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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.

Back when I used to coach professionally, one thing that fascinated me was seeing different people respond to my coaching, particularly different professions.

Squash Tips: Turn Practice Skill Into Competitive Success

I developed a theme of asking some of my pupils what they did for a living and using that to frame squash concepts so that they might better understand them. I vividly remember two examples: Ballet dancer. One time, a professional ballet dancer came to me wanting to learn to play. He was a COMPLETE beginner. It was very interesting to see his movements become more fluid in a much shorter period of time than most other new players. He loved the idea of ghosting as it felt simply like rehearsal to him. However, what he wasn’t very good at was decision making. Over time, I tried to present the idea of shot selection as the idea of a dance that had certain fixed movements, but within a range of few options.Actuary. This was even more interesting. In case you don’t know an actuary is like an accountant who has to make risk assessments – it’s much more than that, but that description is enough for us now. His movement and technical skills were limited at best, but boy! did he use his skills to his advantage. We would discuss why this type of training was better for him than others and why some shots, while looking great if they won the point, didn’t often work. He seemed to click when I framed it like that. So I asked readers of the squash subreddit what they did for a living and tried to explain squash concepts in terms of their profession. I don’t guarantee that it will help you or even make sense, but I’ll try. I haven’t added the responses to my description here, but you can read them if you follow the link above. This article should be viewed as entertainment rather than a rigidly researched scientific analysis of job function in relation to squash tactics! Landscape Architect This is all about seeing the bigger picture and thinking…

You must master three things to hit the ball hard and with accuracy in squash. They are: Strength, Technique and Timing. Let’s look at why.

Vary Your Speed And Height

If you play enough squash, you will play against, or at least see, players who are small and light, yet they hit the ball with incredible ferocity. Conversely, you will see larger, seemingly strong players who never seem to be able to make that ball smack the wall. With regard to body: size doesn’t matter. Strength Did you know that an untrained muscles can become twice as strong without getting bigger? Big muscles aren’t necessarily strong muscles. I mean they are strong, but not necessarily as strong as smaller people. Being strong in squash, is not a case of having big muscles or looking like a bodybuilder. What you really need is power. Power is strength times speed. Being able to lift very heavy weight quite slowly is not as useful as being able to lift lighter weights faster. There’s also core strength that isn’t a fashionable 6-pack. You only need to do some yoga, pilates or certain Swiss ball exercises to realise that core strength can be found in very slim bodies. So how do you get this “Squash Strength”, well, I’m not a fitness expert, but I will give you a tip at the end. A good example of the right kind of strength is being able to not let the racket head twist on contact with the ball if the ball is slightly off-centre. It’s not something that can be trained in gyms. Technique Each sport has its own technique that works best with the equipment used. Tennis has a much heavier racket and ball, so therefore the technique used is very different from squash, and tennis doesn’t have the opponent and back wall to consider. Badminton also has different technique due to the lightness of the shuttlecock and racket. I’m not going to discuss the finer points of each shot’s technique in this article, but as far as drives are concerned a very good way to…

In today’s world of waste, pollution and climate-change, anything we can do to save ourselves money and help save the planet should be considered. Buying second-hand items does those two things. Here are some thoughts on buying second-hand squash rackets.

I see lots of posts on Reddit about which racket a beginner should buy. And sometimes their budget is quite high. But honestly, until somebody has tried quite a few different rackets, I feel it’s better for them to have a cheap one. Getting recommendations form the internet is helpful, but ultimately you need a racket you are comfortable with and the only way to know is to play with it. Starting Point This article is for new players or players who play once a week with friends. If you take squash seriously then a second-hand racket is probably not your best choice. However, if you have just started playing and need to buy a racket, and good option is second-hand. You can get a model that might be a few years old, but in today’s rackets that’s fine. Set A Budget Your first task is to set yourself a budget. Of course, that’s not for me to say, but you can get some great rackets for 25 UK pounds and I’ve even seen some good ones for under 10 pounds too. I wouldn’t recommend spending more than 30 pounds on a second-hand racket, because at this price you can get a new one. Do A Little Research If you are new to squash, it is overwhelming to find many brands and even more models of squash racket available for sale. Use the internet to search for the brand and model. Most can be found with their original price. Then you can make a knowledgable decision on whether the price is fair. if you can’t find the racket for sale, it might be quite old. That’s doesn’t mean you shouldn’t buy it, it just means it’s probably not a recent model. Places To Buy There are plenty of places to buy second-hand squash rackets online; Ebay, Wallapop, Shpock, CraigsList, Gumtree are the first ones I think of, but there will…

For older readers, thinking about wooden rackets may bring back some fond memories of heavy but beautiful rackets. For younger readers, the idea of such a cumbersome piece of equipment is almost laughable.

How Were Wooden Squash Rackets Made?

