Tennis has always been a popular sport for young athletes. Summer tennis camps are all over New England and many parents push their kids to learn the sport because it is accessible to people of all ages. More and more of the players who grew up playing tennis are becoming interested in squash. With both being racquet sports, there are a lot of overlapping techniques. Squash is a winter sport for New England schools, so it’s a fun alternative for tennis players on their offseasons. It’s a great game for young athletes to pick up and even play competitively. Although learning the sport from a tennis background is helpful in some ways, players need to adjust their style to become successful in squash.
Power vs. Finesse: Squash is played in a small rectangular box as opposed to the court used for tennis. All too often, tennis players come into squash courts and smash the ball as hard as they can thinking that it will bring them results. Squash is a game of finesse not power, and hitting the ball as hard as you can will only end up tiring you out. For players new to the game, deep shots into the corners are the first ones you want to practice. You don’t need to smash these shots, just make sure you are giving your opponents tough shots to return. As you begin to switch from the tennis top-spin shot to flatter squash shots, you will be able to control more points. When you’re playing squash, think about placement over power.
Movement: In a game where placement is king, players need to know how to move on the court and get into the right positions. Tennis is in many ways a lateral game; players move laterally at the base line and laterally at the net while avoiding no-mans land. Squash, conversely, has many more tricky angles and corners. Players need to learn to get deep into the corners and play shots out of them consistently. If you are switching to squash from tennis, imagine the tennis shots that you really needed to bend your knees for. Squash is a game with all these kinds of shots. Also, shots are much less predictable than tennis because the squash ball bounces off the walls at all sorts of angles. Practice predicting where the ball will go before moving to meet it. Knowing how to read the ball movement will help you with your footwork on the court. Private squash coaches are available who can help you make the transition if you are struggling. With hard work, you should be able to win on both the tennis court and the squash court.
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