Breaking Through the Levels

(image: Julie Harris)

Breaking Through the Levels: Hardball Doubles

by Preston Quick In this month’s issue, former World Champion Preston Quick describes the unique lingo and skills it takes to excel at every level of squash doubles. C Players at the C level will benefit greatly from a focus on the fundamentals; cross courts should hit the side wall more often, use the height […]

Hughes (l) against Wahlstedt in the 2015 National Singles.

Breaking Through the Levels: Age Groups

by Dominic Hughes, Owner of Berwyn Squash & Fitness and Ten-Time National Singles Champion 35+: Two Championships: At this age I was naturally fit and didn’t really train that hard, instead relying on my ability. I was new to the U.S. and wanted to play well and make a statement at nationals. I traveled to […]

breaking through

Breaking Through the Levels

By Chris Hanson, US Elite Performance Program Member and World No. 84 While many adult and junior players consistently work on their game, trying to “break through to the next level”, only an elite few reach the upper echelons of the sport. Chris Hanson is one of those players, and in this issue he reflects on levels […]

Lindsay Burnham

Youth is Served

This issue, three young ladies from the Germantown Cricket Club in Philadelphia, PA, have wrestled the “Breaking through the Levels”column away from the Professionals to discuss drills, extra training, improving mental toughness, and lessons they have learned while competing and “Breaking through the Age Divisions”! U13 by Linsay Burnham It was 10-3 in the 5th […]

Nicol David (left) has been at the top of the women's world rankings since 2006. Part of the reason for that is her incredible ability to stay focused on each point, rather than being distracted by the finish line. In addition, David's shot choices are designed to keep her opponents off-balance and herself in excellent position to reach the next ball

Squash—Otherwise Known as Physical Chess

By Gilly Lane, U.S. national coach People often refer to the sport of squash as a game of physical chess. You are constantly trying to out-think your opponent on the go. While the sport of squash is a gladiatorial battle between two players, often the toughest battle is the one that lies between their ears. […]

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Seeking Length Supremacy

By Kim Clearkin Director of Squash at San Francisco Bay Club How often do you marvel at the top players when they hit a cross-court volley nick, ending the point in style? Do you wonder how they created this situation and earned the right to end the point in such a way, or do you […]

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Movement & Balance

By Kim Clearkin, Director of Squash at San Francisco Bay Club I often hear some of our members commenting on how little the pros seem to move when they play—they don’t seem to run, but instead they glide about the court always managing to retrieve the ball and then, magically, they’re in position to take […]

At lower levels, players who find themselves in a position of control will commonly respond with another drive to the back of the court. As players advance through levels, however, they will increasingly recognize situations in which they have created positions of advantage for themselves and play shots accordingly. For example, when Nicol David (left) gained an opening in the center of the court with Nour El Sherbini deep in the back court, she opted to volley the ball (thereby reducing the amount of time El Sherbini had to recover) into the cross-court dropshot area which not only forced the Egyptian to cover the maximum amount of the court to retrieve the shot, but also added to the difficulty by taking pace off the ball to ensure that it stayed short in the front court area.

Tactical Analysis

By Scott Devoy, U.S. National Junior Women’s Coach One of the biggest differences between players at lower levels compared to the upper levels can be seen in their variety of play—or lack of it. Whether the pace put on the ball, or the height, or even the variety of shots selected, players at lower levels […]

When lobbing, the keys are to stay low, open the face of your racquet and get under the ball to lift it high up on the front wall. The goal is to make the ball land deep in the back corner with a trajectory that keeps it tight to the back wall and makes it difficult for your opponent to volley.

The Lob Game

By Gareth Webber, Director of Squash, Squash Club Los Gatos Level IV Elite Coach, U.S. Squash National Team Coach A great way to respond to “shot makers” and power players is by using the height on the front wall by playing a lob. This is an essential skill to have as it provides you the […]