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New player, slightly too enthusiastic..

Published: 05 Aug 2008 - 23:29 by Markos22

Updated: 26 Sep 2008 - 06:59

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Hello there, I'm a newbie to the world of squash (well, not totally new, had a term of it at school about 11 years ago but then nothing until), looks like I've jumped in at the deep end and banged my head on the metaphorical floor, wondered if anyone here could offer any wisdom...

Basically, one of my colleagues at work invited me to play for an hour, and after a couple of points I found I was able to get the ball back and rally ok. We'll gloss over the running headfirst into the wall part. Anyway, had great fun and was looking forward to becoming a regular again, but a couple of days later, after all the "not exercising for years" aches had subsided, the stabbing pains at either end of my forearms and back of my hand were still tehre. And three weeks on still are! Grr!

Been trying to think of what could have brought this on (esp as it's both arms and I only hit with the right hand)...was using a borrowed racket with a grip that may have been too small - is there a metric for how big the grip should be to match your hand like the "can fit your non-holding thumb between palm and forefinger of holding hand" one for tennis grips? The only other thing i could think of is, having mostly played tennis in the past (but not even that for four years or so), my forehand shots were of those quite strongly topspun varieties, coming voer the ball from behind - can these be transposed to squash as easily as that? If I have to change it, that'd be a shame - it was giving my mate all sorts of difficulty...(heh, how do you play someone with no technique?)

Also, does anyone have any recuperative/strengthening advice? I'm *so* bitten by squash, can't wait to get back out there (looks like I'm going to have to though!).

Blimey, that's a lot for a first post, sorry about that...anyway, thanks for reading all this, I'll be chuffed for any words you can offer and hope to talk more soon,



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From Markos22 - 14 Aug 2008 - 19:19

Hi there,

Please forgive my sporadic posting, don't have my own computer so these are done in snatched few minutes here and there at work. Unfortunately things haven't cleared up completely, still soreness around the wrists and elbows; the doctor's said not to play for another month. Which is a bit tough after just one game but if he says it, it's got to be done :( And I'm away for much of this period so hopefully not missing too many sessions.

The sports massage therapist I saw at the weekend had an interesting take on it, she thinks the headfirst collision with the wall (hurt like hell at the time but gone two days later) may have had more of an effect than I thought, and that the pain is symptomatic of a whiplash-type injury radiating from the neck. Which might explain why both arms hurt despite me playing one-(right)handed, but the doctor's not too sure of this, favouring something more like rsi.

My powerball has arrived, causing much fun and interest in the office, although noone's that good at using it yet! This a longterm project to learn, I think. My arms are skinny (1m81 and 56kg - not proud!) so I'll ask at the gym about strengthening that way once they start doing advice sessions the stretching exercises on the pages rippa rit's linked to keep me going for the meantime that treadmill's got a client later ;)

Cheers guys,
Mark (wasp in a jamjar)

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From rippa rit - 14 Aug 2008 - 07:34

Markos - Have you recovered?  Was it stiffness due to lack of exercise?  Was it strain from overexertion? Did any of the pointers help? Did you take a look at the Stretches to help get rid of the stiffness?

Here is a guide to the concepts of physical training, and how to train for squash.  Let's face it squash is a good workout and I bet you found muscles you did not know you had.


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From rippa rit - 09 Aug 2008 - 07:27   -   Updated: 09 Aug 2008 - 07:41

The gym sounds a good idea and a start to fitness build up.

By the way Hashim Khan said in his book "squash racket is like toothbrush, personal" so not too sure that the sharing idea is so satisfactory, but it is a start.

Here is the Library/StrokesMovement link for your easy guide on the grip.

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From Markos22 - 09 Aug 2008 - 01:57

Hey guys,

Thanks for all the pointers, plenty for me to be going on here. Forgot to mention the doctor said not to play for two weeks in case it was something like tendinitis (and it feels like he might be right - got one wrist and one elbow support on at the office :S) so not done anything more yet and definitely won't be able to play for another week or so. In the meantime, I've joined the gym, just for running so I can keep in decent condition.

A couple of us big-handed freaks are going to go halves on a beginners' racquet for now, I think, so that we can overgrip it with no complaint! I'm guessing a larger-faced, evenly weighted racquet gives us a better chance of making contact and takes more of the shock?


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From mike - 06 Aug 2008 - 11:55

I find new racquets often come with too-small grips. I replace with a Karakal PU Grip which is a bit chunkier and does the trick.

I think a good metric is how much force you need to hold onto the racquet. You shouldn't have to be SQUEEZING HARD all the time to stop the racquet slipping or rotating. If it feels too small it probably is.

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From rippa rit - 06 Aug 2008 - 08:07

Markos - Welcome to the world of squash and our forum.  You are still in your prime; enjoy your journey.!

Firstly, you need to take a read of our Squash Library, see above tab, and in particular Strokes/Movement and Stretching.  This info will help with the technique, also cover the grip,  as well as the warming up and warming down/stretching.

Adz refers to the Powerball and that video is contained in one of the posts listed under "Relevant Content", see the tabs in the lefthand column which covers some of the  problems you are having too.

Take it easy.  It sounds as though you threw your heart and soul into the match, trying to belt the cover off the ball, and that worked effectively against your mate.  Even another game of squash would loosen up the stiffness, provided you take it slowly and lightly and not strain. That is of course if there is no injury but just stiffness from the running, hitting and chasing. Squash sure works those glutes.

After reading the related posts and having a few more games, there is sure to be more.

Good luck and enjoy.


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From Adz - 06 Aug 2008 - 01:31

Look into buying a powerball to help strengthen wrists and forearms, and use a stress ball or some grip strength trainers for the hand and grip strength.

I sometimes get aches and pains (lower-back, hamstrings, quads, lats, joint in feet, muscles in thumbs) and sometimes I find that playing again can help to stretch out the areas and relieve the problems. Admittedly I have also had situation where playing again has made it worse, so take it easy and start slowly. Squash is a hard game that can take months or even years to prepare your body for. I've been playing for a very long time and still get aches and pains after a hard game.





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