Do Something Every Single Day To Improve Your Squash!

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.

It can be very tempting to want to hit the squash ball as hard as you can. The sound it makes and the feeling you get seem to make it worthwhile, but you need to ask yourself “What benefit did it bring?”. Unless you can hit the ball hard AND accurately, you might be better to hit with less speed.

How Hard Should I Hit The Squash Ball?

Hitting the ball hard in squash requires great timing. Timing is not about being strong, it’s about using the right muscles at the right time. This skill takes practice and probably coaching. Another issue to consider is that hitting the squash ball hard or even trying to hit the ball hard could be dangerous. You might hit somebody, either with the ball or your racket. I don’t want you to think I am telling you not to hit the ball hard. I am telling you that you shouldn’t be doing it all the time when playing squash. Remember, it will give you less time to get back into position for your opponent’s return. In fact, the speed you hit the ball, should be judged against the speed you can recovery. Choose your hard shot carefully: make sure you are in a good position, make sure your opponent is not near you, make sure you are choosing the shot in an attacking position, NOT a defensive one and finally make sure you don’t stand still and watch it: GET BACK TO THE T! Big swings don’t make hard shots. A compact swing with good technique does. Video Squash Coaching from the comfort of your sofa! When trying to hit the ball hard, do not get too close to the ball. Ideally, try to transfer your weight into the shot by taking a longer last step as you hit the ball. DO NOT over balance (keep the follow-through quite short) and keep you head still when hitting the ball. I haven’t mentioned it yet, but you should watch the ball hit your strings. This is the best advice I can offer to every single squash player. Study good technique, watch yourself swing in a mirror if you can’t video yourself or find a coach and do plenty of solo practice. Do not think that hitting the ball hard will solve your problems.…

The first thing you should know about the lines in squash is that unlike tennis or badminton, where the lines are considered “in”, in squash if a ball hits a line, any line, it is out. One other thing to mention is that the colour of the lines on a squash court is not important. For example, you can find courts with red, blue and yellow lines and they all mean the same thing: if the ball hits it, it is out.

What Are the Lines On A Squash Court For?

The line around the top of the walls is called the “Out Line”. This constitutes the edge of the court. If the ball hits this line or ANYWHERE above it, the the ball is out and the point goes to the non-striker, i.e. the person who didn’t hit the ball. The next line to explain is the Service line, also called the Cut line by older players. This is for the serve ONLY. The ball must go above that when served. After the serve, including the service return, it can be ignore as far as the rules are concerned. The next line to look at is called the Tin and this is the line on the front wall near the floor. In fact, the whole area below the line is also called the tin and is supposed too make a very different noise to the front wall if the ball hits it. This concludes the lines on the walls and it’s time to look at the lines on a squash court floor. The first thing to tell you is that all the lines on the floor are for the serve ONLY. Once the rally starts, they are not used in the rules at all! The line that goes from the side walls across the near middle of the court is called the Short line. The serve MUST bounce past this line. Remember, it CAN NOT land ON the line, otherwise it is out. The next line is the one from the Short line to the back wall and this is called the Half Court line. When a serve is made, if the ball is not hit before it bounces (that’s up to the receiver) the ball must bounce inside the area created with the Short line and the Half Court line. Video Squash Coaching from the comfort of your sofa! The final lines to talk about are called the Service…

When you first start to play squash, you shouldn’t try to hit the ball too hard. That’s because you need to be able to control your swing. So you start with medium speed shots and slowly begin to increase the speed over the coming weeks. Once you feel comfortable hitting the ball cleanly, it’s time to try to hit it softly.

How To Hit The Ball Softly In Squash

Your objective is to use a short swing: both BEFORE the racket hits the ball and AFTER it has hit the squash ball. You need to ensure you keep the racket head from twisting so that the ball goes where you want it. Below are three simple, but not so easy drills to help you improve your racket head control. Do them as often as you can until they are all comfortable, then you can occasionally do the last one. All are performed on your forehand. Do NOT do these on your backhand. The embedded video below explains the drills in more detail. SET ONE: Stand about 2 metres away from the front wall. DRILL ONE: Hit the ball back to yourself and when it gets to you, make it bounce on the floor. Catch it, if you can. Now hit it back to yourself again and do the same thing. If this is easy, instead of catching it, bounce it and hit it directly back to the frontwall, without touching it with you hand.DRILL TWO: Hit the ball back to yourself and when it gets to you, make it bounce in the air, upwards. This is a little harder because you don’t have the floor to reduce the speed. Catch the ball if you can. Try to make sure the ball doesn’t go too high after it hits your racket. The lower, the better. When catching it is easy, do it without catching it! Video Squash Coaching from the comfort of your sofa! SET TWO: Stand on the short line (the line that goes across the court). DRILL ONE: Exactly as in Set One. It’s a little harder now though because you are further away from the frontwall and have to hit the ball harder. Perform all of the little progressions as before.DRILL TWO: As in drill one, do everything the same as before.DRILL THREE: Now for the fun…

Like most of these types of questions, the simple answer is “it depends”.

