Squash is a relatively easy game to learn. As with most racquet sports, you have to outsmart your opponent by hitting a ball with a racquet. If you’re just getting started, there are several tips you should know before you get on the court. Practice these, and you will look more like a seasoned pro than a novice.
However, before we get into them, I’ll like to share a clip to get you inspired and motivated.
Hopefully, now that you’re on the zone, you’re ready to go through these tips.
There are a plethora of tips out there for people who are getting started in the game of squash. While some of these tips are self-explanatory, others may require some explanation.
We have boiled it down to 30 (plus) of the best and most logical tips, which are outlined in the list down below.
These are 30+ Squash tip for beginners.
Don’t forget to warm-up ahead of time. Although kind of an obvious tip, you’ll be surprised to know that many recreational players don’t take the proper time to warm-up.
Squash is among the most demanding racquet sports; it engages the movement of every part of your body. You don’t want to get cramps or get injured, so take your time to warm-up. You can burn 600-900 calories in one hour of playing squash, so you need to be prepared for your body to be stretched to the limit.
2. Warm the ball up!
As you may know, it’s crucial to warm up the ball before you start a match. When a ball is at cold or, even room temperature is doesn’t bounce enough for players to engage in a rally. It’s pretty much impossible to play points with a ball that hasn’t been warm-up.
Check the following video to get a better idea on how can you warm up a squash ball.
3. Have the proper grip.
Obviously, you want to have a good grip on your racquet. Hold the racquet with a neutral grip, so you can hit both forehand and backhand without having to change grips constantly. Hold the racquet tight enough so you a balance between power, as well as control behind each shot.
Check the following video to get a better idea.
4. Turn your body sideways, especially your shoulders.
Just like with most racquet sports, have your shoulders sideways, so that you have the correct angle and space to hit the ball.
5. Be on your toes.
Always be ready to react for the next shot! Work on continually moving your feet. In the beginning, this might be hard to do but practice until it becomes part of your muscle memory.
6. Anticipate by bringing your racquet back and up on time.
Once you can tell the direction of the ball, and whether you’ll be hitting a forehand or a backhand, bring, right away, your racquet back and up. This will ensure that you have enough time to prepare and hit the ball.
7. Be sure you’re using the proper ball for your skill level.
Balls are rated depending on the experience and skills of players.
- Blue dot: Junior and Beginners players
- Red dot: Beginner/Intermediate players
- Single Yellow dot: Advanced players
- Double Yellow dot: Professional/High-performance players
8. Use a proper squash racquet.
You also want to make sure you are using the right equipment. Always us a legitimate squash racquet. Even if you’re not that serious about squash, don’t use a tennis racquet as a substitute. Using the proper squash racquet will allow you to get the right experience. They are lighter and will provide for quicker flicks of the wrists.
9. Wear squash goggles.
Although not common among pro players, using protective eyewear is quite important, even if you’re a beginner. It’s believed high-performance players don’t use goggles due to lack of comfort and visibility; however, as the saying goes, it’s “better to be safe than sorry”.
You do not want to get hurt while playing squash. Wear squash goggles so that you do not sustain an eye injury if a ball bounces back and hits you in the face.
10. Use proper footwear.
As a beginner, you’ll probably not put enough attention to the shoes you use. And although technically you could play with any type of sports shoes, it’s highly recommended always to use squash or court shoes. Think about it as an investment for your game, as well as for your safety.
11. Learn to use the sidewalls.
Using the sidewalls is an excellent way to make your opponent move and test his mental agility. Your ball may bounce off the side wall before it hits the front wall. This can confuse your opponent, leaving him not knowing where to expect the ball to land when it bounces back toward him.
12. Stay in control of the “T” (the middle of the court).
This is, arguably, one of the most essential tips that you could get as a squash beginner. After every shot try to always recover to the middle of the court; this will, literally, position yourself for success.
By always being around the “T”, you’ll be better positioned to hit the next ball. From the middle of the court, you’ll able to cover the court efficiently, as well to take advantage of weak shots.
13. In general, go for volleys whenever you’re able to.
By volleying often, you’ll be able to continually put pressure on your opponent by taking time away from them to react to the ball. Also, when volleying, you’ll be able to position yourself better by staying closer to the “T”.
14. Take the time to work on your serves.
The serve is that one shot that you’re, literally, under full control of – is all up to you. It’s critical that you practice and become proficient with your serves.
