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Recreational

These articles are suitable for players who just play squash occasionally and for fun. Of course, that doesn’t mean you can’t be ambitious, it just means your primary objective is to enjoy playing rather than being competitive.

Here are 3 small things that could make a huge difference to your squash. Things that require little effort, but bring big improvements. We all want “something for nothing” and this is as close as you will get in squash.

THIS WAS AN APRIL FOOL’S JOKE VIDEO I MADE BACK IN 2020. I am posting it now as an article just for entertainment. By all means try the tips detailed below, but don’t take them seriously. There’s a video version of this article at the bottom of the page. Tip 1: Use string to stop your rackets from breaking When mass-produced rackets became popular, they all had a disclaimer on the side of the racket as shown below. When graphite and composite rackets became available, they still had that disclaimer. By the mid to late 1990s, that disclaimer had disappeared from rackets, but they still weren’t guaranteed not to break. Even modern rackets, which in general are much stronger than ever before, occasionally break. But with a little ingenuity, some string and 5 minutes of work, you can almost stop that from happening. This took me about 2 minutes to carefully wrap the strings around the frame. Take a length of string and wrap it around the top corners of your squash racket. As you can see from the image above, you don’t need to do too much, just the part of the frame that normally hits the wall. Of course, do this on both top corners of the racket. I just wrapped the last part of the string under previous parts and pulled tightly, but for a more permanent solution, use a little super glue. Adding the string, will change the weight and balance of the racket. it will become a little head heavier than it was, and you will need to see whether this is a big enough difference to warrant the extra protection. Some players have told me that the extra weight has helped them hit the ball better, but I haven’t noticed anything difference when I used it. Tip 2: Sleep with a racket in your hand Changing your grip can be one of the most…

Here are a few ideas for you to assess and focus on to improve your squash. There is also an accompanying video for those that prefer to watch rather than read.

Most of us want to improve, and I suppose that if you are reading this article, you do too. Over the years of coaching and helping people improve their squash, I found that there were a number of common elements in thew wide variety of players who did improve. Here are some of those elements, grouped around the idea of C. Number 1: Commitment This is no substitute for hard work. If you want to improve you have to accept the responsibility yourself and know that you’re going to have to put the time and the effort in, over a longer period of time. Nowadays, everybody wants that “quick fix”, that “secret tip”, that “short cut” that will save them time and effort, but honestly, when it comes to long-term improvement nothing beats hard work. Sure, nobody wants to waste their time and finding efficient and effective training methods is valid response to today’s busy schedules, but with commitment any improvement will be short-term – like buying a new racket and playing better for a few weeks. In this context, hard work means committing to doing the things you NEED to do, not just the things you LIKE to do. What exactly are those things? Well, probably fitness training, more solo drill time to improve your control and more conditioned games to improve your tactical play – but that’s where the responsibility comes in. You have to make those decisions about what to focus on. Just remember, quick fixes don’t last long and to really improve your game you will have to spend 6-weeks working hard to have a lasting benefit. I recognise that unlike pros, who can dedicate all their time to improving, you probably have limited time available. All I am saying is use the time you have effectively. Number 2: Concentration The ability to concentrate on the right things at the right time is key to playing…

Our mindset during a match is often heavily influenced by the scoring system used. By training with different system, we can often change the way we think.

Hit And Move, Not Hit, Watch And Move!

Let’s start by defining exactly what a scoring challenge is. I decided that the game must remain exactly the same, so no conditions on where the ball bounces or what shots each player is allowed to play. The main objective of this article is to get you see that when the scoring changes, so does your mindset during points. That’s key to understanding “how” you play your game. For example, are you too aggressive on crucial points or are you too defensive on ordinary points? Anyway, let’s get started. Anyone For Tennis? Tennis has an interesting scoring system because it has lots of crunch points. A crunch point is a point that decides something. So not only does tennis have lots of game points and set points, it also have potentially multiple crunch points per game. With squash’s Point Per Rally (PAR), that excitement is less common. By playing squash with tennis scoring, there is also the point about the server staying the same for one game. This gives the server the advantage because they get two serves, but also because they can build up a rhythm even if they lose the point. I have seen squash clubs play tournaments with tennis scoring and it’s a lot of fun. Benefits: It’s a great way to focus your mind crucial points. Middle Age The first player to 41 points wins. Don’t panic! Forty one may seem like a lot of points, but it’s probably less than what you need to a normal PAR match. The minimum required to win a squash match is 33 points, but the likelihood is that you will win 3-1 or 3-2. If you do, then you may win more than 41 points. That said, it is a tough scoring system to use because it requires patience and focus. Each player is allowed to ask for two breaks at any time. This allows some strategic control that…

Shadow Swinging is the process of swinging a racket without the ball. In the same way that ghosting is playing squash without an opponent.

