Beginner PlayersIf you are only going to take lessons once in what will hopefully be a long life of playing and enjoying squash then I recommend that you make that investment when you first begin. No one wants to be labeled as a beginner for long and a handful of lessons when you first start playing will ensure that you make a quick progression to the intermediate level. To advance beyond the beginner stage then I hope to help you understand the importance of the following components of squash:
1. Ball tracking
2. Hitting away & to the corners
3. Clearing & recovering to the "T"
4. Early preparation
5. Step-hit principle
6. Open grip
7. Long line through the ball
8. Core strength
9. Quads, hamstrings and butt!
10. Attention Control
At this stage I try to integrate the learning of the most simple and basic techniques with the more important tactical ones - to develop the foundations of "skill". I do not believe that beginning technique should be taught in isolation, with endless practices where the player hits the ball back to the coach who stands still in one corner.
I do have to start by giving you the basics of the swing so that you will be able to direct the ball where you want it to go (most of the time). Some repetition with the Squash Cannon will help us achieve this quickly, but as soon as this is done I switch the emphasis to making good tactical decisions that help you recognize where the ball should be hit to. Your improvement and your enjoyment will be far greater when you start playing if you develop an immediate understanding of what you are trying to do before you get too caught up in exactly how to do it.
Individual attention results in the fastest improvement rate, but as a beginner it can be more fun to learn in a small group where your skills can be developed while playing games with other beginner players. The group environment is also a great way to find a partner or two which can often prove difficult when you first start playing. Please let me know if you are interested in joining my next class for beginners.
"Mark's greatest gift may be his ability to quickly assess your game, and start building from there by focusing on the components that will have
the largest, most immediate impact on your play. I had been playing
squash for less than a year when I met Mark, but with only a handful of lessons he was able to
drastically improve my game - particularly with regards to my backhand technique that I was really struggling with.
After that, he was able to step back with me and "reassess". We then
began to cover some of the less obvious nuances, and increasingly
layered in more competitive strategy. It was also clear that while he
was trying to bring my game up meaningfully in the short-term, he had a
long-term perspective on what he was teaching."
Eric Adema, Principal, Vx Capital Partners