Now that squash is back again and you might play competitions and tournaments soon, improving your game could be on your list. If that is the case, these 3 tips can help you take your game to the next level. They all are key elements in a high-quality training program and help you improve faster.
1. Solo exercises
Most of us spend our time on the court mainly playing matches and trying to make progress that way. This is of course a very important part of becoming a better player but those who want to improve more quickly will also include solo practice in their training routine. This is certainly not an easy task as nowadays life is so hectic for many of us. Most are happy if they manage to play a match with their squash buddy once or twice a week. Pros, on the other hand, can focus entirely on all elements of the sport. One of the most important things they focus on during their training time are solo exercises. They simply tame the ball. And although most amateur players have much less time to dedicate to squash, it is all the more important to use this time as efficiently as possible to get the most out of yourself. Even if you use only 15-20 minutes of your weekly time on the court to hit the ball just by yourself and this way practice your technique, ball and racket control, that will make a big difference to your game. And your opponent will notice this, too!
Solo training is the ideal way to quickly master a certain shot or special technique. In addition, the great advantage of solo training is that you are not dependent on other people and can easily schedule the session in your busy timetable whenever you have some free time. When done properly, solo exercises will benefit players of all levels.
2. Play against people with different standards
Winning is something we all like. If you want to improve your squash, you will have to play regular practice matches. What many players tend to forget is the importance of playing against as many different opponents as possible. It is handy to have a regular squash buddy to play with every week, but when you have to compete against someone else during a tournament you may struggle unless you have had different playing partners. If you always play with the same opponent there is no way to learn to read different opponents and adjust your tactics according to their playing styles.
If you want to improve your game quickly you should have three types of opponents. First, it is important to play with people who are slightly weaker than you. With them you can concentrate on practicing your shots and technical issues you have focused on during your training sessions. The key is to apply them into match play when you are not under pressure. Likewise, you should regularly play against people who are stronger than you. Look for opponents who are just slightly better than you. With them you really have to do your best and think of how to beat them. This makes you improve quickly. Keep track of how many points you can win, whether you can adjust your game to give them a hard time on the court and see if you can keep your opponent on the court for longer even if you lose. Finally, include in your training partners people who have the same level as you. Matches with them teach you to stay focused and also help you to keep fit. Approach these games with a competitive attitude but do not forget to focus on your technique. To make progress, this is many times more important than trying to win at any price.
3. Work on your condition
Regardless of the level, anyone who has ever played squash knows how physically strenuous this sport is. Recent studies have shown that squash is the toughest racket sport in the world so we can not talk about high quality squash training without emphasizing the importance of fitness workout.
To become a better player, working on your condition is just as important as improving your shots and technique. For advanced players who have been playing at a high level for several years it may be slightly more difficult to take big steps in terms of fitness, but for beginners and recreational players getting fitter will make a world of difference. If you are physically in shape you can compensate for a poorer technique and even beat more advanced players. If you are currently not working on your condition, try including a weekly fitness workout of at least 30 minutes into your routine. If you lack time, just put on your running shoes whenever you are free, go outside and alternate the normal pace with taking short sprints. Another short but excellent training is to run stairs up and down. In the blog Top 3 off-season training for squash we explain how you can make running more fun and how you can boost your fitness in a very short time by climbing stairs. The different exercises make you fitter and stronger in no time and you immediately notice the results on the court.
In the next blogs we will list our favorite solo exercises. Simple exercises for players of all levels will be explained. So stay tuned!