Everyone has that friend who boasts that their sport is the best. Sports like tennis, cycling, and even dance are all challenging in their own respects, but what about squash?
Squash will demand that you be at the peak of your physical fitness (and, if not, have the mental willpower to get there). It will also test your aerobic and anaerobic capacity, mental toughness, and hand-eye coordination. Squash is also one of the more expensive racket sports. But despite all this, the rules of squash are pretty simple.
So, where does squash fall among top sports as far as its difficulty level?
Squash is a super simple sport to learn – the rules are simple and the equipment minimal.
The main goal in squash is to hit the ball off the back wall until you render your opponent unable to return the ball.
Each time you do so, you’ll be awarded a point.
The points you receive make up a set, which will determine the winner of the match.
Pretty simple, right?
Squash is a game that’s played between two people in a box-like room.
All you need to play squash is:
- A squash racket
- A squash ball
- Smooth soled shoes
There are five types of squash balls, and these will range from beginner-level balls, which are super fast (easier to return), to professional, which are super slow (challenging to return).
Here is a simple breakdown of the rules you’ll need to know before playing squash:
- A game of squash can be played by two (singles) or four (doubles) players at a time.
- You are required to hit the ball with your racket within the boundaries of the back wall.
- The ball is permitted to hit a side wall as long as it hits the back wall at some point.
- A let is called when one of the players accidentally gets in their opponent’s way and cannot get out of the way effectively.
- A foul is called if a player purposefully gets in their opponent’s way.
- If the game gets to a score of 10-10, a player will win by having two clear points.
- You can’t hit the ball twice, nor carry it.
- When a player serves, one foot of you and your opponent must be in the service box.
- When returning a serve, you’re allowed to hit the ball on the volley or after it has bounced.
Compared to other sports, the rules of squash are pretty straightforward, and the equipment is super easy to find.
So, why do people say that squash is such a challenging game? Well, it all comes down to the game.
Squash is challenging to play.
It’s a sport that requires super-fast reaction times, and it can get highly competitive.
To play squash well, you’ll need to have excellent hand-eye coordination, have developed proper squash techniques and tactics, and be reasonably fit to keep up with the game.
Becoming a professional squash player will require you to move around the court without tiring quickly and seamlessly.
It’s essential to be fit when playing any sport, but in squash, it’s mandatory.
Playing squash for 45 minutes will be one of the most strenuous aerobic workouts you’ve encountered.
Squash requires that you constantly move around the court while following an unpredictable ball.
If you’re looking for a quick way to become fit, look no further than squash. This sport requires actions and reactions from your entire body.
When you play squash, you also work your mental fitness to perform laborious tasks continually.
There isn’t a single style of playing squash that always works. You’ll need to adapt your game according to your opponent.
So, what exactly makes squash a challenging sport to play?
Well, squash requires:
- Exceptional hand-eye coordination – You should be able to serve and return the ball with accuracy and speed.
- That you play individually or in a team – Like tennis, players can play squash in singles or doubles, but what makes it difficult is that you’re playing the game within the confines of a walled court.
- Money to play – While it’s easy to start playing squash with minimal equipment, you’ll eventually have to invest in shoes, balls, rackets, and standard exercise gear. You’ll also have to join a squash club that comes with its own fees.
- Mental and physical endurance – Squash is a fast game that requires you to move around the court swiftly and effectively while also mentally calculating your opponent’s next move and your move, all while staying motivated to run around a closed court.
- Extreme focus on the game – This ties in with mental toughness but is unique to the match between you and your opponent. Playing squash requires you to count on the fact that your opponent won’t screw up and show that you’re the better player by beating them.
What makes squash fun and challenging is that you need to get into your opponent’s head while remaining in your own head.
The mental energy required to fool your opponent can be draining, but it can also be super satisfying when done correctly – this is what it comes down to in professional matches.
If you want to excel at playing squash, you’ll have to ensure personal mastery in each of the following four components:
- Technique – No matter how many hours you play squash, you’ll tire yourself out and will be bound to lose the match without good technique.
- Tactics – All sport requires analysis of the match, but in squash, you want to have multiple shots in your arsenal while also familiarizing yourself with your own strengths and weaknesses.
- Physical – Your physical fitness will determine the success of your tactics and technique. In squash, you want to improve your speed, power, flexibility, endurance, and stability to play a successful match.
- Mental – The mental side of squash is difficult to quantify and will be determined by your ability to deal with pressure, failure, success, etc.
More often than not, the mental component of squash is ignored while all the focus is shifted towards other factors like fitness and tactics.
To be a great squash player, you’ll have to be well-balanced in these components — this in itself is what makes squash a demanding sport to play, even if it is super simple to learn.
Squash is one of the most challenging sports out there.
Playing squash demands physical and mental willpower.
While learning the rules of squash is simple, the game itself requires you to train and understand the components that make it a fun game to play.
If you’re able to develop your technique, tactics, and physical and mental strength, you’ll be able to conquer the squash court in no time!