Squash – The Ultimate Sport For Skill Transfer?

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Squash – The Ultimate Sport For Skill Transfer?

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Good squash players tend to be good at all sports! A good squash player is that annoying friend who plays something new once or twice and can beat you, even though you’ve been having lessons for a decade with a top coach. Why is this?

I have a theory. I was chatting with good friend Lawrence Jones, himself a decent player and top businessman ie. athletic and competitive! He was saying how he can easily put a range of spins on a tennis ball to the utter annoyance of his opponent, not to mention he was willing to run after more shots and run for longer.
Playing squash, you become used to manipulating a squash ball. A squash ball is pretty small, so to be able to apply spins and affect a squash ball in different ways takes incredible dexterity, technique and understanding, and all with barely a second to think as the ball is travelling at a million miles an hour!

Some squash shots require to hit through the back of the ball, some underneath the ball, some round the outside of the ball, occasionally the top of the ball, and each of these can be on a power scale from hard to soft, and each of these can also be played with a varied racket face scale (open to closed) and with a varied follow-through (from small to big, from straight through to across or even down). When you list all of this it seems ridiculous that a squash players’ brain doesn’t explode or at least heat up so steam trickles through their ears!

If you can control a small ball, controlling a bigger one is easy. With a small ball, millimetres in the contact area can make big differences. Playing with a larger ball, these contact areas increase, giving more margin for error. A great way to improve football skills is to practice with a smaller ball. A comparison to a Squash ball is the Table Tennis ball, and it’s ridiculous the different spins players can put on that tiny ball. Squash players have far more transferable skills however, as squash involves more fitness and movement to cover the larger court.

Badminton has many transferable skills in terms of movement, stamina and power, but have less technical skills to transfer as you can do less with a shuttle cock than you can with a round ball.
Physically, Squash involves fast reactions, speed, power and stamina. Patterns of movement in squash are unique but transferable, as they involve timing, lengthening and shortening strides, and knowing when to use energy and when to conserve energy. Squash players also become very good at reading body language, and reading it quickly, allowing them to anticipate. A lot of body positions are similar across all sports, and squash players read these and anticipate their opponents’ next move.

So in conclusion, don’t challenge your squash playing friend, to a new sport, they’ll be better than you think!