SquashTalk Improve Yourself
INTRODUCTION TO THE GAME OF SQUASH by Ron BeckThis article has been translated into Czech read the Czech version
So you've heard about squash and you want to try it out....
This brief web introduction will offer you some basic advice and point you in the direction of additional resources and help. Also there are a number of excellent books available that provide valuable advice for squash players of all levels, from beginner to expert.
First, a brief word about the game of squash racquets. Squash is an energetic and strategic game involving two players. After spending a period of a few weeks getting grounded in the game, it will then become a lifetime journey of learning about the game and improving your skills and tactics. You will find the community of squash players to be committed to the game, sometimes fanatical about it, and generally interested in helping out new converts to the game. Welcome to the exciting and sometimes frustrating world of squash....
Here are the basic steps that will help you, the beginner, to start out in the game:
1. Find a place to play. SquashTalk provides an online directory of squash clubs, facilities, and school courts
Guidelines in selecting a place to play (if you have the luxury of being in a locality with multiple clubs):
2. Get a squash lesson. Take three to four squash lessons, spaced at least a week apart. Ask around to find out who can provide the best lessons for a beginning player. These lesson will: ground you in the basics of how to hold the racquet and how to stroke the ball, give you the basics of where to move in the court and how to move around the court, and give you some simple drills to work on on your own. LESSONS ARE ESSENTIAL -- it is very hard to learn how to make a squash stroke from a book! [Advice on coaching - click here]
3. Find a regular sparring partner. Find another beginner or another slightly better player with whom you can play with on a regular basis. You and your partner can help each other improve by
4. Spend an hour or more on the squash court a week by yourself! Squash is a great game for self-improvement. Because it is played against four walls, you can always get onto the court by yourself and "drill yourself". Start out with the most basic drill: hitting the squash ball for "length" along the forehand and backhand walls, (the so-called "rails").
5. Watch good squash. Attend a local tournament or "A" league match and watch some 5.0 - plus players competing. You will get a good idea of the game's strategy and tactics by watching some good competition, and you will get inspired to improve some more.
6. Attend to stretching and conditioning. No matter your age or level of play, you will enjoy the game better if you spend time on stretching and conditioning. Stretching before and after you play is essential for this game, which is characterized by 45 minutes or so of intensive bursts of activity. You pro can show you the best stretching exercises for squash. Doing some jogging, wind sprints or other conditioning on a regular basis will also help you enjoy the game more. Some players "play to get in condition". This works too, but its not the best approach.
Well, that's a lot to think about, but if you follow these six simple steps, you will be well on your way to enjoyment of a great lifetime recreational and competitive games - squash!
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