Squash is a particularly active sport that will definitely require you to move a lot. A lot of various, extreme movements can result to injuries.
Injuries from playing squash may be caused by a variety of reasons – inadequate preparation, pre-existing injury, old age, or maybe just plain accident. Sometimes, even the most seasoned, perfectly prepared squash professionals are unable to escape those inevitable cases of accidents during the game.
If you’re new to playing the action-packed sport, knowledge of the most common injuries acquired from squash can help you understand them better and may aid you in preparing for them if you ever come across incurring them.
The following are some of the most common squash injuries:
Muscle Injuries – Muscle injuries from playing squash can be caused by the different drastic moves you do while playing. In squash, it’s natural that you do some radical motions such as leaping for the ball. The repeated twisting of your body, stopping, and starting once more, may result to muscle injuries. The most common muscle injury experienced by squash players is hamstring injury. The hamstrings can cramp, tear, and strain. Hamstring injuries, specifically muscle tears, can take for as long as weeks to months to be fully healed.
Joint Injuries – Joints injuries in squash are obtained from constant severe force applied when hitting the ball. This joint injury, also known as the ‘tennis elbow’, is a result of continuously using your dominant arm when hitting with the racquet. Tennis elbow generally produces pain when you try to extend your fingers or try to grip hard. Along with tennis elbow is the knee injury that can be incurred from the sprinting, stopping, and starting abruptly, just as with muscle injuries. Shoulder injuries can be received from colliding with the wall while playing, or in some cases, colliding with another player during the game.
Impact Injuries – Impact injuries are also common with squash players; especially that squash is an impact sport. Impact injuries are usually results of your body hitting another hard object while playing. While shoulder injuries can be acquired from colliding with the walls, the injury obtained after the collision can also be considered as an impact injury. Another typical impact injury from playing squash is a result of the ball hitting parts of your body. And, you can also get impact injury when the actual racquet hits you.
These are the most common injuries one can get from playing squash, although minor back aches and pains can also be obtained from bending down to be able to reach and hit low balls during the game.
If you’re just a beginner in playing squash, it’s better to accept the fact that, yes, sometimes injuries are unavoidable. But better understanding of what the injury entails can help you be more careful in playing this thrilling game.
Squash continues to gain popularity being one of the most loved sports today. It has been more than 140 years since squash was invented in Harrow School in England, and now the sport has made its way to become one of the favorite games of people of different nationalities. Although the sport has originated in England, the current record holder of PSA’s (Professional Squash Association) top rank in World Squash for men is Mohamed El Shorbagy from Egypt. This only proves that the sport is being respected and taken seriously worldwide. According to World Squash Federation, there are over 50,000 squash courts all over the world.
Squash is a competitive sport. Although being friendly is promoted while playing squash, it’s undeniable that squash players definitely want to win. It’s important to know how to prepare for a squash match. Knowledge on how to prepare for a match earlier can also help in molding future professional squash players.
One of vital parts of preparation for a match is to never forget to have complete gear. Aside from having the equipment such as the racquet and ball, you must make sure that you wear a pair of court shoes that you feel most comfortable at while diving, leaping, running and lunging for the ball. Since squash requires a lot of movement, you must ensure that you wear the perfect shoes that will not hinder your performance. For safety purposes, you may also wear protective goggles. There are reported cases of injuries from balls (even the racquet) hitting the some player’s eyes. Even though protective goggles can be useful, some pro squash players prefer not wearing them. An article from BBC entitled “Squash Players Fail to Protect Eyes” revealed that more than one-third of the number of players claimed that wearing goggles is uncomfortable and goggles limit their vision.
Make certain that you have had a pre-game meal. Even if having a meal before a match is important, choose to eat a meal that can easily be digested. Drink lots of water to stay hydrated because squash games are sure to make players sweat a lot!
Warm up before the match. Warming up does not only consist of doing stretches to prepare your body. It is also crucial to practice hitting the ball. You may hit the ball to the wall to condition your body before the squash game.
Prepare yourself mentally. Squash is a fast-paced sport and accuracy is important. In order to be accurate you have to prepare yourself by making sure you’re alert. Even Peter Nicol himself believes that mental preparation is important in playing squash.
