Returning to squash

Returning to Squash – Phil Rushworth (Head of Squash)
While we await the green light to return to squash, I have been giving some thoughts on making the most of the initial weeks before we can get back to competitive squash as we know it. The four categories below will hopefully give you some ideas & motivation!
• Accept you will not be at the same level as pre-lockdown
• The same challenges will apply to everyone
• Be positive & enjoy being back on the court again
• Embrace the likely solo or social distance training phases
• Build up your levels of fitness slowly – don’t go gung-ho to start with!
• Remember squash fitness is very different to running or cycling
• Start with some relaxed squash type movements to give your body & feet chance to feel the movements again
• Dynamic warm ups before you start striking the ball – examples at bottom of this page
• Don’t do static stretching when your muscles are cold! – do these as a warm down
• Build in your warm up to all your sessions to get into the habit for when competitive play returns
• Solo or social distance training provides the perfect opportunity to improve technique
• Technique is not just with a racket but also your movement
• Try slow ghosting to get your feet into the correct positions
• Feed yourself comfortable set ups & practice hitting your targets – adjust angle of racket face or body position where appropriate
• Think about what your style of play is?
• If you are happy with your style, how can you use this time to practice your key shots?
• If you want to add to your style, what shots can you practice & add to your shot selection?
• If you’re an attacking player, can you practice playing lower risk shots away from the tin?
• If you’re a defensive player, can you practice shots that are just above the tin?
• Maybe watch some PSA squash footage to get your eye back into tactics mode
Dynamic Warm Up Example: • Jogging with Progressive Arm Circles (jog or backpedal) • Heel to bum kicks while jogging forwards • Knee-to Chest with a hop as your move forwards • Walking Lunges – can add a turn right or left (focus on balance) • Leg swings, one leg still other leg swings (forwards/backwards & inwards/outwards) • Twist hips & jump on the spot continuously • Arm circles (arms out at shoulder height & make small circles)