There’s no denying that tennis is a great sport – just ask our friends over at adidas Tennis Camps! However, there are a lot of overlapping qualities between tennis and squash, especially since they’re both racquet sports.
It’s not necessarily a seamless transition from tennis to squash for those who do want to either make a complete switch or pick up squash during the winter months in New England when it’s too cold to hit the tennis courts. There are a lot of similarities, but there are also a couple of big differences to keep in mind when it comes to adjusting one’s style to a different sport.
Power vs. Finesse
Tennis is played on a bigger court, but a squash match takes place in a small box that’s in the shape of a rectangle. Due to the different setting, it’s not uncommon for tennis players to just try and mash the ball as much as possible, thinking that’s the best way to approach the game.
Not so much.
Squash is more about finesse than power – using all your energy on every shot will just tire you out before the match is actually complete. Any skilled squash player can eventually catch up to a ball coming at them fast. It’s more difficult to get a good shot on a ball that’s coming at some sort of difficult angle. Practicing deep shots into the corners is a good way to get your opponent in a bind with regard to them sending a return shot in your direction.
A simple way to think about this is to prioritize the placement of your shots over how much power you’re putting behind them. Not having to deal with as much top-spin will allow you to have more control over your squash shots, making this more possible.
Since we just spent a few paragraphs talking about the importance of placing your shots in just the right spots, you also need to know how to properly move around the box to get your body in the necessary position to return the ball to your opponent. Tennis is more straight-forward in the sense that there’s a lot more lateral movement going on, while squash has more angles and corners to consider.
Tennis players jumping into the world of squash don’t necessarily realize how often they need to be bending their knees to get off a good shot, along with trying to find a way out of the corners while in the middle of a volley. The level of predictability as to where the shots are going to land is also much lower in squash, so it forces you to think and anticipate where a ball could end up more often.
Having an idea of how to read the ball and get your body in position to hit a return shot all helps your footwork – everything needs to be pre-meditated.
Credit: International Squash Academy