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Racquet Sports: Most Popular Articles

These articles are the most popular over the last month.
Before You Give a Christmas or Hannukah Present...
Here's how to bring seasonal cheer to your squash player! Eight great squash gift ideas sure to make your squash player happy to celebrate Christmas, Hannukah, or the New Year.
Learn the Laws of Badminton
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Squash Serve - How to Hit a Good Squash Serve
Be sure to think about exactly where on the front wall you want the ball to hit.
New to Squash? Learn These Definitions for...
This squash glossary explains common terms that you may hear your squash coach use. It can help you learn the language of the sport of squash, and speed your learning.
Build a Home Badminton Court - An Official Home...
If you're building a badminton court at home, that doesn't mean it can't be a regulation one built to proper specifications. This method will accomplish that.
Why Play Racquet Sports?
This article explores the unique characteristics of racquet sports that make them so appealing. It explains why and how they are better than other sports, for so many people.
All About Olympic Badminton
Everything you need to know about Olympic badminton: past Olympic medal winners in badminton, rules for qualifying and playing Olympic badminton, Olympic badminton controversies, badminton photos, Beijing badminton prospects, and much more.
A Profile of Pickleball
Here is an overview of the easy-to-learn sport of pickleball. This short profile gives you a sense of the appeal of pickleball, its appropriateness for players of all ages, and the ease of starting to play this fun sport.
Get Better at Squash - Key Squash Tips
You want to improve, don't you? Here are the key squash tips for how to improve your squash game most rapidly, whether you are a beginner or an intermediate player.
Learn to Play Badminton
Here are the fundamentals of learning to play badminton; all the key shots and techniques that can transform an amateur into a competitor.
Serve Return - How to Hit a Good Serve Return...
Step by step, here's all you need to know to hit a great serve return, deal with your opponent's toughest serves, and quickly put him or her on the defensive. At the very least, you'll be back in the point, and on an even footing. You'll probably even be on the 'T', ready to dominate the point! Page 4.
Start Your Child in Squash
There are several key steps to starting your child in squash. And a few steps to avoid. Here's a parents' guide to starting your child the right way.
The Sport of Squash - Forehand Ball Control in...
Even when the forehand stroke is complete, as in this picture, your knees should remain partially bent. The best stance in squash is one in which you are ready to move again, and in any direction. That usually means a stance in which your knees remain somewhat bent and in which you are well-balanced. Squash is such a fast-moving sport, that you can't straighten your legs, lock your knees, put your weight on your heels, and expect to have much chance of reaching your opponent's shot. Page 8.
Top Ten Examples of Misbehavior by a Squash...
Here's how you can remain a good competitor by avoiding these examples of misbehavior in squash and by following good squash etiquette.
Learn the Rules of Racquetball
You'll play better if you know all the rules of regulation racquetball. Begin with a sound understanding of the definitive rules of the game!
Competing On The World Stage
In Beijing, the US has fully entered the world stage for Olympic badminton. For the first time ever, the US has badminton players qualified and competing in all five events. Here are our top US Olympic badminton players.
How to Win a Quick Point in Any Squash Match -...
Sometimes in a long, hard squash match, you just need to get one more point on the score board to break your opponent's spirit and start a series of several winning points. Here's how you can score that one quick point, by varying your serve.
The Relaxed Hammer Grip
This version of the squash 'hammer grip' isn't quite as extreme as some. The thumb is not overlapping the fingers, and there's not obvious tension in the grip. However, it fails to give the racquet holder much control over the head of the racquet. A player using this hammer grip will never reach his or her full potential in squash. Page 2.
Racquet Sports Categories
Racquet sports fall into two main categories: direct games and indirect games. Racquet sports in both categories are fun, fast, physically demanding, and mentally demanding. Here are some features of racquet sports in each category.
Racquetball Defense - The Ceiling Ball is the...
When you're under pressure, the ceiling ball is the best racquetball defense. It gives you time to safely get back into position. Here are three quick tips for how to employ this racquetball defense.
Hit a Good Serve
Your serve is the only shot that you control entirely. In fact, every racquetball point begins with a serve. Learn how to hit it well.