Nowadays, graphite rackets are very light and powerful. The power comes from the strength of the materials, which mean we have much larger heads. Picking up and playing with a wooden racket should give you an appreciation for the skills and strength professional players from the 60’s and 70’s had. I thought it might be interesting for you to learn a little of how those wooden rackets were made. The details below are meant solely as a guide and omit some minor processes. Even though I did work for Dunlop Slazenger for a few years, unfortunately production of wooden rackets had stopped before I started. I would have loved to see the craftsmen, and maybe craftswomen in action. Talking of which, in a few years there might not be anybody left alive who actually made wooden rackets. The art, might be dead. Let’s Start With The Woods Different types of woods were used in different parts of the racket. Specifically, the wood used in the head might be different from the throat or shaft. Instead of using one piece of thick wood, each racket was made with strips, also called veneers, which were glued together. They were dried to very specific moisture levels in a kiln. They couldn’t be too dry, otherwise the glue wouldn’t work properly. Different types of wood have different properties; some are more flexible than others and some are stronger. I don’t profess to know anything about each wood, but ash, beech, hickory, cane, bamboo, mahogany, and obeche (I’d never of this wood, until I started researching the subject!). Apparently lots of research and testing went into choosing the right woods for each specific part of the frame. Beginning The Process The first thing done was to weigh and match veneers. they had to be very precisely matched – you couldn’t have one side of the racket thicker than the other! The throat pieces were cut…

We all have our bad days. Days when no matter how hard we try, we just seem to play worse. Here are some things to try to break that spell.

5 Things To Try On Your Bad Days

It happens to every player at some point: you play badly. Perhaps you know the reason – maybe a tough training session the day before, maybe a little night with friends, maybe a stressful day at work or study. many times, there doesn’t seem to be an obvious reason. In this article, I am going to give you 5 things for you to concentrate on and one of those things should help. Each day you play badly, progress through the list to see what works best on that day. Don’t think you will find one solution for each time you play badly – it doesn’t seem to work like that for most people. One last point before we start. I make no guarantees that they will work. Sometimes we suck and we just have to try our best and accept it. I have embedded the video version of this article and the bottom of the page Number 0: Watch The Ball I’ve called this number 0 because this is something we should be doing all the time anyway. However, I have observed that one of the first things to check is whether you are watching the ball as it hits your strings. It’s a habit that needs to be formed and is easy to forget during tough matches. It will ensure you strike the ball better, with more power and control. keep you head still for a moment after you hit it to ensure you are balanced. Notice Greg’s head looking towards the ball. Number 1: The Racket Butt In the video below, I tape a little laser to the butt of the racket to show where my racket is pointing. I don’t expect you to do that, but I do suggest become more aware of where and in what direction the butt of the racket is when preparing to swing. The more consistent you are with that preparation, the…

There are plenty of differences between professional squash matches and amateur, club matches.
One of the less obvious is the high defensive counter-drop, which is what I am going to talk about today.

Please Play The Lob When Under Pressure!

In general, professional squash players play high percentage shots. A high percentage shot is a shots that is going to be successful most of the time. Amateurs often get tired and go for winners when the winner really wasn’t a good choice. Well, an actual winner is always a good choice, but that’s not what I meant. Going for a winner when you should be playing defensively is not as much fun nor as dramatic. Amateur and club players take the easy option and go for the winner. Professionals do that sometimes too, but not on points that matter. So let me set the scene… You have played a great boast and your opponent reaches the ball and has played a better drop than you expected. You manage to reach the ball but you are definitely in a defensive situation. Many amateurs go for a shot that either wins them the point (not often) or loses them the point, by aiming for a counter drop millimetres above the tin. The thinking is that to win the point, they have to hit a tremendous shot. But that is the problem! The thinking shouldn’t be about winning the point, it should be about staying in the rally to have a better chance of winning the point later on. This is why professionals will often play the high counter-drop in situations like these. It gives them enough time to be ready for the opponent’s return. When played well, i.e. tight to the side wall, it’s actually harder than most players think. Hand-Drawn Flight path Below is my terrible hand-drawn flight path of the ball. It will go more or less directly to the front wall, hit the front wall near the service line and then drop down near or even further back from the point of contact. When the ball is dropping almost vertically, there is no momentum for your opponent to hit…

I received two messages this week, both asking essentially the same question. It’s a situation that occurs quite a lot and the answer depends on how big the difference between the players is.

When You Practice Next, Do Something Silly

We often find ourselves in social situations where we are asked to play a game of squash against somebody at work, school, family or other situation where declining might seem rude. This article will hopefully give you some ideas on how to make the most of the situation. There are three differences that give us three different answers. I’m not suggesting these are the only answers to this issue, but these should help you. I also want to say that experienced players playing newer players is one of the good things about the squash community. The example scores I give I really just to give you an idea of the difference, rather than some scientific measurement. Huge Difference The reality here is that if the difference between the players is huge, then the better player will almost certainly be unable to get any benefit from playing the much weaker opponent. Not from their skills of fitness point of view, anyway. if the better player played to win, the score would be 11-0. In cases like this it’s really just a case of feeding the opponent with challenging shots. You could argue that by trying to feed in specific spots the better player is working on their accuracy, but honestly, I don’t feel it translates well into real matches. If you find yourself in this situation as the better player, just know that you are encouraging a new player who may become a lifelong squasher and that in itself is a good thing. Depending on your skill level, you could try using your non-dominant hand – I’ve had a lot of fun doing that. If you find yourself in this situation as the weaker player, just do your best to have fun and keep the rallies going for as long as possible. Almost No Difference The next case I want to talk about is when there is almost no difference between…