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Improver

These articles are for players who have been playing over about 6 months. The term “improver” really refers to somebody beyond the total beginner stage, but not quite a club player.

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…

One thing I try to encourage players to do is share a court when doing solo drills. Many players think this is crazy: if there’s another player on court, why don’t we play?

Sharing A Squash Court For Solo Drilling

It’s that kind of thinking that shows those players don’t really understand the benefit of solo drilling. I suppose you could argue, that they do realize how valuable solo drilling is, but want to take advantage of having a partner. And a lot depends on how much time you have available for your squash. One other aspect is the cost. Not everybody can afford to pay for a court just to do solo drills, and I full appreciate that point of view. That’s why you should schedule a training session once-per-week with a partner, where you spend the first 15 minutes doing solo drills (I’ll give you some ideas in a moment), the next 15 minutes doing pairs drills and the final 15 minutes playing conditioned games. if you court times are different, then adjust the times accordingly. This way, you will get the benefit of the three main types of training methods – just like a pro! Nick Matthew has spent many hours doing solo drills.. Shared Court Solo Drills When you think about it, unless you are running around, and there are some solo drills where you go from corner to corner!, most of the time you are either on one side of the court or in one half (front or back), so sharing a court really is quite easy and safe. Safe, that is, if you remember that there is another player around and if you shot goes to the other side of the court, you can’t just walk over and get it! Many regular viewers of my videos (you do know I make videos, don’t you?) know that I promote the idea of performing solo drills is sets and and mega sets. A set is a combination of drills, mostly a power-based drill, followed by a skilled-based drill. This allows you to keep the ball hot, provide a fitness workout and keep things from getting boring.…

Yes, there is nothing in the rules to stop you, but more importantly why do you want to?

Can You Hit The Ball With Two Hands In Squash?

Let me start by saying that as a coach, I feel it’s fine to allow pupils freedom to try and use different swing techniques. Humans are not machines and prescribing exactly how a player must swing can be counterproductive. There are limits though, because outside of that limit the chance of eventually creating something powerful, accurate AND consistent is very small. The player in the featured photograph is called ex-professional squash player called Peter Marshall and as you can see he is using two hands to prepare to hit the ball. Follow the link if you are interested to learn more about him, but I will tell you that he reached world number 2, behind Jansher Khan. Coaches and advisors had been trying to get him to change from two to one hand for years, some hoping he would “grow out of it” as he got older. And he is the key to peter’s use of two hands: when he was young, he was quite small for his age and the racket was big. It’s not unusual for small children to hold the racket in two hands when they first start playing, but as they get older then get stronger and stop using both hands. Unless you are a small child, which I will assume you aren’t, there really isn’t any benefit to using two hands. You can’t reach further, you can’t hit the ball more consistently, you can’t hit the ball harder. It’s often used due to a lack of good technique which may be caused by not having coaching or by playing completely isolated from experience players. Of course, you see it all the time in tennis and you can hit the ball harder with two hands in tennis, but the swing is different, the rackets are heavier, the ball is heavier. One thing to notice is that even tennis players use one hand when stretching for the…

I am sure you have heard of Squash (duh!), tennis, racketball, and badminton, but the fact is, there are over 25 racket sports and this is the first in a monthly series exploring and introducing those sports.

Squash Tennis

When squash was first “exported” to the United States of America, they built squash courts before they had equipment! Sounds stupid nowadays, but such is how new things are created. So basically, in the 1880’s, the boys at St. Paul’s School, in Concord, New Hampshire had some squash courts but no rackets or balls to play with. So what do you do? You find the next best thing and that happened to be the recently introduced game of tennis. So those enterprising youngsters took their rackets and the tennis ball and Voila! Squash tennis was born. This is the back of postcard describing squash tennis. And just like squash rackets, which by the way used to be the official name of squash (just in case you didn’t know), the actual rules didn’t really develop or at least were codified until 30 or so years later. Nowadays we understand and expect the size of courts, rackets and balls to be strictly controlled and adhered to, but back then, and I only slightly hesitate to use the term, things were more like the Wild West. Court sizes varied between locations, as they did in early squash. The balls used in Squash Tennis have also changed over the years, from originally regular tennis balls to specialist green high-pressure ones. As I have mentioned, courts sized varied until they eventually chose a size that was close enough to a regular squash (as it was originally played on anyway) that people could use those too. Echoes On Modern Squash There a sentence in the Wikipedia page that says “A faster ball was preferred by advanced players, but it discouraged novices.” and it’s fascinating that Squash Tennis had the same issue as modern squash in the sense that advanced players wanted or required a different ball than novices and I can’t help but feel that is crucial to the development of the sport. Dead And Gone…

