Do Something Every Single Day To Improve Your Squash!

Beginner

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

Are you looking for that one trick that will suddenly make your squash great? Have you tried the latest fitness equipment that promises to maximize your time and abilities? Are you using the latest training methods that will help you unlock your hidden potential? Do you eat the right super foods and take the newest supplements? Are you using the lightest racket currently available, with quantum-grade technology? Because if you are, then you are being lied to, you are being misled, you are being cheated.

The Secret To Great Squash

I am sorry to be the one to tell you this, but it is true! There is no “Secret to Great Squash”.  No new racket with revolutionary technology you buy will suddenly make you a better squash player (yes, you may hit the ball better, but that’s different). No one new training method will turn you into Super Squash Player Hero®. No new super-clever tactics will make you beat your nemesis. And that’s the good news, because if there were then everybody would be their own Super Squash Player Hero® and nobody would be better than the rest. It’s like everybody suddenly grew 5 centimetres overnight. The people who were tall are still tall. WAIT! That’s The Good News? Yes, although it’s not the news you wanted to hear. We all want that easy trick, but luckily there isn’t one. So why is it good news then? Because the secret to great squash is hard work. Yeah, I know, you’ve heard it all before, and you are right, you have heard it before and do you know why you’ve heard it before? Because it’s true. In all my years of coaching, I have never seen anybody who put in 6 weeks of hard and smart training and not see a significant improvement. There is no such thing as overnight success. Those people who seemingly became successful overnight, have put months, if not years of hard work into their game (or whatever it is they do paint, play instruments, dance etc) before that success. Mr. Gaultier has spent many thousands of hours on court training. 6 Weeks! Six weeks may seem like a long time, but any less and your body doesn’t have time to really change. Remember, getting stronger is actually growing new fibers, getting more flexible is growing longer fibers (not exactly, but close enough as descriptive aid). of course, training is not about just physically getting fitter, it’s…

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!

The simple answer is NOW! There is no reason to wait. Well, there might be, for example don’t start coaching if you know you have to miss the next month or more’s worth of lessons!

When Should You Get Squash Coaching?

The ideal time to have lessons from a squash coach is when you first start playing, I mean BEFORE you start playing, but that’s not easy or possible for a lot of people. But I am guessing that you already have started playing, right? That’s fine, and the sooner you get coaching, the better. The longer you leave it the more bad habits you will develop. We all know that it’s harder to stop bad habits than it is to start good ones. How Often? Right, so we have established that the sooner you get squash coaching, the better. So how often should you have lessons? Well, a lot depends on how much you play. If you only played once a week, then a lessons every 2/3/4 weeks would be fine. If you played three times a week, then a lesson a week would be great. It’s about getting the right balance between practice/games and coaching. You need time in real matches and games to put into practice what you learned from the coach. If you don’t play enough in-between the lessons, there little time to improve. But, if you want to just visit the coach and not play other people that’s fine too. Only Coaching?! In the past, I have had pupils who only came to me – that’s right, they didn’t play with anybody else – ever! That’s clearly not the best way to improve, but there could be valid reasons for that. In one of my cases, it was because they just wanted to have some exercise and try to improve. They weren’t a competitive person and the thought of playing against other people didn’t interest them, even for fun. The reality is that improvement is much, much slower if you only go to the coach. I’m Too Old! Are you? Are you older than 84? Because that’s the oldest pupil I have ever had and YES!,…

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…

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…

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…