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These articles are for players who have recently started squash, although even improvers and recreational players may benefit from reading some them.

Getting better at something is generally not rocket science. It’s often a case of setting aside time to practice. The problem is that most people don’t like practicing. Especially when it’s hard work.

The Power of Practice in Squash

Over the years, lots of players have asked me what’s the best way to improve. When I tell them they just have to work hard and practice, they pause and say they are looking for the tricks, shortcuts or secrets that will get them there without the hard work. I can’t blame them for wanting to improve with as little work as possible, after all today’s society is about “quick-fixes”, productivity and efficiency, so why not think in the same terms when it comes to sports? The reality is that 99% of players can’t get better without spending quite a few hours on the court. Yes, there does seem to be a few individuals who improve with very little effort, but I am sorry to be the one to tell you that you are not one of those people. How do I know? Because if you were you would know it from a young age. Where does that leave you? It leaves you with a choice. Option 1: continue looking for shortcuts, hoping to find some trick that will catapult you to the top of your club’s ladder or league, and dreaming of reaching your potential.Option 2: Commit to a scheduled training programme that focuses on the areas you need to improve. Video Squash Coaching from the comfort of your sofa! The second option doesn’t need to take hours every day or week, it just needs to be planned and followed. Only have 20 minutes most days to improve your squash? No problem, 20 minutes is better than nothing. On another day, maybe you could get to the court a little early and do some solo drills or light ghosting. Being committed to practicing doesn’t mean turning your life into a Rocky movie. It means accepting that just playing squash is never enough to really improve and reach your potential. Yes, even if you are overweight, started squash in your…

So the first question you might have is “What are foot faults in squash?”.

Foot Faults in Squash

When serving in squash, you MUST have one foot inside the service box. The service box is the square on both sides of the court. The short line, is the line that goes from one sidewall to the other. This line indicates where the service box starts, but also is used for where the ball must bounce (I’ll talk about that in another article). If you don’t have one foot inside the service box when you serve, then that is a foot fault. The reality is that for referees, it can be quite difficult to see if a player really does have their foot inside the box as they make contact with the ball, and the reason is that smart players are walking towards the T as the hit the serve. The second question might be “Why are smart players walking towards the T when they serve?” and it is a good question. Fortunately the answer is simple: You should be on the T BEFORE your opponent can hit the service return. Too often, club players serve, stand, watch and THEN react to the service return. Video Squash Coaching from the comfort of your sofa! Not only should a good serve make it difficult to return well, your movement should also ensure that whatever type of return is made, you are able to reach it. For right-handed players, moving towards the T when serving on the right-hand side of the court is best done by serving with a backhand shot, again, more on that in another article. The key is to make contact with the ball with you foot as close to the line, but not touching it, as possible. That way you are close to the T without breaking the rules. From now on, try to ensure you are moving forward towards the T in a naturally flowing movement.

I recently read somebody advise another squash player to “Watch the ball at all times”. It’s one of those commonly repeated phrases, that amateur players and amateur coaches like to repeat, thinking it’s A: true and B: shows they know what they are talking about.

Do Not Watch The Ball All The Time In Squash

The piece of advice I often give is “Watch the ball hit your strings”. Essentially, you do that to ensure better contact, to have better balance and give less information to your opponent. In this short squash article, I am going to discuss why it is IMPOSSIBLE (Yes, capitals!) to watch the ball at all times. Putting aside the fact that the ball is often obscured by your opponent’s body. The reality is that not only can you not watch the ball at all times, you don’t even WANT to watch the ball at all times! When you watch the ball onto your strings, you can’t look up and follow the ball’s flight as well. It would ruin your balance, and the ball is just moving too fast. You would also probably give yourself a headache after a few minutes. Ask yourself this:Why do you need to watch the ball after it has hit your strings? Don’t you know where it is going? Accept that for a few short moments after you have hit the ball, you won’t be watching it. Now let’s look at the other time you shouldn’t be totally focused on the ball. Club players should be watching their opponents when the opponent is about to play the ball. You get more information from your opponent’s body position than you do from the ball. Video Squash Coaching from the comfort of your sofa! Do this thought experiment: Imagine you have just boasted the ball to the front. Your opponent moves forward to hit the ball and just before they hit it, time pauses. 1. Now imagine that the player disappears and all you can see is the ball. Where is the ball going to be hit to? You have no idea! You have no idea because the ball has no idea where it is going to be hit to. 2. Now imagine that the ball disappears and…

Knowing how something is tested is important. Having a consistent testing method is vital to ensure all opinions are based on the same criteria.

