Do Something Every Single Day To Improve Your Squash!

Advanced

These articles are for advanced players, who almost certainly plays tournaments and other competitive matches.

The better you get, the less important the serve is, but the more important the return. At lower levels, both are incredibly important, yet generally neglected. Change that today!

Practice Your Serve And Service Return

As I said in the introduction, the better you get, the less important your serve becomes. The chances of hitting a winning serve get smaller and smaller, the better you get because your ability to volley or make split-second decisions improves. That’s why you don’t see many, if any, winning serves. Professionals, are simply trying to stop their opponent from having an advantage. It’s also why every now and again, a pro squash player hits a weak serve – they have got into the wrong frame of mind. At lower levels, especially at beginner and improver levels, the serve is a HUGE weapon because returning a good serve is quite hard for new players. The variety of successful serves is also important as new players find it hard to adapt to different serves. Move up the level in skill and this ability to adapt is much better trained. So Let’s Practice Those Serves! The first thing you can do is agree to play a 20serve game with your partner. This will allow you to try for a really high lob-type serve and if it goes out, it doesn’t matter because you have another one. Another option is to have 5 extra serves per game. That adds a new dimension to the idea, because you have to chose when to attempt a great serve. The next thing you can do is actually practice serves. Place a target on the wall as high up as you can reach, a long balloon is my favourite but a folded piece of A4 paper stuck on the masking/painters tape is good too. Then using a red dot, hit 10 serves, remembering to move to the T afterwards. Alternate this with some other hitting if you are doing a solo drill. Alternatively you can agree with your playing partner to practice serves at the end of each game. Video Squash Coaching from the comfort of your…

Did you know that every year there is an event called the World Squash Day? No? Read on to learn more about it and how you can participate.

World Squash Day

The World Squash Day was started back in 2001 by Alan Thatcher, who also runs SquashMad and is an annual event to promote squash through club-organized activities. The range of activities is only limited by your imagination, they include, but are certainly not limited to, club open days, free taster sessions, free coaching sessions, tournaments, club nights, playing squash in unusual location and parties. Social media is used extensively to promote the event, with a 100-day and 50-day countdown. Squash players safe distancing at Chennai Squash Centre in India on World Squash Day 2020 Food, Glorious Food! Who doesn’t like cakes? It’s not just sporing events that happen during World Squash Day, many clubs have barbecues and other cooking events. These all go to show the friendly and welcoming nature of the squash community. Another tradition during the World Squash day is to bake cakes with a connection to squash. Those cakes below look very tasty to my hungry eyes. Check out these scrumptious cakes from Leamington, UK The last few years have been very difficult for squash players and squash clubs, but these events remind people of the community spirit that has always been seen in squash. The date for 2022 is 15th October (my birthday, cough cough), so start thinking about what your club, group, team, facility could do to be part of such a special event. World Squash Federation & The Professional Squash Association When the World Squash Day started, it was just a few unofficial events, but it is supported by the WSF and the PSA, both promoting and contributing to its current success. Of course, national associations around the world all participate too and it really does have a global feel. Visit the WorldSquashDay website to find out how you can participate this year. Let’s make it the biggest and best yet!

Yesterday, I explained why playing against different players can be better than playing against better players. Today, I want to explain how conditioned games against weaker players can improve your squash.

Switching From Narrow To Broad Focus In Squash

The gentleman in the featured image is Jahangir khan. Considered by some to be the greatest male squash player to ever have played. And if he had followed the advice that many people blindly repeat: “You should only ever play with people better than you” he would never have played anybody! Of course it’s not that simple and he did lose to people occasionally. Yesterday, in the article entitled Play Different Players Not Just Better Players – Part 1, I talked about how playing different players can be more valuable than only playing better players. Today, I want to talk about getting the most out of the time you play weaker players. Let’s first of all assume, that you are good enough to win 8/9 times out of 10. If you only win 6 or 7 times out of 10, then I would suggest setting a goal of 6 wins in a row and use those matches as practice for matchplay and concentration. Conditioned games are a form of practice where one or both players limit what shots they are allowed to play. With careful use of the type of game, stronger and weaker players can both get an enjoyable and valuable training sessions completed. Are they playing or training? Hard to tell. More Limitations The bigger the difference between the players, the greater the limit of the better player. I was lucky enough to spend quite a few hours practicing with Jahangir and for a lot of that time, although not all of it, he was only allowed to hit straight drives to the back. I was allowed to hit anywhere. It might seem like I would win easily, but you would be wrong. Very rarely did I win a game playing this system. You need to be safe, just because you know that they have to hit straight, doesn’t mean you can boasts the ball, walk to the…

Whose responsibility is it to make a sport grow? National organizations, The World Squash Federation, The Professional Tour? Club coaches? Equipment manufacturers?

Introduce A Friend To Squash

Yes, all those people and groups I just mentioned do have some responsibility towards keep squash alive and growing, but you know who else could do it? YOU! That’s right, you. Of course, you don’t have any actual responsibility or duty to do that and I am not suggesting you stand on a street corner with a sign saying “TRY SQUASH – Ask Me How”, but if an opportunity arises at work, or college/university then don’t be afraid to encourage people to at least try it. Set An Example What better way to do that than to offer to play with somebody. I feel that squash players are generally very friendly and I feel confident that I could walk into nearly any squash club in the world and say that I am in town for a few days and looking for a game, and would be welcomed. Nobody is expecting you to suddenly become a coach or trainer, but offering to let somebody try squash for the first time can be like a domino effect. perhaps the person you introduce to squash loves it and then introduces it to two other people and 10 years later squash is popular again! Take the first step to helping somebody start squash. Set A Goal I challenge you to introduce one new person to squash before the end of 2022. All I ask is that you spend 15 minutes with them on court, letting them hit the balls and run around a little. Then after that, if they didn’t have fun, at least you can say you tried. The more people play, the better for everybody. The more courts will be built, the easier it will be to find clubs, tournaments and opponents. Everybody benefits and all it might take is for each person who plays squash to encourage one other person per year to try it. Never To Soon So often I…

There are different kinds of coaches. Coaches whose objective is to get as many people playing and enjoying squash as possible. Coaches who focus on elite performers and helping them become the best they can be.

Participation Coaches

The first thing I want to say is that reaching the top in any given should not be the objective of every player that plays squash. As a community and sport, I feel we often put too much emphasis on the skill level of players rather than the enjoyment level. Organizations promote the “elite” coach pathway as the expense of the “participation” coach. As coaches we are fed the idea that to be considered a successful coach, you need to coach “elite” players. This article argues against that idea. This is an issue that plagues all sports. If I ask you to name a famous coach in your given sport, I have little doubt that you would mention the coach of a famous player or team. The fact they the coach is famous must mean they are connected with professional sport. And I am not saying that those coaches and players are not important to the sport, they are. But they are the tip of the triangle. The top, the elite, and the chances are that without the base of the triangle they wouldn’t exist. What Is A Participation Coach? A participation coach is a coach whose primary objective is to encourage players to enjoy playing squash. They don’t have to be well-trained or highly experienced. In my travels around the UK with the Dunlop Roadshow, I was lucky enough to work with many excellent participation coaches. In fact some were “better” at this sort of coaching than professional coaches – especially young professional players who thought that simply being a great player was enough to make them a coach (That really annoys me!). Being a participation coach is not about knowing exactly how to swing a racket or much more importantly about how best to transition from their current swing to a better one, it’s about providing a challenging environment for groups of people of a similar standard to…

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 or recreational 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 certainly…

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…