The Transition from tennis to squash may appear easy. A ball and a racquet? It’s got to be the same… right?
Having recently taken up coaching squash after years of coaching and playing tennis, I’ve learned that there are many differences! Here are a few tips based on my experience to help tennis players adjust to competing on the squash court.
- The Grip
The first question any new players should ask themselves when stepping on a squash court is how to grip their racquet. As a former tennis instructor, I instinctively gripped the squash racquet using a beginner tennis grip, known as the eastern forehand grip. This is very important when learning to play tennis, but… as I found out, is completely wrong on the squash court! When it comes to the game of squash an open racquet face works wonders! Check out the gallery below to see how you want to hold it!
This grip helps to keep your wrist up so that the racquet face remains open as you hit and that the ball goes high to the front wall, sidewall, or back wall! Don’t be afraid to hit it high!
- Point of Contact:
In squash it is very important to get the ball going high (using that open racquet face from the grip). You want to bring your racquet up underneath the ball when you are making contact, not over as in tennis.
The ball can bounce at many different heights and the only constant is that the racquet should be facing up and be moving in the direction from low to high. Squash players – like tennis players- need to step and swing at the same time when they hit their shots in order to get the ball going firmly to where they want it to go. Without this it will be very hard to get the ball (and your opponent) to the back of the court.
When executing a proper swing in squash it is important to remember that your body weight should move from your back foot to your front foot. Regardless of what hand you swing with you want to make contact off of your front foot which should be your left foot when facing the right wall and right foot when facing the left wall.
- The Follow Through
When hitting a forehand (or backhand) in tennis, players are gradually taught to swing over the ball in order to produce topspin, which causes the racquet to end up way back behind them. When playing squash it is important that the follow through ends pointing high and with the top of the racquet pointing to where you want the ball to go on the front wall.
4. Be Ready to Run!
The most important thing I learned about squash is that squash moves at a much quicker pace than tennis. Both players are constantly moving around each other in a confined space, while at the same time keeping their eyes on a smaller, faster squash ball that doesn’t provide the same bounce time as a tennis ball. If you’re a tennis player looking to take on a new challenge and test your racquet skills, squash is an excellent choice! Get ready to have a lot of fun and be prepared for a killer work out!