These days the turning of a new year leads many of us to wonder what new activities we could be trying, particularly regarding getting into shape and burning off the festive indulgence. So how about trying your hand at squash? We talk you through what you need to get started.
With any new sport there are a few bits of equipment you will need to get yourself started, and although squash is no different, you don’t need to spend much to get out on the court and give squash a try. There are then a variety of ways you can get some playing time in and hone your skills, we’ll look at all of these things in this new years article.
Let’s start with what squash equipment you will need to get set up.
First up you are going to need a basic squash racquet before you can hit your first squash shot, but don’t go overboard with your expense just yet. Pick up something cheaper for now and give it a try before breaking open the piggy bank on expensive high-quality gear.
You can pick up a perfectly playable beginner level racquet for around £20 which will give you a good feel for the basics of the game. Check out our racquet store for some great beginners racquets highly recommended by the AllSquash experts.
Remember, you aren’t trying to become an instant world beater, but get an understanding of the rules and the pace of the game. If you enjoy what you see, then you can upgrade your equipment later on.
Next you’ll need a couple of squash balls. Squash balls come in a range of specs which are aimed at different skill levels of player; our post on different squash balls explains the options available to you in terms of choosing which ball to play with, but we recommend beginners start with a ‘single blue dot’ at first. It will bounce highest and encourage good rallies, exactly what you want to get a feel for how the game is played.
Next, footwear; which is very important in squash; with all the quick turns and changes of direction you need some good grip and comfort in your trainers. From a beginners view your are looking for strong grip, non-marking soles and a generally well fitting shoe for your foot shape. to help avoid injury. Again we have a nice range of handpicked footwear in our store here.
Finally you need some clothing, but don’t go over the top here. Squash players generally wear lightweight clothing; shorts (or skirts optional for women) and a light t-shirt or vest on top. Sweat bands are also common place for matches, as you’ll soon work up a strong sweat, trust us!
Practice / Friendly Games
We recommend your first squash experience to be a simple knock around on a court, try a few rallies and get used to how the ball bounces and the game speed. Try some harder shots and some weaker drop shots towards the front of the court, and get into it as much as you can. We have some basic training drills you can try out for inspiration if you are short of ideas. If you know someone who already plays squash, try to get some time on the court with them to show you the ropes, but don’t be afraid to train alone occasionally and work on some shots on your own!
Steadily progress to some friendly matches with friends and players that you already know to add a competitive aspect to your play, see how you adapt to having to make aggressive shots rather than just return for a rally. Check out our post on shot types for some inspiration on how to win your points
We also recommend a few sessions in a court on your own, just practicing some drills and playing some shots over and over again in focus areas. From your friendly matches, learn what areas need improving and focus on them in practice sessions. For example, try playing a few serves from both sides of the court, aiming for specific landing areas.
Clubs / Leagues
As you advance and get more comfortable with your game, you can look towards joining a local squash club and/or league for a chance to play different people with different playing styles. You’ll also get some real hunger from playing in this more competitive environment, and may want to consider upgrading your equipment to keep up with your improvements.