Is Weight Training Good For Squash?

Professional squash players have been using weight training to get stronger for decades. Of course, they have more time than you to dedicate to training, so the question becomes: with limited time, should I stop doing other sorts of training and replace it with weight training? When performed correctly (more on that in a moment), weight training can drastically improve your core strength, your ability to reach the ball and your ability to recover after a hard match. I am not going to give you a “Weight Training Routine For Squash Players” because I am not a qualified fitness trainer, but also because each player is different and may have different needs. I will say that an all-round beginner training programme is good enough for most players, unless they have any particular injuries or issues with their body. You need a balance between endurance (low eights with high repetitions) and pure strength (a lot of weight with only a few repetitions). The generally recommend weight is one that you can do between 10 and 15 repetitions of the movement (one set), then a short rest, then two more sets – don’t forget the rest between the second and third set! For squash players just starting a weight training routine this is perfect. It is very important that you perform the exercises exactly as you are supposed to. It’s very tempting to want to use more weight to “increase the gains”, but by doing this you risk injury. In addition, and this is purely anecdotal, I have found that if you train with heavy weights and don’t spend a lot of time hitting solo your timing goes awry. Video Squash Coaching from the comfort of your sofa! Squash players need power, not strength. Power is the ability to use force in a short time. Being able to bench press 100Kg for 10 reps slowly will not improve your squash, but being…

A traditional squash court was made of bricks and plaster. It was white with red lines. Some had a back wall made of glass, which allowed more people to watch and gave the court a less constricted atmosphere.

What is it like to play on a glass squash court?

Glass squash courts have become much cheaper and therefore more popular in the last 20 years, so more and more people are getting to play on them. The first difference between a plaster court and a glass court is the colour of the ball you use. Most glass squash courts, although not all, require a white ball to be used. This is because the background seen through the glass is generally dark, so a black ball would be quite hard to see. Unfortunately, this means that only a slow ball can be used. A single dot white ball is exactly the same ball as a double dot black ball. Please don’t ask me why the white ball only has one dot, because I really don’t know and can’t seem to find out! The next difference is that the sound is very different from a plaster squash court. It’s hard to describe in text, but I love it. I feel there is less echo in an all glass court, but this is probably not due to the material, but rather the fact that it is open at the top. Like regular plaster squash courts, the temperature can vary a lot between glass courts. Some are warmer than others, so quite cold. I have never played on a glass court that was outside, but in my limited experience, in general glass courts are slightly cooler than plaster courts. This means that you normally need to hit the ball either a little harder or a little higher to get it to the back of the court. Video Squash Coaching from the comfort of your sofa! The final difference is the view, i.e. what you see. You can see the surroundings of the court, but once you start playing and are focusing on the ball and the match, that view fades into nothing. However, that is not true for some people, especially the first…

I often get asked “Should I Buy Expensive Squash Shoes?” and the simple answer is yes and no! The better question should be “Should I Buy Good Squash Shoes?” and the answer to that is a resounding YES!

Should I Buy Expensive Squash Shoes?

Having the right tee-shirt and shorts/skirt is important to ensure you look and feel great. Of course, modern materials also ensure your perform better; either by keeping you cool or by keeping you warm, depending on your needs. Having the right racket, grip and strings is just as important. It ensures you can use all your skills, style and guile to beat your opponent and win the match. Using the right ball, is essential too if you want to have a squash match that is competitive, but also fun. Play with a double yellow dot that you can’t keep warm and the game becomes boring and not much fun very quickly. Player with a red dot when you don’t need to and it becomes too bouncy very quickly meaning there’s not much running involved. USE THE RIGHT BALL! For more information about using the right ball, please see my in-depth guide: USE THE RIGHT BALL!. You should also be wearing WSF approved Squash Goggles, but I will be writing about Goggles in future squash articles. Over the years I have had expensive squash shoes and cheap squash shoes. Luckily, I have been able to adapt to what was available, but without doubt, the best shoes I had were the more expensive squash shoes. That said, the fit is the most important aspect for me. I would rather have a pair of cheaper squash shoes that fit perfectly than a pair of expensive squash shoes that were not quite right. The expensive ones would probably last longer, but what’s the point of longevity if they are not suitable? Video Squash Coaching from the comfort of your sofa! Nowadays, because I am only on court to make videos and maybe do some coaching, I prefer a more sturdy pair that will last me a long time. When I played competitively, I preferred lighter shoes that didn’t last as long. Decide what you…

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…