Squash for beginners – a quick guide

It takes approx. 5 minutes to read this article

Squash is extremely popular these days. Why? The answer is simple: this game is not only about bouncing the ball off the wall alternately with the opponent.

The uniqueness of squash is described by the following features:

  • tactics – you have to plan your play and sequence of moves so as to surprise your opponent;
  • technique – allows you to move effectively without risk of injury;
  • mental agility – not only manifests itself in coming up with effective tactics, but is also practiced according to the principle “in a healthy body a healthy spirit”;
  • concentration – in this age of ubiquitous electronic distractions and urban noise, it is trained by focusing on the ball and the game;
  • schemes and rules – these are good habits in the game that allow you to achieve the desired victory.

A little history

The origins of the game of squash go back to the 19th century. The game was probably created out of boredom or inability to participate in a tennis match. There are two hypotheses about its origin:

  • The game originated with the British aristocracy who killed time… in “The Fleet” prison. The convicts, mostly for tax fraud, longed for tennis. Since they couldn’t play it, they bounced the ball off the prison walls.
  • Another possibility for the origin of squash was the idea of students at elite British schools bouncing a pierced tennis ball off the wall.

Regardless of the source of origin in the XIX century the rules of the game were constantly modified. They came to an end with the development of official rules at the turn of the 19th and 20th centuries. The popularity of the game was gaining strength mainly within the British Empire, its heyday dates back to the 60s of the last century. To Poland squash came relatively late, because in the 90s, however, every year the group of its enthusiasts and hobbyists is still growing

Rules of the game

In a nutshell: the game is to hit the ball correctly, so that the opponent was not able to bounce it. The game requires a specially adapted room, which you can find rather in bigger cities. This is a certain limitation and disadvantage of this sport. In the room there are lines marking the edges of the playing field. If played correctly, the ball must hit the front wall and bounce once off the floor. You score a point if your opponent fails to intercept the ball, knocks it on the out-of-bounds line or beyond, or impedes your movement.

A duel consists of five sets. To win a set you need to score 11 points, but in case of a 10:10 tie you need to try to get a 2 point lead. You only need to win 3 sets to enjoy the coveted victory.

SquashSkills – Squash tips: Coaching a beginner with Bryan Patterson – Forehand technique

How to start playing squash?

At the beginning there is a draw of the person who starts the game. If it was you, your task will be to serve. You must stand in such a way that one of your feet is in the field and does not touch the line. You then hit the ball with your racket so that it bounces off the wall in front of you and the floor of the opposite quadrant of the court. Be careful not to cross the top out-of-bounds line! Next, your opponent must bounce the ball you serve. If he lets the ball hit the ground twice, you win the point. Remember also that the ball can bounce off the side walls and the back wall. If you are not lucky – or your technique does not work – the opponent wins the point.

A little about the technique

  • V-grip – this is simply a way of holding the racket. It consists of placing the side edge of the handle between the thumb and index finger. Then, the hand is bent in such a way as to create an angle of 90 degrees between the racket and the forearm;
  • Forehand – this is the way of bouncing the ball when you are facing the right side of the court, with your left leg placed in front of you;
  • Backhand – similar to the above, but you are facing the left side of the court and extending your right leg in front of you

Equipment

Choosing squash equipment is not complicated. For the beginning, sport shoes with light soles are sufficient (so as not to dirty the surface of the court). It is also obvious to bring a T-shirt and shorts. It is also worth taking protective goggles with you. You can have your own racket or rent one on site.

Advantages and effects of the game

Playing squash involves the muscles of the whole body and burns a lot of calories. The game develops the body and strengthens muscles. The positive effect on the heart and circulatory system is also not insignificant. By playing squash you will improve your condition and fitness, and also relieve stress and tension from the day

Photo: Lightfied Studios/Adobe Stock

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