Squash Partner 101
As in any partnership, finding the perfect squash companion comes down to personality compatibility. However, there are some basic qualities every good squash partner should possess. A good squash partner should be positive, punctual and proactive. There is nothing that kills the mood of a good squash practice session more than a pessimistic, complainer. Look for a squash partner whose spirit and attitude matches yours and you will be more likely to experience an effective balance of competition and sportsmanship.
Also beware of the chronic late-comer. You will want to set a time and place for your squash practices a couple of days in advance to give you and your partner time to adjust to each other's schedule. If you are a morning person, find a squash partner who likes to be on the court early. And if you are one of the chronically late, then be sure your partner is okay with and understands your tendency. A proactive partner will not only motivate you to get out to the court more often, but they can also be a catalyst for improvement.
To guarantee additional improvement, find a partner whose skill level is either the same or better than yours. You may even want to have a few squash buddies at hand in case your partner should not be available one week. If you and your squash partner choose you can also hire a coach to help you both train to compete in a squash tournament.
When you and your squash partner can't make it to the court, try doing this Upper Body Free Weights Workout at your local gym.
Squash Partner Drills
It's always good to do drills with a partner, because partner drills easily translate into game drills. While drilling with a partner, you are learning how to prepare for unexpected shots and volleys during a match. You and your squash partner should decide on a set of drills that address different shots you feel you are weak at like boast, kill shots or drop shots.
Start your squash drill practice with a light warm up and stretch. Next move into drills that keep you in one place, equally alternating between forehand and backhand strokes. Next, add footwork by alternating positions with your partner, such as deciding to only use onside of the court to practice tight shots. For great drill ideas, check out Squash - 2 Player Drills on expertvillage.com.
How to Find a Squash Coach
Squash is a very technical sport. To perfect squash skills, you may need more than just a couple days a week at the squash courts. Individual instruction from a squash coach can help propel your squash game from recreational to competitive. Before you sign up with a squash coach, consider a few things.
For one, squash coaches have to not only be good mentors and communicators, but they also have to be good squash players. A good handle on squash technique doesn't however demonstrate a coaches knowledge of the sport. Coaches must have extensive knowledge of rules, drills, injury prevention and history. Before you sign up for training, ask your coach their own playing experience and their coaching experience. A great, and possibly more expensive, squash coach will have at least 10 years experience in coaching alone.
During your first couple training sessions, you should be able to ascertain your coaches personality. A natural coach is able to motivate in a positive manner and deliver constructive criticism regularly. Your squash coach should also be a good communicator and effectively explain strategies and techniques. Once you've decided on a squash coach, be sure to have a discussion about what you may need to work on; maybe you thought you had a good backswing, but your coach notices something is off or maybe you need to learn how to better perform a kill shot so you can win a game. You and your squash coach should set clear rules and establish a consistent practice schedule in order to ensure you get the full value for your time and money.
Health Benefits of Squash
All sports have great health benefits and squash is no exception. From cardiovascular to muscle toning benefits, squash is a great way to get in shape and stay healthy. Here are just a few of the benefits of squash:
1) Cardiovascular: Squash is an aerobic activity that gets your blood pumping and your feet moving. Due to the fast paced nature of a game, squash players must be in tip top cardiovascular and muscle strength in order to compete.
2) Strength: During a game, squash players have to lunge, run, dive, slide and leap for the ball. Lunging helps players develop stronger leg and buttocks muscles.
3) Flexibility: Another health benefit of squash is increased flexibility in the torso and lower back. In order to hit the ball, players use backhand and cross court lobs that involve a lot of twisting and turning.
4) Stamina: Squash also helps individuals build stamina. There is very little down time in a squash match; even though a game only takes about 20 minutes, the players only rest briefly.
5) Stress-relief: Additionally, squash is a great way to relieve stress. Players must be aggressive and focused. On the squash court you can forget all your other worries and get in shape at the same time.