Make sure that you are fit to play the game. Squash is a high-intensity, strenuous sport which requires a lot of vigorous movements. Don’t ignore an injury. If you’re having pains before the match, ensure that you seek professional advice.
Get some rest, don’t overdo it. Preparation for big squash matches can take weeks. During this period of time, it’s hard to avoid over practicing, especially if you really have a strong desire to win. Still, your body needs adequate rest. Some injuries result from overusing or putting too much strain on muscles without giving it time to heal.
It takes many squash matches and even more practice to be a good squash player. An assortment of skills and qualities are needed to be able to play squash games well; but every successful squash player has one thing in common—they are prepared in every squash match.
Squash is the 10th most popular sport in England according to Sport England. Squash is also one of the healthiest sports based on a survey conducted by Forbes Magazine. It has been more than a century since the sport was invented, yet people are still into it.
Aside from being relatively cheap and enjoyable, playing squash has become a widely popular means of workout because of the benefits you can get from playing the sport. Playing squash can also begin at an early age.
Just like other sports, squash has great health benefits. Squash is an active sport; it requires leaping, running, lunging and many other dynamic moves. These movements can strengthen your heart and lungs. It is also an excellent aerobic exercise.
Flexibility and agility are increased by playing squash. Muscles and ligaments are stretched when playing vigorously. Your speed can also be enhanced because squash is a fast-paced game.
Since playing squash includes various movements, it is also a great way to burn calories and get rid of unwanted body fats. Thirty minutes of playing squash can burn up to 500 calories.
Muscle development is also one of the great benefits of playing squash. Running during the game strengthens your leg muscles, swinging the racquet and hitting the ball hard improves endurance of the muscles in your arms.
A game of squash makes your focus and concentration better because you have to pay close attention to the ball so you can hit it. As a result, accuracy is also improved.
Another skill refined by playing squash is your hand-eye coordination. It makes you vigilant as you have to keep up with the rhythm of the game.
Squash is an indoor game so it can be played regardless of the weather. That means you can work out and enjoy anytime.
Stress and negative energy can also be released by playing squash.
Yes, the sport can be a bit tricky for beginners. With continuous playing, it’s easy to understand why people enjoy playing it so much not only for fitness but for fun, too.
Nutrition is extremely important if you want to maximise your performance in any sport and especially in a sport like squash which is physically demanding. Ideally, you should have a balanced diet that provides you with all of the vitamins and minerals you need however sometimes due to restrictions on your time, financial issues or even sheer laziness you may be struggling to provide your body with what it needs.
Nutrition at its core doesn’t need to be complicated. Your goal is to be eating enough total daily calories for your goals whether that is to maintain, gain or lose body weight. These calories should be distributed between fat, protein and carbohydrates based on your personal preference and which one you feel gives you the best performance. Typically most of your calories will come from carbohydrates, followed by protein and then fat. For some people they might not be able to handle large amounts of carbohydrates and so they should adjust accordingly.
The timing of your meals is not that important if you are following the advice from the previous paragraph. Carbohydrate timing is of particular importance if you are training more than once a day or if you train for extended periods of time. If you train more than once a day you will need to eat within a short time frame after completion of your first training bout in order to give yourself as much time as possible to replenish your glycogen levels for your next session.
Some people complain that eating healthily is more expensive than eating junk food but this really is nonsense. Potatoes, oats, rice are all extremely inexpensive and are packed with micronutrients. Meat can be expensive but if you shop around you can get really good deals. I use a muscle food discount code to get my meat even cheaper.
In an ideal world you should be getting everything you need from your diet but there will be times where you might be able to benefit from supplements. You should consider things like a fish oil and a vitamin d3 supplement. This is because people are commonly deficient in these. Multi-vitamin supplements have come into question recently as to whether or not they actually work.
Protein is often hyped as a good supplement but for your average squash player who is following a balanced diet your are unlikely to see any benefit from taking a protein supplement. This is because you are almost certainly consuming enough protein through your whole food sources. If you are looking to take supplements such as a fish oil or an energy gel I would recommend MyProtein, you can use a voucher code for Myprotein here.
In conclusion, nutrition isn’t that far off what your Mum used to tell you, eat a balanced diet with plenty of fruit and vegetables from a wide variety of sources and it’s almost impossible to go wrong.
