Are you considering taking up squash? Congratulations on choosing one of the most exhilarating racquet sports out there! Squash offers an intense workout, a mental challenge, and endless fun but if you're new to the game, getting started can be a bit intimidating. Don't worry; at Greaves we’ve got you covered with these top tips for beginners.
What is Squash?
Squash is a high-speed racquet sport played in an enclosed four-walled court. Players take turns hitting a rubber ball against the front wall, using strategies and skills to outmanoeuvre their opponent. It's a dynamic, physically demanding sport that combines elements of cardio, strength, agility, and mental acuity. Squash can be played in singles or doubles and is enjoyed for its competitive nature and fitness benefits. It’s fun and easy to play, so let’s get into it.
Start with the Basics
- Scoring: Squash typically uses a point-a-rally scoring system. Points are scored in every rally, with a point awarded to the player who wins the rally, regardless of who served. To win a game, a player needs to score 11 points. However, they must also lead by at least two points to secure victory.
- Serve: The server stands in one of the service boxes and serves the ball diagonally to the opposite service box. The ball must hit the front wall above the tin (the lowest part of the front wall) and below the outline. If the server wins the rally, they continue serving until they lose a rally.
- Rallies: Players take turns hitting the ball against the front wall. The ball must be returned before it bounces twice, and it must be hit above the tin. The ball can be hit directly to the front wall or indirectly by using side walls for angles.
- Let: If there is interference or a hindrance during play, players can call a "let." A let stops the rally, and the point is replayed. Common reasons for calling a let include accidental contact between players or the ball hitting another player.
Choosing the right equipment is your first step towards squash success. Invest in a quality squash racket that feels comfortable in your hand. It’s important to use a racquet that suits your style and skill level. Greaves offer a selection of Dunlop and Karakal rackets that are great for beginners here if you are in need of trusted, quality equipment.
As for the ball, beginners often start with a slower, beginner-friendly ball before progressing to faster ones. Greaves beginner squash balls offer new players better usability on the court.
It's important to maintain your racket's strings, Greaves offer a restringing service at our Gordon Street sports store so you don't need to. Most importantly, you're able to customise your racket to your abilities.
Squash balls can reach incredibly high speeds during play, sometimes exceeding 100 miles per hour. These fast-moving balls pose a risk of accidental impact with the eyes, which can result in serious eye injuries. Safety glasses act as a barrier to protect your eyes from direct hits.
Learn How to Hold Your Racket
Place your hand on the racket's handle with a slight "v" shape formed between your thumb and pointer finger. Keep the rest of your fingers close to the pointer finger.
Maintain a firm grip on the racket handle, but avoid gripping it too tightly to prevent unnecessary stress on your hand.
Buying griptape for your racket will provide a better grip for players by enhancing traction, absorbing sweat, increasing durability and comfort.
Master Your Movement
The two primary strokes you'll need to learn are the forehand and backhand. The forehand involves swinging your racquet with your dominant hand, while the backhand uses your non-dominant hand. Practise these strokes diligently to gain control and accuracy.
Work on your footwork to cover the court effectively. Learn the basic patterns and positions, allowing you to anticipate your opponent's shots.
Utilise the Walls
Learn to use the side walls to create angles and surprise your opponent. Squash is a game of angles, and mastering them can give you an advantage.
Wear the Correct Shoes
In the fast-paced world of squash, having the right footwear can make all the difference. Squash-specific shoes are designed with the demands of the game in mind, offering excellent traction and grip to prevent slips on smooth courts. They provide essential stability and support for lateral movements, reducing the risk of injuries.
These shoes also boast cushioning and shock absorption features, making those intense rallies easier on your joints. In essence, investing in squash shoes isn't just about comfort and performance—it's a smart move to ensure your safety and success on the court. Find a pair best for you here.
Keep Your Eye on the T
The 'T' is the most crucial spot on the squash court. It's the area where both service boxes meet. As a player, you want to return to the 'T' after each shot. Staying in this central position gives you the best vantage point to reach any corner of the court quickly.
Control Over Power
Prioritise control over power. Accuracy and ball placement are more critical for beginners than trying to hit the ball as hard as possible.
At Greaves, we stock everything you need to get started on the court. From squash rackets to squash shoes, we can help you play in comfort and style. Earn exclusive loyalty rewards points with Greaves Gold on all purchases and use those points towards money off future purchases, perhaps once you’ve up-skilled to expert level!