Ning Zhang sends the shuttle on its way
Ning Zhang of China sends the shuttle on its way in competition at the Yonex Japan Open badminton championship. Page 2.
Racquetball Grip - Start With the Correct...
Holding the racquet correctly is the beginning of effective hitting in racquetball. Learn the correct racquetball grip to hit with pace and precision.
Practice Squash and Always Have a Good Squash...
A good squash practice session is of great value in improving the level of your squash play. Practice sessions can be even more valuable than playing competitive matches. Here is how to design, and then enjoy a good squash practice session, every time.
Quick Tips for Hitting a Good Serve Return in...
Here are three key ideas that can help you return serve effectively in squash. Implement these ideas and you'll be ready to battle for control of the squash court.
Squash Grip - Keys to an Effective Squash Grip
Keep your index finger a bit away from your other fingers. That will give you better control and feel, and will not diminish your power. Page 3.
Manage Your Plantar Fasciitis
The bane of many racquet sports players, plantar fasciitis can bring great pain and take pleasure from your game. Here's how to address the diagnosis and get back on court.
So You Want to Play Badminton in the Olympics?
With this advice from an instructor and these ideas from a world-class player, here's how you can get on the Olympic track as a badminton player.
Beginner Squash - A Ball Control Drill for the...
Turn your racquet face so that the forehand side faces the ceiling. Make a simple toss of the ball with your non-racquet hand, and watch the ball closely. Your goal is to hit the ball very lightly right in the center of your racquet strings and bounce it repetitively on your racquet. Page 2.
Squash PAR Scoring - Is Point-A-Rally (PAR) the...
Point-a-Rally (PAR) scoring has its advocates and detractors in the squash community. Here are the pros and cons of the PAR scoring system in squash.
This Grip Helps Only in Very Particular...
This squash grip can actually be useful in particular situations. There are times when you might need to 'choke up' on the racquet - such as when you are caught with a ball that hugs the back wall very closely. For most situations, however, this grip is way too high up the racquet. The player will lose power, and the parts of the hand extending above the leather grip will not feel very comfortable. Page 3.
Quick Tips for Hitting a Good Serve in Squash
In squash, the serve can determine the likely outcome for a point, so it's important to hit a good one. Here are tips for making the most of your opportunity to serve.
A Profile of Racquetball
Here are the key attributes of the sport of racquetball. This short profile quickly gives you a sense of the excitement and accessibility of racquetball, as well as its broad appeal to players throughout North America.
A Profile of Squash
Here are the key attributes of the sport of squash. This short profile quickly gives you a sense of the sport of squash, its prevalence around the world, and its complexity and history.
Racquetball Z Serve - How to Hit a Good...
Begin to move your weight toward the front wall by taking a cross-behind step with your rear foot, as you extend your ball arm and get ready to drop the ball. Page 2.
A Profile of Badminton
Here are the key attributes of the sport of badminton. This short profile quickly gives you a sense of the sport of badminton, its worldwide popularity, and its great physical demands.
How to Cover a Boast in Squash (How to Get a...
Being able to retrieve the ball when your opponent hits it short is very important in squash. Here's how to cover that boast, and punish your opponent for hitting short.
Lin Zhu (China) Moving and Smashing
Lin Zhu of China leaps and smashes during play at the Yonex Korea Open badminton championship. Page 4.
Squash Serve - How to Hit a Backhand Squash Serve
Backhand Squash Serve - Take Racquet Arm Back. Page 2.
How to Avoid Tennis Elbow
Here's a great way to avoid tennis elbow!
Play Safe Squash -- Know the Rules
Squash can actually be very dangerous, since there are two players running at full speed in a confined space, swinging racquets around while chasing a moving ball. Protective eyewear can help, but it's not the full solution. Knowing the rules is also essential. Here's where to go to learn the rules and stay safe.
Racquetball Lob Serve - How to Hit a Good...
Simply let the ball drop, at a comfortable hitting distance away from your front foot. There is no need to throw the ball toward the ground. Just let gravity do its work. Your racquet head should be above your wrist. Page 2.
