Warm up before play. It’s critical to warm up the body before starting a squash match. Jog for a few minutes to warm up muscles and raise the heart rate. Then complete some stretches in order to further warm the muscles, and to increase flexibility and range of motion. Then be sure to hit up with your partner for at least 3 minutes on each side of the squash court before commencing an actual match.
Wear proper squash shoes. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again – wear proper squash shoes at all times on the squash court! You really will notice the difference between shoes designed for playing squash compared with regular runners. Squash shoes have added stability, a durable sole, and good grip. You’ll have much better traction on the squash court, you’ll be able to reach all points of the court at pace with confidence, and you’ll be much less likely to roll your ankle or slip over on the court.
Play squash at least 3 times per week. The key to improving at any sport is practice, practice, practice! Try to get on the squash court at least 3 times per week. Perhaps one or two training sessions with a friend, one squash lesson, and one competition squash match.
Play against different squash players. It’s common to have a regular squash partner who you have a hit with every week. This is good for improving your fitness and your squash skills. However, playing the same person over and over again can make you complacent, and too accustomed to just one sort of squash game. Try to play against a range of squash players – this will expose you to different ways of playing the game and provide you with ideas on improving your technique.
Get squash coaching. A professional coach can identify and address the weaknesses in your game and mistakes in your techniques. You’ll find even an hour a fortnight with a squash coach will make a big improvement to your squash game. And the coach will run you round the court during your lesson, that’s for sure! – so squash lessons are also a great way to improve your fitness and stamina.
Go jogging. On the days you’re not having a hit of squash, go for a jog. Jogging is a great way to develop stamina and improve muscle tone. If you have an iPhone, check out the app Couch to 5K, which will have you running 5 kilometres within 9 weeks.
Do yoga. Yoga is a great way to increase flexibility and muscle tone, and also to improve focus and concentration. Try to attend at least one class a week, or get a yoga dvd so you can do some poses daily at home.
Eat right. It’s very rare to see an accomplished squash player who is overweight. While it’s important to take in lots of calories for energy on the squash court, these need to come from the right sorts of food. Limit or avoid foods that are full of sugar or fat, such as cakes, sweets, fried food, biscuits, and dairy. Try tomainly consume foods that are low infat and high in carbohydrates, vitamins, and fibre. Suggestions include fish, vegetables, fruit, white meat, legumes, brown rice, pasta and bread.
Have no cigarettes and little alcohol. Don’t smoke, and don’t drink too much alcohol. Surely no explanation required here.
Stretch after play. Be sure to complete some stretches when you come off the squash court, as well as before you play. This will help to avoid muscle tightness and soreness the following day.
For more useful squash tips, check out the SquashFit training and fitness course.