Beginner Tips

By Anil Gidwaney, PSA certified squash professional.

1. Choosing a racquet – Your style of play should determine what kind of racquet you buy as a beginner. If you are an aggressive player (make a lot of wall/floor contact with your racquet) you should purchase an aluminum racquet to start. Graphite/titanium/carbon racquets tend to crack easier with a lot of wall/floor contact. You should purchase a graphite, titanium or carbon racquet only when you feel your game has improved and you are making less contact with the wall/floor.

2. EYEGUARDS ARE A MUST! Anyone who walks on a court without protective eyewear is taking a huge risk of losing their eyesight. Remember that YOU cannot control your opponent’s racquet or shot. All it takes is one misdirected shot or contact with the racquet and you could lose your eyesight.

3. Get a good pair of court shoes. Most indoor court shoes have a gum rubber sole. This provides excellent traction on the court. Do not use running or dark soled shoes on the court as they will leave scuff marks on the floor.

4. Take lessons from a certified squash professional. Many beginners develop bad habits right from the start. It is important to get good instruction right from the get go. Certain aspects of the game can be quite frustrating to learn (return of serve on the backhand side). A good professional will help you overcome these aspects.

5. Hit the ball deep into the back of the court. The rail is the most effective shot to keep your opponent off the “T”. A good rail will hug the sidewall as it goes to the back of the court.

6. Try to control the “T”. By hitting the ball away from the “T” you will have an opportunity to control the “T”. The player that controls the “T” usually wins.

7. Move your opponent around the court. By doing this you will start to wear them down and in time they will start to make more mistakes.

8. Watch the ball at ALL times. This way you know where the ball is going and you will have time to get to the ball, choose your next shot and execute your shot effectively.

9. DO NOT take a shot if you feel you might hit your opponent with the ball or racquet. In this case ask for a LET.

10. Have a good number of playing partners. This way your game is sharper and you do not get stuck playing one style of game.

11. Enjoy the game. Squash is a great physical and mental workout. 45 minutes of squash is a great way to stay in shape. Squash is also a great social sport. I have met some of my best friends through squash.

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