PROLOGUE

The Beauty of Squash

 

THE RACKET- Old and New

 

  HOW THE GAME HAS CHANGED

 

  MAKING THE RIGHT CHOICE OF RACKET

    Racket frame shapes

      The oversize racket

     The oversize narrow racket  

      The drop shaped racket

      The drop shaped head with a flat top,

      The mid-size racket     

     The racket throat and shaft

     Materials used for racket frame construction and how they vary

     A word on strings

 

   GET TO GRIPS

     How should I hold my racket?

     Grip comfort and thickness

 

TECHNIQUE- That's Magic

 

  THE  FOREHAND

    Position and Swing

    The back-swing

   Correct use of the wrist

    Errors often committed by players, and their corresponding solutions

      Detailed explanation of 12 typical technical errors to lookout for

 

  THE BACKHAND

    Position and Swing

    The back-swing

    Correct use of the wrist

    Errors often committed by players, and their corresponding solutions

      Detailed explanation of 12 typical technical errors to lookout for

 

  TOP SECRET

    Technique to hit the ball when extremely  close to the side wall

 

  CONCEPTS TO BE CONCIDERED

    Acceleration

    Speed

    Co-ordination

    Relaxation

    Balance

 

  PUTTING THE ELEMENTS TOGETHER

    Confirming the importance of these technical concepts

 

  MAKE SURE YOUVE GOT IT RIGHT

     How to assure having the right technique

 

  IS IT RIGHT TO ALWAYS USE THE “CORRECT” FOOT?

    Instructions for beginners

    Why do top players often use the "incorrect" foot?

    Avoiding the disadvantages of such positions

    Taking advantage

 

CALLING THE SHOTS 

 

  THE STRAIGHT DRIVE

    Technical explanation

    Perfect length

    The power drive

    Defensive length down the wall

   The straight drive from the frontcourt

 

  THE CROSS-COURT

    From the back court

    From the front court

 

  THE DROP SHOT

    The Straight Drop-Shot played from the T

    Forehand Drop-Shot from the T

      Basic position technique

    Backhand Drop-Shot from the T

      Basic position technique

    Forehand Drop from the T

      Advanced position

    Backhand Drop from the T

      Advanced position

    From the cut-line area

    The Drop-Shot from the front court ( the counter drop )

    The Drop-Shot off the back wall

      On the Backhand

      On the Forehand

    The Cross-Court Drop

    The Cross-Court Drop from the back corners

 

  THE SIDE-WALL BOAST

    The Forehand Boast

     The forehand boast played off the back wall

      The forehand boast played before the back wall

      The Forehand Boast Played off the Other Foot

      The Forehand Boast Played into the Nick

    The Backhand Boast

     The backhand boast played off the back wall

     The backhand boast played before the back wall

      The Backhand Boast Played off the Other Foot

      The Backhand Boast Played into the Nick

   The Boast played at the front court

      The Forehand Boast played at the front court ( using the “correct” foot forward )

      The Forehand Boast played at the front court ( using the other  foot forward )    

      The backhand Boast played at the front court

   The trickle Boast

 

 THE LOB

     The Forehand Lob From the Front Court.

     The backhand Lob From the Front Court

     The Forehand Lob From the back Court

     The backhand Lob From the back Court

     A different lob trajectory

 

  THE MID-WALL DROP

    On the Forehand

      Front Court

      Mid-Court

    On the Backhand

      Front Court

      Mid-Court    

  

  THE KILL-SHOT

   The straight kill-shot

    Cross court kill-shot front court

    Cross court kill-shot back court

 

  THE VOLLEY

    The Straight Drive played on the volley

    The Cross-Court played on the volley

      Forehand cross-court volley

      Backhand cross-court volley

    The Volley Drop

      The straight volley drop

      Played off an opponent’s cross court

    The Cross-Court Volley Drop                   

    The Volley Boast                          

    The Lob played on the volley      

    Played in response to the opponent’s lob.

