Unfortunately, most players can only devote a little time to honing their skills. There will only ever be a limited amount of time left for our squash training due to work commitments, family commitments, or other hobbies and social activities.
Professional athletes will undoubtedly have more time to practice and improve their skills than the average amateur athlete.
But the time you have needs to be used as effectively and profitably as possible. Therefore, even though most people may not have as much time to train as professionals do, they can follow their example in terms of the time spent on each training area.
Most professional athletes’ training regimens include a significant amount of alone training, which is much less typical among amateur athletes.
When it comes to racquet sports, squash is unique in that you don’t require a partner to have a successful training session. Players of all levels might benefit from spending time on the court alone to master a specific shot or practice a particular technique fully. Still, it’s uncommon to see a club player putting in this kind of effort.
The typical professional athlete will train alone for some hours at least once a week. It can significantly improve your game as an amateur if you spend 15-20 minutes hitting a ball each week before a few of your games or practice sessions.
USE A MIXTURE OF PLAYERS
The goal of squash, despite all the practice drills, coaching sessions, and partner exercises, is to prevail in competition. Regular practice matches are necessary if you wish to advance as a player.
The breadth and variety of opponents that they play against in their practice matches, however, is something that many players overlook.
Get an equal number of games against each of the following three types of opponents:
A little bit weaker players than you
players of the same caliber
slightly more powerful players than you
You can concentrate on various facets of your player growth by playing these three levels of opponents in your games.
It’s a chance to practice and incorporate the new aspects of your game that you’ve been working on in practice. It will be challenging to suddenly start using a shot you’ve been working on when you’re under pressure against opponents who are more skilled than you.
However, if you play regular games against opponents that are a bit less skilled than you, you’ll invariably get a little more time on the ball to start putting the strokes you’ve been doing in practice into a complete match-play setting.
On the other side, you are playing opponents who are a little stronger than you gives you a chance to assess your progress as a whole fully. Use your matches against players you believe are just one level above you to gauge your progress. Keep note of the number of points you can win, try periodically slipping in a game, or time the matches to see if you can keep your opponent on the court for a little longer.
Finally, you maintain your sharpness and fitness through practice games against opponents of like caliber. Although you should go into these matches with a competitive mindset, try to keep your attention on improving your squash rather than just trying to win at all costs.
Improve your physical fitness
Anyone who has played squash at any level knows how physically demanding the sport is.
Your physical power in squash matters equally as much as your technical and tactical skill. As much as working on your technique and strokes, getting fitter can significantly improve your game.
Many players talk about getting healthy, but working on improving your physical abilities and staying with them will help you become a better player.
Most athletes will also have a more significant window of opportunity to get fitter. It will be much more complicated and require a lot more dedicated time and effort for long-time players who have been playing and competing for periods of 15-20 years or more, whereas if you’re starting from a low base, physical improvements of 30-40% in your conditioning within a focused block of hard training are not unrealistic.
A few dedicated 15-20 minute ‘bolt-on’ workouts to your weekly training/matchplay sessions can go a long way toward improving your fitness and helping to elevate your game. We have a great library full of exercises, sessions, and programs for all levels and areas of fitness here on the site.