Over the past six months I’ve really gotten into squash. It’s such a great sport to play. I’ve been going regularly with my friends and sometimes girlfriend (about once a week) and I absolutely love it. I can really see an improvement in my game, it so much fun either when just rallying or when playing competitively. Aside from being an easy sport to pick up, here are my 5 reasons that you should have a go at squash:
Playing squash is a great way to stay fit because you don’t stop moving the whole time. It really gives you a great cardiovascular workout. No other sport tests your agility and acceleration like squash, after a good game I have always built up a sweat. I love the fact it can be so fast paced and I really run a lot more than I do with any other sport, running to get that ball really does motivate you to move at your very fastest. Even after just a 45 minute session (how long we can hire the court out) it feels like I’ve done a decent workout at the gym, but it’s way more fun! Constantly lunging in every direction for 40 minutes uses 50% more muscle than you would be running and because you’re doing this at break-neck speed you’ll end up burning more fat than on any cardio machine.
Something that makes squash really good for people starting out is that it really doesn’t need a lot of gear. All you need is your normal sports kit, non marking shoes, a racket and a ball…
I’ve just bought a new Artengo SR 890 squash racket from Decathlon. This carbon fibre racket is feather light with a frame that weighs in at just a 130 grams. It’s a great racket for an improving player and is stupidly good value – you won’t find features like this for this price from any other brand of racket! It delivers top power with its reinforced shaft whilst still being forgiving for improving players (like myself) with its generous head size. (I’m going to let you all come up with your own jokes).
So the balls…..The balls are really cool as they each have a coloured dot depending what level you are at – I have a red dot on mine which means it’s an intermediate level, with a medium bounce and high speed. Blue is for Juniors or New Players, Green and single yellow is for Advanced players, professionals use Double Yellow. This colour coding is really great for showing your progress and it’s really cool when you feel ready to move on to a trickier ball.
Fun and Suitable for all ages
I’ve not been playing squash for a year yet and I’m no where near professional level, but I found the game really easy to pick up. The rules are so simple, easy to learn and a lot of fun – anyone can play! I like how social it is too. I’ve been going with my friends and we take turns to have a game. We have such a laugh and it does get quite competitive when the scores are pretty close. You have to win by two clear points so you can end with some very tense showdowns. We all have a total blast and are completely hooked. It’s got to be my favourite racket sport at the moment.
I haven’t been playing for that long and I feel I’ve progressed very quickly. I love the fact you can progress at your own pace. When I started, I worked hard to develop my technique, trying to aim the ball at certain points on the wall, then focused on my backhand play. My friends and I started playing cooperatively, just to get better, so instead of trying to gain points, we tried to get the ball back to each other- again practising hitting our “target” and keeping a long rally going. It’s really easy to track your progress as once you start having consistently longer rallies, you know your technique has improved. Then it’s time to begin playing much more competitively and trying to get points. As I mentioned earlier, as you get better you can change the ball you use and move up the colour grading.
It’s cheap, anytime!
It really is a cheap sport to take part in. My local leisure centre hires out squash courts for only £6.50 for a 45 minute slot which is a real bargain (especially by the time you’ve split it with your mates!). Apart from that the only costs are a squash racket, a pair on non-marking trainers and some suitable sports clothing, that’s it! If you’re smart and go somewhere like Decathlon to get your sports gear where you can get some real bargains too. The best part is you can play whatever the weather as it’s indoors. This has been a blessing recently with the terrible weather we’ve had.
If you fancy taking up a new sport, I would definitely recommend playing squash. There are so many benefits and it is accessible to all. Go and have a go. I know you’ll love it!!!