If you were to perform a search on the internet, I mean not right now, but after this article, you would find some different definitions of strategy and tactics, but I feel confident in saying that most agree with what I am about to say.

What's the difference between strategy and tactics in squash?

The relationship between business and sport has never been closer, in fact nowadays most sports are businesses! And that connection goes back further in the way players play and the way businesses run. Both are about competing against an enemy, in the case of business we call them competitors, in the case of sports opponents, but sometimes competitors too, especially in sports where you are not against just one individual at a time; athletics is a good example. But enough abstract, let’s get down to details! Strategy is the overall plan to win, tactics are the methods used to follow the strategy. So far, so good. Let’s look at some specific squash examples. Player One Player one is an average club player, who plays two or three times per week depending on their schedule. They may do some fitness training once a week as well. On thing that stands out about them though is how tall they are. Plenty of jokes about “What’s the weather like up there?” and “Bump your head a lot?” the thing is though that Player one wins matches against better players because they volley a lot. They volley a lot because they can, because the have great reach and it’s easier to stick their racket out, block the ball and make their opponent do all the running. Sneaky, or what? So what would be my strategy? Well, the first thing I would try, and I stress that it might not work, but you have to have a gameplan!, is to tire them out. That’s my first option because tall players have to work hard to move around a squash court. It’s one of the reasons they volley – they want shorter rallies. You might think that’s it’s easier for them to get around the court, “they’ve got long legs!” you say, but the bigger you are, the more work you have to do. Ever noticed…

Yes, there’s no other answer, so let me repeat it.

Should I wear Squash Goggles?

Should I wear Squash Goggles?

Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes. EVERY SQUASH PLAYERS SHOULD AT LEAST TRY THEM Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes. A LITTLE DISCOMFORT IS WORTH THE PROTECTION Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes. WE WEAR HELMETS WITHOUT COMPLAINING Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes. THEY ARE NOT EXPENSIVE Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes. THEY WILL LAST FOR YEARS Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes.…

The simple and direct answer is YES! However, like most activities, it also depends on doing it properly. Having good technique when swimming is just as important as having good swing technique when playing squash. In fact, it might be more important due to the potential for injury. I’ve seen some terrible strokes that look like they do more harm to the person than good! So make sure you stroke technique is not terrible.

Online Squash Coaching

Squash players can suffer from back, hip and knee issues because, and let’s be honest, squash is a very physically demanding sport. Some courts do not have a sprung floor, this means that moving around a court for 45 minutes puts a lot of pressure on your body, especially if you are not a good mover. To compensate for this pounding, exercising in water allows the body to recover, but also allows you to exercise your cardio system and your muscles, while giving your bones a rest. Often people ask questions like, “How often should I swim?” and “What type of swimming should I do?” and the answer is more or less the same for everybody. Anything less than once per week is more useful for the mind than the body. If you swim less than once per week, you body will not become accustomed to the exercise and it won’t really benefit you. This is of course assuming that you are playing squash at least once per week and some other training too. Perhaps make swimming a regular session the day before your weekly match or club night. That way, you do some exercise without straining yourself too much. I probably won’t recommend more than twice a week either, simply because the time might be better spent on court doing solo or pair drills. Swimming should be seen a supplementary to your core squash training. Use it to give your body a rest from gravity. The next question is what type of swimming. Well, the first part of the answer is a variety of strokes. Ignoring the butterfly, which most people can’t do, if you can do the other three strokes: front crawl, backstroke and breast stroke, do them. All three work the arms, shoulders, back and chest, but the breast stroke is great for hip strength and mobility. You can mix some long swims with shorter more intense…