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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.

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…

Yes, absolutely! Each player should be experienced though, so definitely no beginners. It helps if you have a good understanding of the rules related to Lets and Strokes too.

Squash Tips, Drills and Training Advice

Doubles can be fantastic on a singles court.

Playing doubles is so much fun. I’ve only ever played on a singles court, but at the international level and in some special locations, there are proper doubles courts. Even typing the phrase “Singles Squash Court” seems weird, but the reality is that 99% of squash courts are singles squash courts. Sports like Tennis and Badminton use the same “court”, but use different lines, squash has the same lines but a different court! As I said in the introduction, if you play squash doubles on a squash singles court it is important that each player has good court awareness, a safe swing and a good understanding of the basics of Lets and Strokes. I spent many happy hours playing doubles against Abbas Kaoud and his son, plus another player and not once did we have an incident. I would recommend wearing squash goggles and being prepared to play more lets than usual though. Can It Help You Game? ABSOLUTELY. Not only is a it a great game, but being good at doubles has a direct effect on your singles game. To be good at doubles, you need to avoid hitting too many crosscourt – just like singles! You need to keep the ball tight to the side wall – just like singles! You need to use the boast as a way of getting opponents out of position – just. Like. Singles! Get the point? The skill comes from playing great shots, not from being super fit or being a fast or great mover. Using the length of a court become your main focus, and by using a variety of speed and height you can develop that ability. You also develop patience, because doubles rally rarely finish in 2 or 3 shots. lastly, even though I said you need good court awareness, I do believe that your awareness increases from playing doubles. You HAVE to be more aware of the other…

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…

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…

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.…