Both Ghosting and Shadow Swinging allow you to improve your fitness/strength and improve your technique. When you sue a ball on court, your mind immediately jumps to the the outcome: how cleanly you make contact with the ball and where it goes. Correct technique is often sacrificed to ensure a better shot – at least in the short term. Anybody who has tried to improve their swing technique will know that often you seem to get worse before you get better. Not always, but often. By swinging without the ball, the outcome has been completely removed and your focus is on the process, i.e. the swing itself. The number of repetition that can be performed in a set time increases without the ball, so you can actually spend less time improving your swing faster! Almost sounds too. good to be true, but it’s not. There are three aspects I want to tell you about to ensure you perform Shadow Swinging with the maximum benefit. Use A Mirror Even players who have never been coached, unconsciously know what a proper swing looks like. Especially if you have watch pros play, either live or via YouTube. But unless you can see your whole swing yourself that unconscious knowledge is useless. By using a mirror you will be able to see your swing and make small adjustments. Don’t be afraid to try different angles and different preparation positions. I find a glass back wall is perfect, but that requires you to be at a facility. A large window also works very well, especially if the other side is dark, so for example, it’s night time and you are in the room with the light on. In my opinion you need a full-size view to really benefit, but if you have no other option, then a front facing selfie camera on your phone might be okay. Do It Slowly – At First Shadow Swinging…

Firstly, sorry if this post is a bit of a ramble. I have been thinking about this for a while, but can’t seem to express myself clearly. Here goes…

Refereeing Inconsistency

The squash subreddit, other forums, facebook groups and in-club discussions often talk about rules, their interpretation and application in real world situations. It’s clearly an important aspect for the squash community as a whole and for players individually. I have no doubt that the rule-makers within the game have done their best to make those rules as clear-cut as possible, with as little room as possible for interpretation, but you only need to watch a refereeing decision clip and see the difference of opinion, even from very experienced players, to know that it’s still a tricky subject. If you play competitive squash, then you have probably marked, and for some it’s a minefield, especially with the pressure of spectators standing or sitting next to you. The fairly newly launched World Squash Officiating website and course seem fantastic. I haven’t researched much into the course, but the presentation looks great. But all of the course and resources I have seen, are for refereeing somebody else’s match. Now, I freely admit that knowing the rules and how to interpret and apply them is absolutely essential, but how does that help two players who simply play recreationally? What percentage of matches per year are played with a separate referee? I don’t know, maybe 10%, maybe 50% maybe even 80%! What’s needed are resources and maybe even course purely from the players perspectives. Looking down on a court from the balcony or through a glass back wall is totally different from standing on court and seeing things from the first-person view. Distances feel different, angles less or more sharp etc. Ideally, I suppose, courses would be taught from both perspectives and players could make a decision, discuss the reasons, then see a recording from the ref’s vantage point as a comparison. These courses would be purely for the benefit of players, although, I do feel that refs might also benefit from feeling their decisions…

There’s a lot of misconceptions and misunderstandings regarding squash rules and one of the biggest areas is serve and service return.

Can I Use A Red Dot Ball In Squash Solo Drills?

Let’s get straight to the point. You can stand anywhere to receive serve as long as you don’t interfere with the server. It really is that simple. But there are two sections of the rules that must be considered. Interference The same rules for interference during a rally apply during a serve. So, yes, the returner *can* stand anywhere they want as long as they don’t interfere with the server. What to stand in the front corner on the same side as the server? Sure, go ahead, but you won’t reach the ball. Want to stand in the back corner on the same side as the server? Sure, go ahead, but you’ll probably won’t reach the serve. Obviously, the best place to stand is in the corner where the ball is going, but there isn’t one exact spot that you *have* to stand on. Depending on your confidence in your ability to volley, how fast your reactions are and most importantly, the kind of serves your opponent hits, your position to receive serve will vary ever so slightly. Distraction The next point to consider is distraction. You can’t be jumping up and down and singing when your opponent is about to serve. You can’t be trash talking to them as they serve, although that would be kind of fun. Trash talking is when you say things like “Your serve is the worst serve I have ever seen. I’m going hit it harder than your father used to hit you as a child” or similar! What you do want to do is stop your opponent’s ball from getting too deep into the back corner and limiting your options. To do that you could certainly move forward as the begin their swing. Or turn your shoulders a little if you think they are going to try to hit a hard, low serve down the middle. Rush Your Opponent At lower club levels,…

The rules state that there must not be prolonged contact between the ball and racket (strings). If this occurs it is often called a carry.

Please Play The Lob When Under Pressure!

As I have just stated in the introduction. A carry is when the ball stays on the strings for longer than a normal shot takes. In fact, here is the exact wording under the definitions section: CORRECTLY: When the ball is struck with the racket, held in the hand, not more than once, and without prolonged contact on the racket. The rule says “racket” but it means strings, because it defines racket as the frame, strings and grip. I’ve seen this shot/action called a scoop, as the movement of the racket almost certainly describes a curved trajectory. It occurs most often with beginners trying to get the ball out of the back corners. I can actually be dangerous and I have seen a few near-injuries because of it. I’ve also seen it happen at the very front of the court with low, soft shots, where the player has got their racket underneath the ball and somehow managed to scoop it across the front wall. Many times beginners don’t even know they are doing it as they haven’t yet developed the awareness through their hands about different types of contact with the ball. Over time and practice, players get better at hitting the ball more cleanly, with straight frame trajectories. Ignore the tongue and focus on the balance, wrist and almost perfectly-centered contact point of the ball and strings. Let’s Look at Some Other Similar Contact Issues. If the frame makes contact with the ball and it is clean, i.e. hits only one place once, then the shot is legal. However, if it hits the frame and strings on two separate occasions, although very quickly, it is illegal. Honestly, that happens even less often than the carry. The ball is NOT allowed to hit the hand, or any other part of your body, but if can hit any part of the racket and still be legal. However, the racket must be…