How to Avoid Popped Toenails
Popped toenails can be avoided even if you play racquet sports all the time. With proper attention to your footwear and toenail maintenance, you can avoid experiencing the pain and discomfort of popped toenails.
Practicing the Backhand Rail Drill
Perfecting your backhand straight drive is very important in squash. Here is the best way to practice this shot. This backhand rail drill can teach you to hit a perfect backhand every time, and help you groove it into your muscles so that it is instinctive.
Deal With a Tough Loss in Squash
Every squash player experiences it: the tough loss. It's either a lopsided match that you lose 3-0, very quickly, while the other player dominates, or it's the even more heartbreaking defeat where you lose 8-10 in the fifth game after more than an hour of hard squash competition. In either case, the loss hurts a lot. Here's how to deal with it, rise above it, and learn to play better squash.
How Not to Hold Your Squash Racquet
There is a right way to hold your squash racquet, and several wrong ways. Here are some of the more common wrong ways to hold your squash racquet. These squash grips lead to loss of control and precision.
One Bad Way to Hold Your Squash Racquet
The hammer grip works fine for driving nails, but not for driving squash balls. When you wrap your hand tightly around the squash grip like this, you lose control over both the location and direction of the head of your racquet. If your arm is completely perpendicular to the shaft of your racquet and all four of your fingers are touching their nearest neighbor, you are probably using the hammer grip.
A Profile of Platform Tennis
Platform tennis, or 'paddle', is a great game for year-round fun. This short profile gives the highlights and introduces you to one racquet sport that doesn't even require strings on the racquet.
Top Ten Ways to Stay Healthy
These are the top ten ways for you to stay healthy and injury-free as a racquet sports player.
How to Play Squash - The Criss-Cross Drill for...
Watch the ball hit the side wall, after it hits the front wall, and begin to rebound back toward your position on the T. Since this shot comes back to the center of the court, you would rarely use it in a real match. It is great for drilling however, if you want to practice your groundstrokes and your hand-eye coordination. Page 4.
Backhand Short Rails Drill - How to Hit Perfect...
Here is a drill to help you perfect your backhand short rail shot in squash. This solo drill will help you learn to hit the ball along the side wall, using a well-controlled backhand stroke.
Get the Right Badminton Equipment
Badminton equipment for competitive play includes the right shoes, racquets, strings and shuttlecocks. These online resources will help you be properly prepared.
Lan Lu exhibits control on her backhand
Lan Lu (China) exhibits control on her backhand during competition at the 2008 Yonex Korea Open badminton championship. Page 3.
Increase Lower Arm Strength for Control
Most racquet sports require exceptional strength in the player's lower arm in order for them to fully control the racquet, and control their shot. Here's a great way to increase your lower arm strength.
Squash Tip - How to Avoid Overhitting in Squash
This squash tip explains the perils of overhitting, what overhitting is, what problems it causes, why it is so frequent, and how to avoid it. This squash tip comes from hard-earned experience, and if you take it to heart, you won't have to make the common mistake of overhitting.
Too Low on the Handle
This grip is too low on the handle. Note how the heel of the palm extends into thin air below the end of the racquet handle. While racquetball players might use a grip similar to this, with respect to position on the handle, it is not particularly helpful in squash. The squash racquet is long enough for you to generate adequate pace without artificially lengthening the racquet by holding it at the very end of the grip. This grip position will lead to loss of control. Page 4.
Squash Backhand Rail Drill - Advanced Version
Get your racquet head up (vertical) and move into position facing the back corner of the court. Watch the ball closely as it hits the back wall, bounces off and begins its descent to hitting height. Page 8.
A Profile of Jai Alai
Jai alai is an incredibly fast ball game, usually played by teams, and usually the subject of intense spectator interest and gambling. Here's a short description of this fascinating racquet (okay, basket) sport.
Squash Drill - The Alternating Drives Drill for...
Take a full backswing for your full-power backhand drive. The racquet head should be up, above your racquet hand, and above your head. Step towards the flight of the ball as it approaches, so you will be a good distance away to make solid contact with your strings. Page 6.
