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This article assumes that the pro tournament you are visiting has a glass court. It’s just some suggestions that I believe will help you get the most out of your first visit.

If you are lucky enough to have a professional squash tournament within travelling distance of your location, and the time and money to get tickets, then I highly recommend going. It’s a great experience to get close to pro players on court and see how athletic they are. Squash TV’s coverage is fantastic, but one of the reasons I feel squash doesn’t get much attention is that TV can never show the true athleticism of the players. Go To Semi-Finals Day Suggestion number one is to go to the semi-finals day instead of the final day. Now, this suggestion depends on the size of the tournament and whether there are men and women playing. In some tournaments, semi-finals day gets you two matches, in others four matches. Not always, but many times the semi-final matches are just as good as the finals. The players have a little less pressure on their shoulders, but enough to make the matches interesting. Failing that the quarter finals are a good option because you definitely get more matches. I understand people’s desire to see the final and the ceremony afterwards, but I want to watch great squash and semi-finals and quarter-finals give the best option for that. View The Glass Court From All Angles If this is your very first visit to a glass court, then you MUST take the opportunity to watch some squash from the sides and front wall. I don’t mean just walking around quickly, but actually watch at least 5 minutes from a variety of locations. You need 5 minutes becasue any less and you really don’t have time to decide if this is a useful angle of not. Personally, I like the side walls, either near the back wall or near the front wall, but not in the middle. That slight angle coupled with seeing the front-back movement allows me to appreciate the speed of the players. Of course,…

This article is for newer players who are quite ambitious. It’s easy to improve very quickly and think that in a few months you will be club number 1. I am sorry to be the one to tell you, but you won’t be. Squash has many levels that are not apparent when you first start playing.

About a year ago, I did a video analysis for a player. I talked about the areas where he can improve and gave him some general advice. Everything seemed great until in the follow-up email, he asked me how long it would take to reach the level of the player who he was playing against in the video. I told him two or three years. “Oh!”, he said, “I thought it would be just a couple of months.” The problem was that he was unable to see how little effort his opponent was playing with. Yes, he won a few points and had some good rallies, but his opponent never tried to hit the ball too hard or very deep. I could have easily believed that the player who asked for the analysis was the boss of the opponent, and he was trying to make the boss look good. I felt terrible after telling the player my opinion. Even by text, he seemed deflated. I’ve asked myself many times whether I was wrong to be so direct and honest. I have to balance that honesty with saying things just because the pupil wants to hear them. It’s a very delicate balance. I am a little embarrassed to say, but I can’t remember the person’s name and I looked through my previous analysis videos and searched through my email, but can’t find him. I almost want to be wrong and for him to tell me that he now regularly beats that opponent, but I highly doubt it. If you had a video analysis with me and I told you it would take a few years to beat your opponent and you thought it would only take a few months, please contact me so we can chat! They Only Play As Well As They Need To For some new players, squash is easy and they seem to make such rapid progress that…

“Rally Construction” is a phrase I’ve seen and heard a few times over the years and I feel it needs clarifying.

A Brief Introduction To Shot Selection In Squash

What It’s Not The phrase itself gives the impression of a very detailed and clear objective for each rally, almost as if the player is trying to hit something like “12 deep shots, 4 volleys, 2 short shots and at least one disguised swing, followed by getting their opponent 2 metres behind them and slightly late”! Nobody can construct a rally when both players levels are similar. If a professional player were to play the average club player, then yes, the pro could be in complete control. During a rally they can wait until the club player has run around the court a lot and is a terrible position, before playing their killer shot. Yes, they could probably hit a winner from almost any shot, but it has become a habit to not simply gone for the winner each time because that doesn’t win matches and also because I think all squash players have a streak of sadism inside them and enjoy watching their opponent run around in total disarray. I also happen to feel that squash players have a streak of masochism inside us because we seem to enjoy being run around! What Is It Then? At its core, I feel it’s “Patience combined with tactics”. I mention about not going for winners at the first opportunity and to newer players that concept might seem crazy. Why wouldn’t a player want to win the rally as quickly and as easily as possible? The problem is that hitting winners is not as easy to do as it is to say. But more importantly creating opportunities AND selecting the RIGHT opportunity is a mindset skill that cane learnt and improved. Practical Application So how might it work in reality then? Well, if I were working with a player, we would have identified their strengths and weaknesses, and during practice sessions, specifically practice rallies, I would watch and if I felt a…

The foundation of good squash is the ability to get in front of your opponent and keep them deep in the back. The alley game focuses on developing tight shots with early off-the-ball movement.

