actually play with many different rackets. Cheap rackets are heavy. It’s pretty much the same for most sports equipment nowadays. Basic aluminum rackets are durable but quite heavy. If you only play recreationally and are on a limited budget, then they are perfect. In fact, a look on second-hand sites can get you a basic squash racket for 5 Pounds/Euros/Dollars etc. You can buy a brand new graphite racket for around 25 (£/€/$), but of course for that price you are not going to get a high quality frame or strings, and it is not going to be light. Mid-range graphite rackets are lighter than cheaper ones, but should feel better when using them. Personally, this is a good choice if you are sure you want to play competitively or you have progressed from once-a-week with friends into a “club squash” situation. At this point in your development, you are beginning to develop…

Unlike many racket sports, squash players share the same space: the court! This means that mostly by accident, but sometimes through evil design (more on that later), players can get in each other’s way, but more importantly there is the safety aspect. Part of the reason squash has such a compact swing is the back wall, but as equally important is not hitting your opponent, both with the racket when swinging and with the ball.

What’s The Difference Between a Stroke and a Let In Squash?

Squash developed a set of rules that are designed to keep players safe and also keep things fair. The problem is, especially for beginners and new players, that interpreting the rules seems to differ widely. I recently made an opinion video about introducing a Squash License, which seemed to have upset a few people. I stand by the concept that new players to squash should have the opportunity to learn the basic rules without having to have coaching. Anyway, back to Strokes and Lets Part of the rules include something called “Strokes” and Lets”. Let’s start with Lets (see what I did there?) If you movement to the ball is hindered or limited in anyway, you should stop and call “Let, Please”. This tells the other player, and the referee if you have one, that you felt impeded. If the “let” is awarded, then you replay the point again, with the same server from the same side without the same points as before the serve. If the decision is “no let”, you lose the point. I believe Americans call this concept a Do Over. You can not say “Let, please” and hit the ball and if it was a winner, say “Oh, I don’t want a let now, thank you”. You must stop playing. It is possible to call for a let, but hit the ball to show you could have, but then the question becomes, well if you hit the ball, why did you call a let? – but that’s a whole other topic for another day. What’s The Difference Between a Stroke and a Let In Squash? I hope you are beginning to see that things are not exactly black and white, there will always be two-sides to the situation; yours and your opponent’s. The reality is that in most cases it is better to play lets than have dangerous situations. By some people, manipulate that goodwill by…

Yes, no problem, go ahead, sure, but the question you should ask yourself is what benefit do I get? Serving overarm in squash might make you feel that you are taking advantage of the serve, like tennis players do, but the reality is that serving overarm in squash doesn’t really help. In fact, there’s a good chance you are making it easy for your opponent, and nobody wants that, right?

Can I serve Overarm in squash?

The problem is the service line, also called the cut line, because it is above the height of your head, so unlike a tennis serve which has a significant down angle, a squash, while it does going downwards from an overarm serve, it’s not downwards enough to make it effective. All that happens is that you hit the ball hard, which gives YOU less time to get to the T and prepare for your opponent’s shot. The ball will almost certainly fall short of the corner and if it doesn’t then it is moving so fast it will bounce out the back anyway. Can I serve Overarm in squash? “Arh, but Phillip” you say, “it works really well for me”. And it will until you play somebody better than you and then it turns from a point maker into a point loser! A player with more experience will simple attack a short serve and put you under pressure. They will volley the ball and either hit it short, giving you very little time to respond, or hit it deep – using the ball’s speed to take it into the back corner, forcing you to scrabble to the back and be on the defensive. That’s not what you intended, was it? So this is your conundrum: continue serving overarm and having some success or begin to develop a better serve that will serve you (Haha! see what I did there?) up to professional level. This is a problem faced by new players and improvers in many areas of their game: seemingly short-term success versus high-performance habit building that will help you for the rest of your squash life. Video Squash Coaching from the comfort of your sofa! So what is a good, or at least better serve? Ideally, you want to hit a serve that makes it hard for your opponent by pushing them into the corner. It doesn’t have to…

There is a lot of confusion regarding the colour of the dots on squash balls and their use. This confuses is NOT your fault – it is the major manufacturers’ and the World Squash Federation’s (WSF). They designate the dots as speeds: Fast (blue), Medium (red), Slow (single yellow) and Super Slow (double yellow). Over the years those dots have changed, as have the actual colour of the balls, but the way they were and are promoted is the same.

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

As a beginner, isn’t your natural thinking to avoid the fast ball and player with the slow one? I know mine would be. Those manufacturers and the WSF also promote the fact that different balls should be used on courts with different temperatures. So for example, on a very very cold court, even a pro might use a single yellow dot. That’s the theory at least, but honestly, the court would need to be almost zero degrees for that to be true. So where does that leave the average club and recreational player? Simply put, use the ball that you have the most fun with. Honestly, anything else is just confusion. There exists a group of players within squash that I call “Ball Snobs”. These players believe that because advanced players and professional squash players use a double yellow dot, that is the only ball that should be used, irrespective of age, standard or experience. |they insist that juniors play with this ball as “it is the ball they will eventually have to play with, so they might as well get used to it now”. Idiots! That’s like say a child must use an adult bike because that’s what they will eventually use. Yes, you can without a doubt use ANY colour dot squash ball you want when solo drilling. Ideally, your objective is to build up enough skill and power that you can sue a double yellow dot, but even then there are times a red dot can be useful. For example, hitting soft, short shots or practicing boasts alone. Even a hot double yellow dot would get cold quickly unless hit hard. But don’t think you can only use a red dot if you are hitting soft shots. A red dot could also be used for practice deep drives that come off the back wall. For many players, hitting the ball hard even, with accuracy so a red…

The simple answer is yes. However, the only specific mention of it I could find in the WSF Rules of Singles Squash 2020 was related to self-inflicted injuries. So it seems there is no problem with doing it, the problem comes with what happens after the dive has been made.