Squash Rail Drill - How to Start the Squash...
Squash Rail Drill - Prepare to Toss the Ball Onto the Side Wall. Page 2.
Become a Certified Squash Referee
Refereeing a squash match can be a real challenge. Here's how to learn the rules, become the best referee you can be, and get certified as an official referee by US Squash.
Xingfang Xie Exhibits Poise And Focus
Xingfang Xie exhibits her poise, balance, and focus during competition at the Yonex Japan Open badminton championship.
Your First Racquet
Tips for getting your first racquet
How to Perform the Racquetball Back Wall Drive...
The back wall drive drill is a great racquetball practice session. It teaches you how to hit good forehand drives off of your opponent's shot coming off the back wall. Here's how to perform the racquetball back wall drive drill to best effect.
Squash Gear - Big Names in Squash Gear, Squash...
If you're just starting squash and need some equipment, here are some company names you'll come across. All of these companies make good squash gear, and can help you get started with good equipment.
Things to Avoid When Playing Racquetball
When you play racquetball, the walls, the ball, and your racquet can work together to create just what you want. Or not. Here are a few things to avoid.
Where to Get Great Racquetball Pro Videos
If you can't watch every tournament live, it's still possible to watch the best professional tournaments,
A Profile of Court Tennis
Here's what court tennis is all about. This short profile gives you a sense of the sport of court tennis, its unique features, complexity, and rich history.
Racquetball Drive Serve - From the Back
Begin your weight transfer by moving your rear foot towards the front wall of the court, stepping behind your front foot. This is the start of your weight transfer into the shot. As you step behind and across, extend your ball arm and prepare to simply drop the ball. There is no need to throw the ball towards the floor. Take the elbow of your racquet arm back, in preparation for a full backswing. Page 2.
A Profile of Racquets
The historic game of Racquets, Rackets, or Hard Racquets is still played today, though at a small number of clubs in the United States. This short profile gives you a sense of why enthusiasts at seven clubs in the US are striving to keep this wonderful game alive.
Badminton star Chong Wei Lee concentrates and...
Here are images of top-ranked Olympic badminton competitors, reflecting Badminton World Federation rankings as of April, 2008. These are the top men's singles Olympic badminton competitors to watch in Beijing! Page 2.
Think During Competition
During a hard-fought squash match, there’s really no time to analyze or reflect. You need simple, positive thoughts that you can remember even when you’re “brain-dead” and gasping for air. Here's how to focus on ten key ideas that can help you play your best.
Squash Practice - Criss-Cross Groundstrokes...
It's good practice to hit some of the groundstrokes quite hard. In this picture, the full backswing and the weight transfer will lead to a hard shot. This drill lets you practice hitting hard and low after you have mastered the basic pattern of the drill. Page 9.
Never Give Up - Top Ten Reasons to Never Give...
You should never give up in a squash match because the tide may turn in your favor. Here are the top ten reasons you should never give up until the very last bounce of the squash ball.
Find a Badminton Coach
You want to get the best help for improving your badminton game, don't you? Here's how you can find a coach who's right for you.
Backhand Volley Drill - The Squash Solo...
Ten easy steps to learning how to hit a good backhand volley in squash. You don't even need a partner to practice your backhand volley.
Intermediate Squash - Roll Corner Drill for the...
Move your feet so that you are once again facing the side wall as you hit your next forehand. This foot position, also called a 'closed stance', is very helpful in masking your intentions from an opponent. From this stance, you can hit just about any shot you might want --> a deep drive, a straight drop, a hard crosscourt, or even the roll corner that you are practicing. Although it's not important to deceive anyone in this solo drill, practicing the correct footwork is very important. Page 6.
Squash Game for Juniors - Playing "Moat Man"
Moat Man (or Alligator) is a great squash game for juniors, designed to help girls and boys learn to volley the ball in the air. And, it's fun!
Go to Racquetball Camp to Improve Quickly
Get a real boost for your racquetball game. Attend a weekend or week-long camp, and take your game to the next level! Here are a few things you should know in advance, as well.