How I Create My Racket Reviews

Background Before I talk about the process, I would quickly like to talk about how I developed my process. Back in the late 1990s I was squash promotions manager for Dunlop Slazenger. One of my responsibilities was the testing of prototype rackets. I did this myself, but also by sending them to selected Dunlop professional players and contracted coaches. I developed a report format that allowed me to collate the feedback so I could report to my boss and the product development manager. The process described below is an evolution of that report format. Full Disclosure Unless otherwise stated, all the equipment I review is supplied to me free of charge. I return any equipment supplied if the manufacturer asks me to.  If the manufacturer decides to allow me to keep the equipment, I then use the rackets in videos I make and also let local players use the rackets.  I DO NOT write preferential reviews based on whether I keep the equipment or not. Affiliate Sales: NO! I DO NOT participate in any affiliate sales programs. Any links I include take you to the retailer or manufacturer directly.I DO NOT receive money in any form, from ANYBODY to write reviews.The reviews, whether they are video or text, are my honest thoughts and impressions. The Difference Between Short-Term And Mid-Term And Long-Term Tests. At the time of writing this article all my reviews have been conducted via mid-term tests. Short-Term: This is less than 30 minutes to test a racket. This may occur because I have met somebody at a tournament and don’t have long to use and evaluate the racket.Mid-Term: These tests are usually about 5 hours of use, although not in one session. I would estimate 5 sessions of about one hour is normal.Long-Term: I consider a long-term test to be 3 months or above of regular weekly or even daily use. The Testing Process I perform the…

Here is a simple, yet beneficial solo drill for you to try.

Sharing A Squash Court For Solo Drilling

Starting about 2 metres away from the front wall and face the side wall and stand close to it. start to hit some volleys to yourself (forehands if you are right-handed, backhands if you are left-handed). Keep you writs firm and make the shoulder do the work. Hit about five and start to slowly move away from the sidewall but parallel with the front wall. When you get near the left sidewall wall, move a little further away from the front wall and then start to move forward again. All this time you should be volleying the ball. If you make a mistake, go back to the beginning. Your objective is to make it past the short line, so about mid court. Advanced players should be able to make it all the wall to the back wall. This is a touch exercise, both mentally and for your shoulders. Give yourself 5 minutes break by doing something else and then try it on the other side. Keep a not of how many volleys you do without a mistake.

What is the serve? The first shot of the rally, right? A shot to get the rally started, right? Technically, yeah, both answers are correct, but why not think bigger?

The Benefits Of Solo Practice In Squash

Don’t think about “serving the balls” but “starting the rally with the toughest shot you can play”.The best first shot really depends on your opponent, but the minimum you should be aiming for is to stop them hitting a winner and ideally force them to play a weak return.One small problem club players face in this regard is what the professionals do.Watching on a screen never really shows how difficult their serves are. How often have you seen aces in squash. *Even after all these years in squash, I’m never sure if that’s the correct word for a winning serve!*You also see many professionals hit fantastic nicks from serves and this can give the false impression that professionals just hit the ball without much thought to start the rally. They don’t. I can guarantee that if you were to face their serves you would find them quite difficult to return well.Almost all good serves hit the side wall before the returner has a chance to hit it.A ball coming off the side wall is one of the hardest for club players to hit straight, that’s why so many returns for difficult serves are hit crosscourt.When you serve make it as difficult as possible for your opponent to hit good return.In fact, when playing practice matches, make sure you go for some high serves, even if you hit them out – it’s worth the practice.

One piece of advice I give and live by is “never be thirsty”. Drink small amounts of water at regular intervals.

Never get Thirsty

If you are thirsty, that’s your body telling you that you have left it really late to drink. It’s a delicate balance between rushing to the bathroom all the time and not drinking enough. Your body NEEDS water to survive and being dehydrated, even a little, will significantly reduce your physical capabilities. You will need to find the right amount of water for YOUR situation, but start today with at least 1.5 litres and adjust accordingly. It’s such a simple topic but with a little effort can bring a real difference in your performance. I have a sports drink bottle that I fill 4 times a day. I use that because it makes it easy to know how much I have drunk. One last thing, it IS possible to drink too much but you would need to be drinking over 5 litres per day for that to happen, but that doesn’t mean you should be drinking 4 litres per day either! Just be sensible.