I always recommend starting this pairs drill with a serve. In fact, I always recommend starting EVERY drill with a serve if possible. It builds good movement habits. Anyway, the objective of this drill is to focus on your straight shots, length variation and movement. You can only play the ball on one side of the court. Depending on your skill level, start by using half the court. I know that sounds a lot, but I would prefer you to start too easy than too hard. If you find half the court too much, and you almost certainly will, make it the service box width. That means if the ball bounces outside the service box width, it’s out. Ideally, you would put some tape on the floor to use as a guide, but it’s not that important unless you or your training partners argue about whether the ball was “in” or “out”. Safety is key, so even though you know which side your partner is going to hit the ball, remember to play safe shots. If you score this drill, there are not strokes, only lets. The same goes for swings; be careful if you are close to your partner. It’s the prefect opportunity to practice your Back Court Circling in a more open type drill. I recommend using a ball lower than you usually do, so if you normally play with a double yellow, play with a single yellow and if you normally play with a single yellow, play with a red dot. Red dot balls are great for these drills. Let’s look at some drill progressions. And don’t forget to play both sides of the court. Drill One Start with a serve, but don’t score it. In fact, your objective is to keep the rally going for as long as possible. Not by hitting very easy or weak shots, but by not trying to win the point. Play…

Today, I want to write a little about your mindset when playing squash, and take inspiration from Jürgen Klopp, the manager of Liverpool F.C..

Before we look at what Mr. Klopp said, I want you to watch this video… https://youtu.be/EypA39omJsM OH MY GOD! This tourist in the Wansheng Ordovician, a theme park in China’s Chongqing city, is jumping across the wooden planks. The drop between the planks is well over 100 metres, meaning instant death on hitting the ground. As you can see, his safety harness was not attached properly or broke during his crossing. If you put those same planks on the floor and I asked you to jump over them, you probably wouldn’t hesitate. It’s clearly not difficult. The problem comes when the consequences for failure become serious. Now if I raised those planks to one metre off the ground, there will be some hesitation on your part and as the height increases, so does the anxiety. Paul Coll totally focused on the ball The key point in my showing you the video though is that when you focus on the process NOT the consequences many tasks as not that hard. In squash terms, if you focus on playing the point, and can forget about the match, you will have more success. I’ve used this video many times and written about it before, because I feel it’s a perfect illustration of “Process over Results”. if the man knew before he started that his harness was not attached, he wouldn’t have gone and he he had then he would probably have been thinking about what would happen if he fell. Just to be clear, I am not suggesting you go free climbing or do some dangerous activity, simply to practice focusing on the present! Stay safe. Back to Mr. Klopp Let look at what he said. The image is taken from the BBC website. Wise words He is talking about players who have been selected for the World Cup but have matches before then. Specifically it’s about getting injured, which is obviously a…

You probably know that the original name of squash was “Squash Rackets”, although now we just use “squash” and it seems the “rackets” part has been dropped by most governing bodies and associations.

Wellington Rackets Court in Berkshire

I’m not a historian, just a person interested in the history and development of the sport we love: Squash. Even though the events described occurred only a few hundred years ago, many of the details have been lost, but historians generally agree that Rackets started within debtors’ prisons some time in the 18th Century (between 1700 and 1799). As a side note, debtors’ prisons are an interesting rabbit hole to explore if you have time). Essentially, prisoners took the idea of Fives, which was simply hitting a ball against the wall with their hands, by using Real Tennis rackets. BTW, the game we now know as Tennis, wasn’t invented until 1872, but more on that another time. I’m unclear exactly what ball they used, probably the same ball as Fives, again more on that another time, but it’s worth pausing for a moment to talk about variety. Every Game Different Nowadays, all sports are so well defined that it’s hard for us to imagine a time when things were more like the wild west. At the time of these events, there were no sports associations. Each group of people played how they wanted. For example, one prison might have played with a side wall, others not, one with a bigger harder ball, the other softer and smaller. There was no standardisation at all. That theme followed on to squash, which didn’t standardise the court size and ball specifications until the early 20th century. So, here was have a group of people in prison, who played game with a ball and racket against a wall. This eventually spread outside the prisons to alleyways and other suitable places in and around London. Again, each game might have been slightly different, even the scoring could be adjusted to suit the needs of the players. Schools came next, and such was the popularity of the game that some schools began to build courts with…

Today, I want to talk about how the importance of each game over the course of a match, and how that might affect your tactics.

Does The ball Have To Bounce In Squash?

Does The ball Have To Bounce In Squash?

Let’s start by clarifying the difference between “game” and “match”, just in case you don’t know. A match is the total number of games, which are usually up to 11 points. Some matches are the best of 3 (games) meaning you need to win 2 games, and some matches are the best of 5, meaning you need to win 3 games. There are some exceptions to that but nothing we need to worry about today. For this article, I will use the best of 5 games system. Game One This should be used to “set the tone” of your approach to the match. If you plan to play long rallies, your objective here is to make each one as long as possible. Clearly, this is an approach that requires confidence in your fitness, as well as mental fortitude. It’s also the opportunity to look for weaknesses in your opponent’s play, especially if you have never played them before. Who wins the first game is rarely an indicator of who will win the match. That’s one of the beautiful things about racket sports, split into games, is that each game can be completely different from the previous one. More important, although again not a definitive guide, is the manner of the win. Before you think I am advising making the first game as long as possible, if your approach is to take your chances early, then commit to that. I’m not saying go for crosscourt nicks on every service return, just be clear on what is and what isn’t a chance. That approach favours the brave, but it also has lots of risks, so use with caution. I want you to finish the first game knowing that you have made your opponent work hard and that you have a better idea of what to try in the next game. Importance Level: low Game Two Things need to change or things need…