    The Mid-Wall drop played on the volley

    The Kill-Shot played on the volley

 

  THE BACK CORNERS 

    Technique - forehand corner

     Technique - backhand corner

    Getting beginners started- forehand side

    Getting beginners started- backhand side

 

  THE SERVICE

    The Lob Serve

    The Low Serve

    Moving correctly after serving

 

  THE RETURN OF SERVE

    How to respond

    Practising the Return of Serve

   

  THE IMPORTANCE OF SOLO PRACTISE

    Knowing every shot perfectly well

    Stronger hand, wrist, and forearm - racket control like never before

 

  EXERCISES AND DRILLS TO DEVELOP YOUR SKILLS

    You will be amazed how much your game will improve

 

PREPARE TO MOVE

 

  THE TYPE OF MOVEMENT AND ENERGY SYSTEMS INVOLVED

      The aerobic energy system.

      The anaerobic lactate energy system.

      The anaerobic phosphate energy system.

 

   THE ART OF MOVEMENT ON A SQUASH COURT

     Moving off the “T”

     Movement to the front and returning to the middle

       The front forehand corner- for beginners

      The front backhand corner- for beginners

       A more difficult example- for advanced players   Forehand side

       What could go wrong?

       How to pick the ball up from the nick

       A more difficult example- for advanced players   Backhand side

       What could go wrong?

    Movement to the back and returning to the middle- for beginners

      The back right corner- before the balls bounce on the back wall

      The back left corner- before the ball’s bounce on the back wall

      The back left corner- after the balls bounce off  the back wall

      The back right corner- after the ball’s bounce off  the back wall

      Mistakes to be avoided.

    Back court movement- for advanced players

      The side-step

      Ankle power

       The split-step

      Short quick steps verses big powerful steps

    Retrieving the power drive

      Errors often committed and their solutions

      Off the back wall

    Responding to a cross-court

    Moving to the side

    Moving to the side and volleying

    Moving to the back and volleying

 

  DYNAMIC EQUILIBRIUM

    From a squash player's perspective

     Lab tests and research

     Insight

   

  CHANGING DIRECTION

 

PHYSICAL CONDITIONING

 

  OVERLOADING AND OVERTRAINING

 

  BUILDING A SENSE OF SELF AWARENESS

 

  THE WARM-UP AND COOL-DOWN

 

  AEROBIC TRAINING

    Maximum heart rate and Working heart rate

   The benefits and effects of aerobic training

   General aerobic training

   Specific aerobic training

 

  ANAEROBIC LACTATE TRAINING

    400m repetitions

    Uphill dash

    Specific anaerobic lactate training

 

  SPEED ENDURANCE

 

  ANAEROBIC PHOSPHATE TRAINING

    Specific

    General anaerobic phosphate training

 

  SPEED TRAINING

    General speed training

    Specific speed training

     On court power training

 

  WEIGHT TRAINING FOR THE SQUASH PLAYER

 

  DEVELOPING MUSCLE MASS – THE BODY BUILDER IN YOU

    Exercises for the various muscles and muscle groups of the upper body

      The pectoral muscles

       The bench press using free weights

       The inclined bench press – using free weights

       The inclined bench press – using machine

       Seated flies – using machine

      The deltoids

       The seated shoulder press – using free weights

       The seated shoulder press – using machine

       Lateral raises using free weights

       Bent over lateral raises – using free weights

       The dorsal muscles

       Lat pulls

       Seated rows

       The lumbar muscles

      Strengthening the arms

      The triceps

       Cable arm extensions  

       One arm overhead extension – using free weights

      The biceps

       Preacher curls

       One arm seated curls

      The forearms

       Flexor exercise

       Extensors exercise

       Strength transformation

      Abdominal muscle groups

  The shape of an upper body session

     For beginners

     For advanced players

  Weight training for the legs

    The leg squat – using free weights

    Lunges using heavy dumbbells

    Leg extension – using machine

    Leg curls –using machine

    The calves

    Standing calf raises – using machine

    Seated calf raises – using machine

    Sets and reps for a leg workout

 

