The racket sport of squash is a game that is both savage and genteel. It is popular among the country club types, Wall Streeters and Ivy leaguers (although it is not limited to just these groups). Squash is also a brutal test of willpower and stamina, and is probably the best 45-minute workout you could ever possibly have (you can burn as many as 500 calories with a 30-minute vigorous squash session). So in other words, it’s a lot of fun to play and you can definitely get fit playing squash.
The game of squash is played on a small square court that measures 21 feet across and 32 feet from the front to the back. It involves hitting a ball at a front wall that is 15-feet high. Whenever you see the game of squash being played for the very first time, you may be wondering how hard can it really be. The first time that you play it, your thighs and lungs will be burning. You will have an answer within five minutes of playing.
One of the main reasons why squash is such a physically demanding sports is due to the fact that is played using a squishy ball that’s difficult to put away. There is the possibility of hitting outright winners, killing shots that hit the front corner right over the tin (a 19-inch tall metal strip running along the lower part of the front wall and right over where the ball needs to hit) and then rolls dead. However, those shots are very difficult to come by, and since the court is very compact, there are not too many shots that can’t be run down by a player with flexibility In addition, unlike tennis, in squash you hardly ever get any free points off of your serve – aces are very rare (and at the highest levels are practically nonexistent). The serve in squash is used only for starting the point; a serve that is particularly well-struct may put your opponent on the defense, however that is about all the help your serve is likely to get you.
To a certain extent, racket skills are important. Balls that are along the court’s side walls, which are called rail shots, are the basic building blocks for nearly every point. With rail shots, the goal is keeping your opponent pinned at the back of court or, even better, forcing a loose ball that can then be attacked. It takes precision – to keep rails shots tight on the wall and to control the center of the court, which is referred to as the T. Another thing that is essential is good volleying; the more balls you are able to cut off while they are still in the air, the more likely it will be that you will be able to control the T.
However, if you place two players that have around the same amount of ability out on the court, most likely the outcome of the match will come down to the two player’s conditioning. Squash is basically a war of attrition, where victory is achieved through keeping you opponent moving until he doesn’t want to move any longer. Quite often the factor that decides the game is the fitness factor. Some of the biggest stars of the sport were as famous for their training routines as their exploits on the court. The Australian Geoff Hunt, who during the late 1970’s was the world’s number one ranked player, was known for the interval training he did. He was known for doing 26 400-meter sprints! It would take him 75 seconds to finish one lap of the track. He would rest for 60 seconds in between laps. It isn’t necessary to go to that extreme, but it can definitely help having a strong base of fitness whenever you are playing squash (If you are over 40 years old and out of shape, before you even attempt to play square you should do some strengthening and cardio work.)
A Cheat Sheet For Beginning Squash Players:
from NUTRITIONCLUB http://nutritionclub.ca/how-to-get-fit-playing-squash/
from Nutrition Club Canada https://nutritionclubca.wordpress.com/2016/02/09/how-to-get-fit-playing-squash/
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