In this essential beginner’s guide to squash, players who are new to the game will learn a mixture of technical and tactical tips that will help them make giant leaps forward.
Each squash tip is backed up by a full length video that offers up a deeper, in-depth explanation of the teaching point. All videos can be unlocked with a 14-day trial.
1. Make sure your grip is correct! You want to have a neutral grip that allows you to hit both the forehand and backhand from the same grip. There should be a V shape that runs between your thumb and forefinger. Your forefinger should extend up the shaft of the racket giving you extra control of the racket head.
2. Lift your racket up on the way to the ball. As soon as you know which side the ball is going, take your racket head back so that by the time you arrive you are ready and in position to hit the ball. You will be amazed by how much time you have and the options you can create.
3. Keep your shoulders facing the side wall at the point of impact on both the forehand and backhand side. If you over rotate and end up facing the front wall you’ll most likely drag the ball into the middle of the court.
4. Link your movement to your shot. You want to step and hit so that your swing starts just as your foot plants in the lunge position. This helps create a balanced, stable position where a transfer of weight takes place through the shot.
5. Use upper body rotation on the backhand side. Players often struggle to generate power on backhand because the rely on the arm to generate pace. The key to a successful backhand is upper body rotation during the early part of the swing. The starting position should see your shoulder sitting under your chin, a low elbow and a ‘semi cocked’ wrist position that create a diamond position between the wrist, racket head, shoulder and elbow. From there you should be able to swing freely and let your follow through finish up pointing towards your target.
6. Make sure your serve hits the side wall. If you’re able to hit a high serve that hits the side wall before dropping into the back corner, you will cause your opponent lots of problems. The backhand volley is one of the most difficult shots in the game and serve gives you a real chance to put your opponent under lots of pressure from the first shot of the rally.
7. Try to play from in front of your opponent! If you can hit the ball into the back corners and take charge of the T zone you’ll find the game much easier than if you are always behind. Think about using height to get the ball into the back corners and then push forward towards the T zone so that you’re ready for the next shot.
8. Volley more! Volleying takes time away from your opponent and allows you to stay closer to the T. Learn to volley and try to take the opportunities whenever you can.
9. Hit the open space! If you can hit the ball where your opponent isn’t then you’re going to make them run! Avoid hitting the ball back to your opponent but also be aware that a poor shot into open court can leave you exposed.
10. Learn to hit a good straight drive! If you can hit the ball straight into the back corners from all areas of the court then you will limit your opponent’s chances to volley and give yourself the chance to get in front and apply pressure.
11. Learn how to return serve properly. Start with an open stance facing the front wall and watch your opponent whilst standing approximately 1 racket length away from the corner of the service box. This starting position allows you to watch where the ball is going and then transfer weight into the shot.
12. Play with the right ball for your level! There are different balls that bounce to varying degrees. The pro ball should only be played with when you can hit it hard enough to warm it up and make it bounce properly. Check out this useful guide here.
Jethro Binns – SquashSkills Founder
Bonus tip: Do a proper warm up!
Give yourself the best possible chance and don’t let the first game slip by as a result of not warming up properly. Hit the ground running and get yourself match ready for the word go. Download our extensive guide to warming up and see your performance improve dramatically!Download your FREE Warm-Up Guide!