Biggest Controversies in Olympic Badminton...
Olympic badminton controversies began even before the sport debuted in Barcelona in 1992. Controversies surround the selection process for the teams, the way funding is allocated to athletes and coaches, and potential conflicts of interest by committee members. And that's even before we look at controversial player behavior or controversial officiating!
Jumping In To Junior Squash -- A Guide For...
Squash can be a hard sport to begin, and a confusing one to understand. You should know that there is an excellent guide provided by US Squash that introduces juniors (and their parents) to everything they need to understand to succeed in competitive squash.
Squash Volley - The Criss-Cross Squash Volley...
Good preparation includes turning sideways so that your torso faces the side wall. Your squash racquet should be back and your racquet head should be up (higher than the grip). Advance preparation like this will help you hit a good squash volley. Many players like to use their non-hitting arm for balance, as in this picture of good squash preparation. Page 9.
Racquetball Crosscourt Drive Serve - How to Hit...
Extend your ball-holding arm so that it is almost straight. That way, the ball will be at the right distance away from you for a comfortable and powerful swing. Page 2.
Find a Racquetball Partner
Here's how you can find a racquetball partner, in only eight easy steps!
Racquetball Drive Serve - The Racquetball Drive...
Step towards the front wall with your rear foot, and extend your arm holding the ball. Begin to raise your racquet in anticipation of a full backswing. Keep facing the side wall at this point. Page 2.
Watching Racquet Sports Professionals from Your...
You can watch racquet sports professionals on the Tennis Channel even if you don't care much about tennis.
Intermediate Squash - Ball Control for the...
This ball control drill for the intermediate squash player requires control that is well beyond what most squash beginners can demonstrate. For intermediates, it offers a way to hone your ability to control the squash ball, know where your racquet face, and always watch the ball.
Find a Racquetball Coach
You want to improve rapidly and play better racquetball, don't you? Here's how you can find a coach who's right for you.
Womens Singles Badminton Competitors for the...
Here are images of top-ranked Olympic badminton competitors, reflecting Badminton World Federation rankings as of April, 2008. These are the top women's singles Olympic badminton competitors to watch in Beijing!
Chen Wang (Hong Kong) Confounds Her Opponent
Chen Wang of Hong Kong confounds her opponent during badminton competition at the 15th Asian Games in Doha. Page 5.
Find a Squash Coach
You want to get the best help for improving your squash game, don't you? Here's how you can find a coach who's right for you.
Squash Rail Drill - Complete the Drill
As the ball comes close, take your racquet head absolutely vertical so that you can easily generate lots of racquet head speed, yet keep control. Turn your shoulders further back towards the back wall. Page 3.
Warm Up, Play, and Stretch
You'll play better, and more safely, if you warm up first, and stretch afterwards. Here's why that matters.
Eva Lee - USA Olympic Badminton Contender
Eva Lee will compete in badminton for the USA at the Beijing Olympics in women's singles and doubles, and in mixed doubles. Eva Lee is already a three-event gold medalist at the 2007 Pan American Games, and is looking to add to her medal collection.
Court Tennis Tips - What to Do When Receiving...
Court tennis is so complex that what you need to do when receiving serve is entirely different than what you need to do when you're serving. Here are essential court tennis tips for the receiver, in a summary form that you can put in your racquet case for handy reference whenever you change sides of the court tennis court.
Squash Game for Juniors - Playing "Power Zone"
Power Zone is a great squash game for juniors, designed to help girls and boys learn to control the center of the court. And, it's fun!
Nova Widianto and Liliyana Natsir (INA)
Nova Widianto and Liliyana Natsir in mixed doubles badminton competition at the Yonex All England Open.
Cross-Train for Fitness
Here are some tested suggestions for cross-training that can help a racquet sports player stay fit and healthy.
Squash Forehand Volley Drill - Mastering the...
The squash forehand volley drill gives you the tools you need to perfect your forehand volley, hit your volleys close to the side wall, and hit with control.
