The Importance of the Squash Grip
Enthusiasts of the game will attest to the fact that having a proper squash grip on the racquet will mean the difference between succeeding at the game and failing. In a game for which a ball and a racquet are the only pieces of equipment necessary, it is easy to see how important the racquet and its use will be.
Basics of the game
A high energy sport, squash can be played by young and old alike as long as they possess good physical condition. It is played on an enclosed rectangular shaped court with four walls, a ceiling and floor that can be utilized during play. Markings are made on the floor to form 3 boxes; the front half, the left back quarter and the right back quarter. The front wall is also marked with three lines. The back and side walls are bare, although they, too, can be used during play. Using the racquet, a small hollow ball is ricocheted through the court; bouncing off the ceiling, walls and floor from player to player until the ball goes down or is hit after the initial bounce.
Importance of the racquet
The racquet head is a teardrop shaped surface crosscut threaded with gut strings attached to a long handle. It is a crucial piece of equipment in the game of squash. It is used to keep the ball in motion, which is the principle idea behind the game. Because of its importance, it is vital for the player to be in full control of the racquet at all times. Called the squash grip, learning to hold the racquet properly will help the player to stroke the ball properly.
The natural instinct for gripping the racquet handle is to close the fist around the middle of the grip. While it is possible to play the game holding the racquet in this manner, there are numerous shots that will be important for the winning of the game that this type of grip is impossible to accomplish.
A proper hold involves holding the racquet handle with the palm down and the thumb circling around the left of the grip. The index or pointing finger should extend toward the long end of the racquet. The remaining three fingers should encircle the right side of the grip. A “V” will be formed between the thumb and index finger, with one side of the “V” just about parallel to the racquet when the grip is performed properly. This feature is very important to master. Positioning of the hand on the grip can vary between players; some individuals choke the grip by placing the hand high on the cushion. This grip gives the optimal control of the racquet, although a certain amount of reach is lost. Other players prefer to move their hand lower on the grip. Some control is sacrificed, but the additional reach ability may compensate.
Proper grip may feel uncomfortable until you are used to it. It may also be difficult to develop a tight grip until the hold is master, and some tweaking may be required, such as:
- Try to hit the “sweet spot” of the racquet, which balance the hit.
- You may need to have your racquet restrung to provide lower tension. Tightly strung heads tend to increase the “bounce” feeling as ball meets string, which makes the player feel they lose their tight grip.
- Refit the handle to increase its girth; wrapping tape around the handle or adding an over grip. This adapts the handle to the shape of the hand, enabling tighter grip.
Developing the proper squash grip can transform a so-so player into a dynamic player. The precept of the entire game is in the movement of the ball around the court, which occurs solely through the wielding of the racquet. Mastering the techniques of the only equipment on the court will make for a successful squash player.