Below is an excellent video on how you can improve your serves. We suggest you take the time to watch it.
15. Practice your returns of serve.
How well you return your’s opponent serve it’s, most likely, going to have a significant impact on how the point will develop and unfold. So, as with your serves, take the time to practice your returns.
Check the following video for some tips on returning.
16. Keep your eyes on the ball.
Remember to, continually, keep your eyes on the ball. As a beginner, this might be challenging; so try to remind yourself to watch the ball regularly. Besides that, keep an eye on your opponent, as well as how she’s hitting the ball. Doing these will help you to focus more on the point.
17. Hit lobs whenever you’re in a tough situation.
This is an effective way to neutralize your opponent’s shot. Playing a lob during tough situations gives you more time to return to the middle of the court, and, also, keeps your opponent back, preventing him from volleying.
18. Placement Over Power.
Although in some situations, hitting the ball hard can be useful, it’s vital that you emphasize more on the accuracy, as well as placement. Often, beginners focus on hitting the ball as hard as they can, only to have the ball bounce off the back wall and give their opponents easy and simple shots.
19. Master the straight drive.
Probably one of the most crucial shots in squash, the straight drive enables you to keep your opponent back and close to the corners, while allowing you to stand in the middle of the court (“T”).
Take a look at the following clip to get an idea on how you can practice the straight drive.
20. Hit tight balls to the corners.
Try to put pressure to your opponent by hitting to the corners. This will keep your opponent out of position while allowing you to take charge of the middle of the court.
21. Take advantage of loose balls.
As you keep putting pressure to your opponent, she’ll eventually hit a loose ball. As soon as that happens, take advantage of it by hitting volleys. Depending on where the ball is at, you can either hit a drop shot or slam it.
22. Use the power of unpredictability and deceptiveness.
Mix it up by constantly changing the pace and direction of your shots; this will keep your opponent not knowing what to expect next. Also, you can deceive your opponent by pretending to be hitting towards one direction, only to change it at the last moment.
23. Get in front of your opponent.
On most opportunities, try to get in front of your opponent by playing close to the “T” zone. This will help you position yourself better for the next shot, as well as give you more control of the point. You can do this by hitting the ball close to the back of the corners, so you have more space and time to move to the middle of the court.
24. Keep the ball away of your opponent; look for open spaces.
This might be obvious; however, I think it is still important to mention it. For most of your shots, you want to hit the ball away from your opponent, so he’s, always, moving and running around. This’ll allow you to have a better chance of being in control of the point.
25. Make sure your grip is in good conditions.
Whenever your grip starts to feel slippery is probably time to get a new one. Playing with a fresh grip can have a huge difference in your game. So, don’t skimp on them.
26. Keep your sweat under control.
Some people tend to perspire and sweat quite a bit. So, if you’re one of them, be prepared! You can wear a head and wrist sweatbands. Also, it’s advisable to have a towel so that you wipe the sweat off your body.
27. Keep yourself hydrated.
Although we all know about the importance of drinking fluids, many of us forget about it during the game. So, be prepared and bring enough water and sports drinks to your match or practice.
28. Get some off-court practice.
Whenever you don’t have access to a court, you can still work on your game, specifically your footwork. You can practice your footwork by doing lunges, sprints, or even skipping. There are many off-court exercises that you can do; for instances, you can do intervals of ladder sprints, which are a great way to improve your endurance.
Also, you can check the following clip to get an idea on how you can work on lunges, which are quite crucial for squash.
29. Get some solo practice.
One upside to squash is that it can be practiced alone. You can improve your skills at your own pace for as long as you like. This will allow you to work on specific strokes, as well as strategies. However, it’s still important to play against other people, so complement your solo practices with, regularly, playing matches.
30. Join a league.
It is a good idea for beginners to join a league. There, you can meet and learn more from other players and acquire more playing experience. Also, you’ll be able to face other opponents with different skills level, as well as playing styles.
31. Learn from the pros.
Watching the pros played is a great way to really understand and learn how the game is played – from the strategies to the technique. After many hours of watching the pros, you’ll start to, subconsciously, imitate them on the court; thus, improving your game.
Nowadays, with the internet, especially YouTube, there are no excuses to not learn from the pros.
32. Keep it fun!
Squash is supposed to be fun, so learn and play at your own pace without putting too much pressure on yourself. Of course, we all want to get better and reach our full potential, but remember the importance of keeping the process enjoyable.