  LARGE MUSCLE GROUP TOTAL-BODY-SET-TRAINING

 

  TRAINING WITH WEIGHTS FOR POWER

 

  PLYOMETRIC TRAINING

 

  QUICK FEET  - TRAINING FOR RAPID FOOT MOVEMENT

 improving dynamic equilibrium

  IMPROVING DYNAMIC EQUILIBRIUM THROUGH SPECIFIC EXERCISES

 

  CO-ORDINATION EXERCISES

 

  CIRCUIT TRAINING

 

  SETTING UP A TRAINING PROGRAM

    Important factors to consider

      Age

       Training experience  

       Actual condition

       Strengths and weaknesses

       Time duration before event

       Dates of most important events

   Are hard games enough to get me fit?

   Are hard games enough to keep me fit?

 

  A TOTAL TRAINING PROGRAM-  OVERLOADING AND BUILDING UP TO NEW LEVELS

    An example of a 13-week training program for young professionals

 

  ADVISE ON TRAINING AND PRACTISE FOR CLUB PLAYERS-

  EXAMPLES OF TRAINING PROGRAMS

    Two evening squash games per week- no other free time to train or practice

    Two evening squash games per week plus one lunchtime session

    Two evening squash games per week- plus two lunchtime session

    Three evening squash games per week- no other free time to train or practise

    Three evening squash games per week plus one lunchtime session

    Three evening squash games per week plus two lunchtime sessions

    Four evening squash games per week- no other free time to train or practise

    More than five training sessions per week

 

  STRETCHING TO STRETCH YOUR OPPONENT

    Basic stretching technique

    Pnf stretching technique   

    Ballistic stretching- advantages and disadvantages

 

      The arms

      Shoulders

      Chest

      Abdominal and waist

      Lower back

      Gluteus

      Hip flexors

      Quadriceps

      Hamstrings

      Abductors

      Calves

 

    MOBILITY

      The importance of free movement at the spine, hip, and shoulder joints

 

    IMPORTANCE OF SPORTS MASSAGE- fast recovery and injury prevention

       Squash players can avoid loss of co-ordination, speed, strength, and power

 

DECEPTION

Not Only to Play Winning Shots, but mainly to mount pressure on your opponent

 

  DECEPTION TECHNIQUES

    Change of Sequence

    Holding the shot

    Changing the Speed of the Swing

    Using The Wrist

    Using The Body

    Combining The Elements

  Deceptive Variations Per Type of Shot

    The straight drive as the primary shot

    The volley  straight drive as the primary shot

    The Cross-Court as the Primary Shot

      From the back court

      From the front court

      On the volley

    The Drop as the Primary Shot

      From the back court

      From the front court

      On the volley

    The Boast as the Primary Shot

    The Kill-Shot as the Primary Shot

 

TACTICS

Introduction

 

  THE BOTTOM LINE -  Be On the T Before the Opponent is on Your Shot

 

  TACTICS TO CONTROL THE GAME

     Your short shots are only as good as your preceding long shots

       Unforced errors

     Practical talk

      Get your length and width right

      Look for active volleying opportunities to stay in front

      Use the boast when your opponent hangs back

      Work the opponent hard then go for the winner

    Pressure your opponent and recognise difficulty cues

      What are difficulty cues?

      Why are they important to recognise?

      How are they created?

      Some examples

    Do not attempt the “winner” when both you and your opponent are out of position

    Time interval between shots and choices to make.

      Promptness to move onto the ball

      The speed of the resulting shot

      Where the ball travels

       Some examples

    Not seeing is believing

      How can a player sense his opponent’s position on court?

      Choosing the right shot from the backcourt?

      Choosing the right shot from the frontcourt?

      Choosing the right shot when volleying

    Crossing paths     which player has the advantage?