Is Diving Allowed In Squash?

After a player dives, their tee-shirt normally touches the floor, leaving a wet patch. This wet patch might be slippery, meaning the diving player has altered the conditions of the court. It means that any movement over this wet patch could potentially be dangerous. Technically, the diving player has altered the conditions of the court. However, players sweat all the time and leave droplets of sweat on the floor and nothing happens with that, although droplets and an area the size of a tee-shirt is very different. It seems fair to me that if a player dives, the other player has the right to immediately stop and ask for a let. In fact the PSA tour has specifically created its PSA Initiative – “Diving and stopping the rally after a dive” that addresses this. Where does that leave us for club and recreational squash though? Well, the simplest answer is to follow the PSA guidance, which is that once the player has dived the non-diving player should either continue playing or stop immediately and ask for a let. If the non-diving player continues, they can’t ask for a let related to the wet patch, and neither can the player who dived. That seems to be fair for both players. At amateur level, the chances are that once a player has dived, they won’t be able to get the next shot, but who knows, perhaps they are super fast and fit! Personally, I don’t think diving should be allowed. Maybe I am old fashioned or just old, but it seems very unfair that part of the court has become potentially dangerous due to the conscious decision of one player. Video Squash Coaching from the comfort of your sofa! I fully understand that from a spectator’s point of view, it certainly spices things up and makes for better visual soundbites (visualbites?), but the safety of players must be considered. That said, how…

Everybody loves to hit the ball hard, right? I sure do. But I also want to hit it accurately, otherwise You might be causing yourself more problems than you solve!. Hitting the ball hard in squash is not about how strong you are, it’s about using the right muscles at the right time. That said, being strong in the right places also helps.

How To Hit The Ball Hard In Squash

Another requirement of being able to hit the squash ball hard AND accurately is good technique. Squash, like other racket sports, has its own technique that minimizes the effort needed to hit the ball at the maximum speed in the minimum space available. You can’t use a tennis swing on a squash court, not if you want to remain safe and effective. You also can’t use a badminton wrist flick either because squash rackets are just too heavy. So that leaves good squash technique. I’m not going to discuss the specific swing technique used for forehand or backhand squash swings, but I do want to talk about timing. Timing is the ability to use the right muscles at the right time and of course that is highly connected with swing technique, so make sure you get some lessons. The first thing you need to do when trying to hit the ball is relax! Yes, that sounds counter-intuitive, but if you are tensing the wrong muscles you will be inhibiting the natural flow of you body. The next thing you should do is learn to transfer your weight into the ball. That’s why you sometimes see small players who can hit the ball very hard despite their size; their use their weight. Ideally, you should make contact with the ball as you take the last step towards the ball, this will ensure you are transferring most of you weight into the ball. However, you shouldn’t be too close nor too far away from the ball. The right distance is where you are reaching but balanced. The moment of impact is very important to hitting the ball cleanly and hard. Any wobble of the racket head means that energy will be lost. Good technique is used to ensure that the swing is compact and uses the forearm muscles rather than the “flick” seen in badminton. Like nearly everything, you must practice hitting…

“Consistency” is a very important word in performance. But this article is about consistent training and why that can be the key to improving your squash. I want to be very clear about one thing: I am talking about the regularity of training NOT the intensity.

Consistent Squash Training

I cringe when I read or hear people say that they train at 110%! Nobody trains that hard. Yes, people train very hard for short periods of time, but you can NOT train at your maximum for very long. Olympic athletes know that during the year, the amount and intensity of training MUST be varied, otherwise the athlete will become fatigued or worse, burnout and injured. So what does this have to do with “Consistent Training” then? Well, it is better to train at 80% most training sessions for 6 months than 110% for some but then stop and take breaks. Think of it like this: You accomplish more if you build small but daily habits than if you binge work for two days and then do nothing – it’s the same with your squash training. Consistent Squash Training Start by scheduling solo and pair training sessions with somebody like-minded. You can book a court, spend 10 minutes both doing solo drills (yes, that *IS* possible), then 15 minutes doing pairs’ drills and finish with some conditioned games. Make this a weekly or every-other week session and you will have started on the path to improvement. Couple that with some scheduled fitness sessions, and the list for that is almost endless!, working on aspects of fitness that YOU need, for example strength and core conditioning or flexibility. Add a practice match, plus a league match, maybe even a monthly coaching session and suddenly you have the beginnings of a well-balanced training programme that *IF* you keep going over a number of months will really bring improvements. Video Squash Coaching from the comfort of your sofa! Over the years, I’ve trained hard for short periods of time, maybe even up to 2 months. Now 2 months might sound quite a long time and in some ways it is, but from a performance perspective it is not. The reality is that it…