So, you just picked up Squash a couple of weeks ago, and you’re looking to become regular at it. You have all the gear you need; a racquet, the shoes, the attire, the appropriate ball, and even a squash court where to play. However, the one thing you’re missing is a partner to play with. This is a quite common issue among beginners… but don’t worry, we’ve got you covered!
Technically, you can’t play a squash game by yourself; however, you can practice Squash alone by doing different drills. In fact, practicing alone is, arguably, the best way to improve your squash game as a beginner. By playing alone, you can practice your technical skills, such as agility, footwork, as well as swing and stroke quality.
If you’re looking to improve your game, working on drills by yourself will help you enhance proper muscle memory on the court, as you have more time to practice and analyze your strokes. However, keep in mind that playing a squash match with someone else is essential to work on your tactical skills. They both go together; the benefits of practicing with a partner complement the benefits of practicing alone.
Before we go into the ways you can practice Squash by yourself, we’ll share a clip of an “unbelievable squash point” so that you get inspired.
Without further due…
These are 10+ ways to play Squash alone:
1. Straight Drives
This is a simple but effective drill. Hit straight drives against the front wall while aiming for the ball to bounce back on the service box back line, and repeat. Variations of this drill involve setting up targets and varying the height and force of your drives.
2. Counter drops
In this drill, stands before the short line and hit the ball between the service line and the tin repeatedly, alternating forehand and backhand strokes. This drill is intended to improve your forearm strength, as well as your control and consistency.
4. Short Volley
This is a variation of the “short hitting”; however, instead of letting the ball bounce, you hit in the air, over and over again. You can challenge yourself by timing how long can you go without missing. Also, you can work in varying the speed of your strokes, as well as the height, while at the same time moving further and closer from the front wall.
5. Corner volleys
Stand on the corner of the front wall and the side wall, and hit forehands and backhands volleys. The ball should hit the front wall and then the side wall, and then the side wall and the front wall. Try to do as many as you can.
6. Forehand – Figure eight
7. Backhand – Figure eight
8. Figure eight & catch (Starting with a forehand)
In this drill, you’ll try to combine both of the two previous exercises together. By standing on the T, hit a forehand to the left (right) corner, so that it hits the sidewall and bounce back. Then, hit a backhand to the right (left) corner of the front wall, so that the ball hits the sidewall and bounce back to you. After that, catch the ball repeat.
9. Figure eight & catch (Starting with a backhand)
This drill is the same as the last one, but the only difference is that, instead of starting with a forehand, you’ll begin with a backhand.
10. Complete Figure Eight
Once you feel comfortable with the above drills, you can, now, practice in, continuously, working on the “figure eight.” You can start by letting the ball bounce, and after that, try hitting in the air.
11. Forehand & backhand sidewall drive
12. Four corners butterfly
This one is a little bit more challenging, so be patient. A simple way to describe this drill is as follow: Two Figure eights in a row, and repeat. The first one, facing the front wall, and the second one by facing the back ball. Check this clip to get a better idea.
*If you’re left- handed (_)
If you’re interested in learning more about how can you practice Squash by yourself, I strongly suggest checking the following YouTube channel, “The Pursuit of Squash.” As you already have seen, they have great tutorials on Squash.
Is It Better to Practice Squash Alone
Playing Squash alone is an essential component of learning and practicing the game. Serving, volleying, footwork, and stroke technique, can be practiced alone, through some of the drill mentioned earlier in the article.
Playing Squash Alone:
- Is Great for practice.
- Allows you to work on technique.
- No distraction from opponents.
Matches require partners, but players interested in advancing their skills and techniques will find it impossible to do so without spending time practicing alone.
Playing and practicing Squash alone is essential to becoming a competent and capable player. Solo practice allows players to hone techniques and reflect on their mistakes in a way that would be impossible in the setting of an actual match.
Because of the advantages that solo practice offers, players should take the opportunity to improve and play by themselves. However, as mentioned before, practicing by yourself, as well as playing a match with somebody go hand by hand.
Squash Tips for Beginners
Beginners to Squash will need to become proficient in a number of skills in order to begin to master the game. These skills can be broken up into serving, volleying, footwork, and stroke style.
There are also a couple of key tips for players to remember in their first introduction to the game. First, ensuring a proper grip on the racket is critical for players to be able to participate in almost every aspect of the game.
You should have a neutral grip on one side of the racket, allowing your fingers to form a “V” shape. Your index finger should extend up to the shaft of the racket to control the racket head.
Remembering to lift the racket in preparation for a shot is critical to aiming and making shots. Players often find themselves frustrated after missing shots because they didn’t prepare to hit the ball by lifting their rackets and orienting them in the direction they want to strike the next shot.
Also, players should always keep their shoulders oriented in the direction they want the ball to go. For instance, if you’re going to hit in the upper left corner of the front wall, but your shoulders are pointed to the center of the wall, you’ll have a more difficult time placing the shot because your body will drag your racket to the middle of the wall.
Here are some of the skills you must master to play Squash:
Squash players do not bounce the ball before they serve, and thus must hit it out of the air in front of them. There are two types of serves, a lob
Lob serves are waist high underhand serves aiming to force a weak return from the server’s opponent. Power serves are similar to tennis serves and attempt to put the server’s opponent on the defensive, usually by hitting the ball into a corner and forcing the opponent to quickly cross the court in order to return the serve.
Volleying is a huge part of Squash. A player’s ability to change between forehand and backhand shots is a crucial element of volleying. Volleying relates closely to footwork, as good shots are carefully aimed but also force your opponent to move quickly around the court.
Engaging in a rally with your opponent can be thrilling, but to win the rally, you must have control of your shots. Becoming lured into a rut, making the same shot repeatedly, is a sure way of getting caught flat-footed by your opponent. Always have a decision in mind when making a shot.
Squash is an incredibly fast-moving game. Even more so than tennis, squash strategy relies on forcing your opponents to race around the court. Thus, practicing quickness and agility, as well as stamina, will be critical. Good serves and shots are directed at the feet as much as the racket. Catching your opponent in the wrong place is the best way to score a point.
Like tennis, Squash allows multiple types of serves and shots. Most beginners tend to favor their forehand – for right-handers, hitting a stroke to the right, and vice versa for left-handers. Hitting with the backhand almost always feels awkward for beginner players, a bit like writing with their non-dominant hand.
However, mastering the backhand is extremely important as it opens an entirely new dimension of shots you can play. Squash moves even more quickly than tennis and avoiding backhand shots will ultimately give your opponent an advantage as they can take control of areas of the court that you can’t reach with a forehand shot.