Your curiosity has finally got the better of you. Why do people like locking themselves in a giant box and chasing a little ball around? For those of us who have fallen in love with the game of squash, the list of reasons taking us back to the court day after day is endless.
The squash community is incredibly welcoming. Any experienced player will be happy to show you the ropes because every new player that picks up the game is a huge positive for the sport. However, before you step on a squash court for the first time, there are a few things you should know.
5. Make Sure You Wear Non-Marking Shoes
Squash players like to play on clean, well-maintained courts. There is nothing worse than going to your favorite court to play only to realize someone has left black marks all over the nice wooden floor because they wore the wrong shoes. Nearly all proper court shoes are non marking, however, being new to the sport, you will probably be wearing the same trainers you wear to the gym. Before you step on court, google the shoe you are wearing and make sure it is non-marking.
4. Do Not Swing The Racquet In Dangerous Situations
Playing in close quarters, it is very common to get into a situation where play must stop and the point replayed. If your opponent is between you and the front wall, do not hit the ball! Stop, and replay the point. The last thing you want to do is leave a giant welt on the back of your opponents head.
Furthermore, if your opponent is too close and you are going to hit them when you swing, stop! Being hit with a squash racquet can cause serious injury. If you ever have any doubt where your opponent is, stop and replay the point. As you progress in the game, you will learn about the concepts of the let and stroke but in the beginning just play safe.
3. Your Butt Is Going To Be Really Sore
Just like the first time you hit the gym in a while, expect to be quite sore for the days following your first hit. The start/stop nature of squash is very taxing on your body. Top players lunge and squat down hundreds of times over the course of a match. All this adds up our favorite term, squash butt. If you play consistently, your muscles will adapt and the soreness will go away.
2. The Ball Isn’t Going To Bounce
This is a common source of confusion for new players. You see everyone else is playing with the black ball with two yellow dots, so you go out and buy a pack. As soon as you get on court and hit the ball, you realize it doesn’t bounce! In order for a squash ball to bounce, it needs to get warm, really warm. Professional players hit the ball hard and their rallies last forever. The friction from repeated hits against the wall keeps their ball hot.
When you just start playing, it will be really difficult to keep a double yellow warm enough. I often advise new players to start with a blue dot ball. It requires very little to keep it warm, it bounces more, and as a result, your rallies will last longer. Long taxing rallies are where friends are made on court!
1. You May Develop An Addiction
There is a percentage of the population that pick up squash and become full-on addicts. There will be something about this sport that you can’t find anywhere else and you will do anything to keep reliving that feeling. Welcome to the club.