    Tracing player’s movement for better tactical play

    Create a pattern, let your opponent in, then make changes.

    Never change a winning game?

    A match is never over until the last point has ended  and you shake hands.

    When to speed up the pace?

    Short and long-term tactics.

    Winning the important points.

    When to use deception?

    Do not follow your opponent’s style of play or always try to thwart his best efforts.

 

  KNOWING YOUR OPPONENT

    Physical traits and movement qualities

    Technical skills and favourite shots

    Technical and physical characteristics combined- examples of

   different types of opponents and how to play against them

      Hypothetical opponent 1

      Hypothetical opponent 2

      Hypothetical opponent 3

      Hypothetical opponent 4

      Hypothetical opponent 5

      Hypothetical opponent 6

      Hypothetical opponent 7

      Hypothetical opponent 8

      Hypothetical opponent 9

      Hypothetical opponent 10

    Psychological traits and personality

    The walls crumble -  getting your way against a tough opponent

 

  HOW TO LEARN THROUGH WATCHING

      Watching top professionals

      Watching opponents

  

 

GAME PSYCHOLOGY-  It’s all in the head

 

  DONT BE YOUR WORST ENEMY

    Don’t hate, disrespect or overvalue your opponent

    Learn to play against the ball and the court’s geometry

      Avoiding self-inflicted pressure

      Maintaining a realistic perception

      Top pro’s do it best

    Do not accept or look for scapegoats

      Supporting pain

      Handling the referee

      Reacting to a crowd

      Make a mental note before every game

    Optimism is the key to strength

    Concentration

     What exactly is concentration

      Why a player may lose it even without being distracted?

      How to regain it

    Cut out the facial expressions

     Signs of stress

      Emotions magnified

   Hide the pain

    Confidence

      Naturally confident

      Asserting confidence through reasoning

    Visualisation

      What is visualisation?

       Putting it in action

    Attitude towards training

    Motivation

    Self awareness- how well should a player know himself?

    Faith

 

NUTRITION -  The Squash Player’s Diet

 

  ENERGY SOURCES DURING EXERCISE

    Carbohydrates

    How and where are carbohydrates stored?

     The importance of glycogen reserves

    Training correctly to make the most of these reserves

    Proteins

      As a substitute?

    Fats

      A valid energy source?

 

  HOW SHOULD A SQUASH PLAYER EAT?

    Glycogen reserves back to peak levels

      Supercompensation and its disadvantages

      A more valid method

    Knowing the amount of carbohydrates per serving  

    Are you getting enough proteins?

    Are you getting too many fats?!  

    Finish your vegetables!

    Living on fruits

    Fibres and the benefits

    Made of iron

    Take up the drinking habit

      The importance of water

       The right drink

    Vitamins

      Vitamin A

      Vitamin B1  (thiamine)

      Vitamin B2  (riboflavin)

      Vitamin B3  (Niacin)

      Vitamin B6

      Vitamin B9

      Vitamin B12

      Vitamin C

      Vitamin D

      Vitamin E

      Vitamin K

 

  SUPPLEMENTS 

    Carbohydrates

     Proteins

     Amino acids

     Vitamins

     Creatine monohydrate

     L-Glutamine

 

PLAYING GAMES

 

  MAKING THE MOST OUT OF YOUR PRACTISE GAMES

    Against a weaker opponent

     An opponent of equal strength

     A stronger rival

 

  ADAPTING TO PLAYING CONDITIONS

    Not all squash courts are the same

    Technical and tactical considerations

 

  PRE-MATCH PREPARATION

    Before a practise match

    Before a competition match

 

 

 

 

       CREDITS

 

 Text photos and videos by Hesham El Attar

 Players- Gianvito Allegretti, Carlo Fantenuoli, and Hesham El Attar

 Page layout- special thanks to Anthony Richardson

 Html technical support- Luca Meyer- Markservices s n c Turin