Court Tennis - The Most Complex Racquet Sport
Court Tennis is a demanding game, and its unique features make it the most complex racquet sport. These four major complexities are found in no other racquet sports.
Howard Bach - USA Badminton's World Champion...
Howard Bach will compete in badminton for the USA at the Beijing Olympics in mens doubles and mixed doubles. Bach is already a world champion badminton player, and now looks to add Olympic medals to his collection.
Forehand Short Rail Drill - How to Practice...
Step forward with your front foot, watch the ball closely, and hit the ball straight to the front wall again. The ball should hit the front wall about one foot above the tin - higher if you are hitting slowly; lower if you are hitting hard and can hit with sufficient control. Page 7.
Olympic Badminton Former Stars - Where Are They...
Olympic badminton former stars don't just fade away. They coach, they emigrate, and they remain in the limelight.
A Profile of Sticke Tennis
Sticke Tennis is a game that used to be more popular than it is today. Here is a brief description of the game to give you a flavor for this historic sport.
Court Tennis Tips - What to Do When Serving in...
Court tennis is so complex that what you need to do when serving is entirely different than what you need to do when you're receiving serve. Here are essential court tennis tips for the server, in a summary form that you can put in your racquet case for handy reference whenever you change to the serving side of the court tennis court.
Watch Their Heads and Feet!
Watching racquet sports professionals is always good, but here's how to get the most out of your spectating, for maximal improvement of your own game.
Protect Your Eyes -- They're Worth It !
It's worth taking the time to protect your eyes from damage on the court. The impact of a moment could last a lifetime. Wear eye protection.
Racquetball Forehand Drop and Hit Drill - Front...
The best solo practice for racquetball includes the forehand drop and hit drill. Here's how to perform the drill so you improve your forehand as quickly as possible.
Join the Online Squash Community
Join up with the online squash community to find kindred spirits who are asking the same questions you are, and who have answers to share.
Find a Squash Partner
Here's how you can find a squash partner, in only eight easy steps!
A Big Win for Indonesia
ATHENS - AUGUST 20: Eng Hian and Flandy Limpele of Indonesia hug each other after defeating Jens Eriksen and H. Martin Lundgaard of Denmark in the men's doubles badminton bronze medal match on August 20, 2004 during the Athens 2004 Summer Olympic Games in Olympic Hall at the Goudi Olympic Complex in Athens, Greece. (Photo by Ben Radford/Getty Images). Page 2.
Top Mixed Doubles Badminton Teams for the...
Here are images of top-ranked Olympic badminton competitors, reflecting Badminton World Federation rankings as of April, 2008. These are the top Olympic badminton mixed doubles teams to watch in Beijing!
Chunlai Bao stretches for a forehand
China's Chunlai Bao stretches for a precision forehand in competition in England. Page 3.
Racquetball Forehand Drop and Hit Drill - Back...
Let the ball hit the floor as you continue turning your shoulders toward the back wall and you raise your racquet arm elbow. Begin to raise your front foot in anticipation of stepping forward at 45 degrees. Page 3.
Find a Badminton Partner
Here's how you can find a fellow badminton player, in only seven easy steps!
A Tour of a Racquet-Swinger's Paradise
You can find everything for the racquets enthusiast at the Racquet Club of Philadelphia: squash, doubles squash, court tennis, racquets, pro shops, fine dining, swimming, lodging, and many amenities.
Where to Find a Good Squash Charity
In the US, squash charity begins at home. Nine cities have their own programs offering academic enrichment and squash training to youths who might otherwise not be introduced to the game.
Perhaps the Fastest Ball Sport
Since 1889, racquets enthusiasts have been playing at the Racquet Club of Philadelphia. Today, the club offers instruction and play in squash, doubles squash, racquets, and court tennis. There are also quite a few amenities, such as fine dining, lodging, swimming, and pro shops to provide court enthusiasts with all the equipment and clothing they might ever need. Page 2.
Finding a Virtual Racquetball Coach
While they can't do as much for you as a personal coach, online coaches can help you begin to improve your racquetball play. Here are several coaches offering some free online tips, as well as recorded lessons, that you should definitely check out.

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