Squash racquets are now regulated under the rules of the game and have maximum dimensions of 686mm long, 215mm wide with a maximum allowed strung area of 500 square centimetres. The heaviest allowed weight is 255g however most are much lighter and weigh between 90g and 150g.
Squash balls weigh between 23g and 25g and are between 39.5mm and 40.5mm in diameter. There are a number of different balls that are provided based on the temperature, conditions and standards of the players. More experienced players will use slower balls that have less bounce this is because they will “die” in the corners making it harder whereas as balls with more bounce will allow for easier shots.
Squash balls must be hit to warm them up in the beginning of a session as if the ball is cold it will have very little bounce. Colored dots on the ball indicate its level of bounciness.
Dimensions for a Singles Squash Court
A squash court is surrounded by four walls with a front line that separates the front and back half of the court. There is also a half court line that separates the left and right hand sides of the back half of the court. Each of the 2 back boxes have a smaller box known as service boxes. All of this is only relevant for serves.
There is an outline that runs along the top of the walls, if the ball touches above or on the line the ball Is out. There is a bottom line running along the front wall which marks the top of the “tin”. The “tin” is a 0.5m high metal area which when struck signifies that the ball is out. The middle line of the front wall is a service line and is only used for serves.
The history of squash is somewhat shared with tennis. The use of stringed rackets can be traced back to the late sixteenth century although it is more directly descended from the game of racquets. In the game of “racquets” a squeezable ball is hit against walls.
Squash was invented out of “racquets” in Harrow School around 1830. The game later spread to other school and would later develop into the international sport that it is today. Squash was first played on courts that were quite dangerous often being near ledges or water pipes. Owing to the popularity of the game, the school soon built four outside courts. Natural rubber was used for the ball and students would modify their racquets in order to be better suited to the cramped conditions by reducing their reach.
The evolution of the squash racquet has been very similar to that of the tennis racquet. Earlier squash racquets were made from laminated timber. In the 1980s there was a shift towards lighter materials such as graphite with some components being made out of kevlar and titanium. “Gut” strings were replaced with synthetic ones.
The enjoyed increasing popularity in the 19th century with a number of schools, clubs and even private individuals building squash courts. Although at the time there were no official dimensions for a court. The first squash court in North America appeared in 1884 at St. Paul’s School in New Hampshire.
In April 1907 the Tennis, Racquets & Fives Association set up a sub committee to set standards for squash. It was only until 1928 before the Squash Racquets Association was created to create set standards for squash in the UK.
The fundamental strategy in squash is “dominating the T”, the “T” being where the red lines intersect in the centre of the court. The reasoning behind this is simple if you are in the centre you are in the best position to retrieve your opponents next shot. So once you return a shot you should move back to the “T” in anticipation of your opponents next shot.
By being in the centre of the court you minimize the distance you have to travel in order to retrieve your opponents shot and therefore the amount of time it takes to get there.
A common strategy in squash is to hit the ball straight up the side walls into the back corners of the court. This is commonly known as “rail”, straight drive, wall, “length” and is a basic squash shot. After executing this shot a player should then return to the “T”.
A player may often utilise drop shots or “short” shots to the front corners of the court. This has the effect of forcing your opponent to have to cover more area and could result in you winning the point.
Shots that strike a side wall first are sometimes deliberately used, these are known as boasts or angle shots. These are used as deception and to force your opponent to cover more ground in order to retrieve the ball.
It is common for experienced players to have rallies containing over 30 shots and so it is important to have a high level of fitness. At higher levels of the game, where players are highly skilled and are able to retrieve a large number of shots from all areas of the court, points often become a war of attrition and so it is vital to have a high level of fitness. The fittest player will often have the advantage.
It is important to have the ability to alter the direction of the ball at the last possible moment in an attempt to unbalance your opponent. More experienced players can often predict their opponent’s shot slightly faster than the average player giving them more time.
There are multiple styles of play that you can adopt, these are commonly referred to as:-
Attritional Players – This is for players for base their game around their physical strength and fitness levels, they will often play tight shots.
Power Players – This is for players who build their game around powerful shots.
Retrievers -This is for players who excel at court coverage and retrieving their opponents shots.
Shot Makers – This refers to players who emphasize the shot making part of their game.