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Racquet Sports: Most Popular Articles

These articles are the most popular over the last month.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 2.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
Squash Grip - Keys to an Effective Squash Grip
You can use your non-racquet hand to see whether you have the index finger of your racquet hand properly separated from its neighbors. Simply place two fingers of your non-racquet hand in between the index finger and the middle finger of your racquet hand. The two fingers should fit as shown. Page 4.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Racquetball Z Serve - How to Hit a Good...
Here are ten easy steps to hitting the Z serve in racquetball. Being able to hit the Z serve, using the same service preparation as for the straight and cross-court drive serves, gives you a great way to keep your opponent guessing.
Beginner Squash - A Ball Control Drill for the...
Beginner squash starts with getting control of the racquet and the ball. This simple ball control drill is a great starting point for the squash beginner.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
How to Avoid Tennis Elbow
Here's a great way to avoid tennis elbow!
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.
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.
Squash Serve - How to Hit a Backhand Squash Serve
Make contact with the ball around shoulder height, near the center of the court. Watch the ball onto the strings of your racquet to ensure clean contact with the center of the strings. This will give you a good backhand squash serve. Page 4.
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.
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.
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.
How to Perform the Racquetball Back Wall Drive...
As the ball begins to drop from the height of its bounce, take your full backswing by raising your elbow and turning your chest a bit towards the back wall. Put all your weight on your back (right) foot in anticipation of a final step forward that will help transfer all your weight into the shot at impact. Page 5.
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.
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.
Squash Rail Drill - Complete the Drill
Keep watching the ball closely, and rotate your shoulders as you swing through the ball. Page 5.
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.
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 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.
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!
Racquetball Crosscourt Drive Serve - How to Hit...
Let the ball descend to calf height. Then hit it with the middle of your racquet strings as you finish your forward step, rotate your trunk and shoulders, and bring your elbow down and around. You can gain extra pace by snapping your wrist as you contact the ball. Page 6.
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...
These six steps show you how to hit a good racquetball lob serve every time. A well-hit racquetball lob serve is effective, and gives you time to prepare for the return.
Practicing the Backhand Rail Drill
As the ball rebounds from its bounce, take the racquet fully back, with the racquet head vertical. Page 5.
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.
Racquetball Drive Serve - From the Back
Take a big step forward towards the front of the court and the front white line of the service area. You can step on the line, but not entirely over it as you hit. Take your racquet up and back so that it is parallel to the floor, as in this picture. Keep watching the ball closely so that you will hit the ball with the very center of the strings in your racquet. Page 5.
Find a Racquetball Partner
Here's how you can find a racquetball partner, in only eight easy steps!
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!
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.
Your First Racquet
Tips for getting your first racquet
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.
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.
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,
Squash Volley - The Criss-Cross Squash Volley...
Toss the ball to start your solo squash lesson. Since you will be hitting the ball crosscourt, it is best to toss the ball a bit forward, toward the front wall. Watch the ball closely. For best results, alternate your squash lessons with your local pro with repetitive hitting drills like this one. Page 3.
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.
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.
Squash Drill - The Alternating Drives Drill for...
This squash drill features alternating forehand and backhand drives, hit with full power. It's a great drill to practice hitting with power and control. The repetitive nature of the drill can help you improve your backswing and your follow-through, on both sides.
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.
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.
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.
Squash Backhand Rail Drill - Advanced Version
Wait for the ball to descend, then hit it with a full swing straight along the side wall, aiming high above the red line on the front wall. Page 9.
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.
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.
Find a Squash Partner
Here's how you can find a squash partner, in only eight easy steps!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Lin Zhu (China) Moving and Smashing
Lin Zhu of China leaps and smashes during play at the Yonex Korea Open badminton championship. Page 4.
Find a Badminton Partner
Here's how you can find a fellow badminton player, in only seven easy steps!
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.
Racquetball Forehand Drop and Hit Drill - Back...
As the ball rebounds to its full height, raise your racquet head and extend your front foot forward. Your chest should be facing almost all the way towards the back wall. Use your non-racquet arm for balance as you fully raise your racquet arm. Keep watching the ball. Page 4.
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.
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.
Intermediate Squash - Roll Corner Drill for the...
Intermediate squash players need to learn quite a few shots. A good one to use on occasion is the roll corner. This roll corner drill can work for squash beginners, but it is best for intermediate squash players who want to practice quick racquet preparation and learn how to put spin on the ball for maximum effectiveness.
Payday With Pandas
CHENGDU, CHINA - JULY 15: (CHINA OUT) Marissa Vita (L) and Lilyana Natsir of Indonesia display their awards during a ceremony after defeating Zhao Tingting and Yang Wei of China at women's badminton doubles final of the 2007 AVIVA-COFCO China Masters BWF Super Series on July 15, 2007 in Chengdu of Sichuan Province, China. Page 3.
Where to Get Great Squash Pro Videos
Squash videos can show you how the professionals work their magic on the squash court, and the quality of the videos has gotten better over the years. The technology is now good enough to track that fast moving ball! Here are some sources for great video recordings of professional play.
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.
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.
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.
Finding a Virtual Squash Coach
While they can't do as much for you as a real coach, online coaches can help you improve your squash. Here are two virtual squash coaches you should definitely check out.
Forehand Short Rail Drill - How to Practice...
If your shot comes back pretty far away from the side wall, move your feet quickly so that you still have room to swing and hit a normal forehand. It is okay to hit with an 'open stance', as in this picture. An 'open stance' means that your front foot is further from the side wall than is your back foot. Practice both stances so that you can comfortably hit forehands from either foot position. Page 9.
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.
Bo Zheng and Ling Gao, Chinese mixed doubles team
Bo Zheng and Ling Gao in mixed doubles competition at the Yonex All England Open. Page 2.
Kenneth Jonassen of Denmark about to smash
Kenneth Jonassen of Denmark executes a badminton smash during play at the Yonex-Sunrise Hong Kong Open. Page 5.
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.
Squash Practice - Criss-Cross Groundstrokes...
This squash forehand is very similar to what you might face in a match when your opponent makes a placement error. The ball has just come off the front side wall and is moving towards you. Watch the ball closely, get your feet in good position, and hit another controlled forehand to the front left corner of the front wall. This drill can continue for a long time, as you groove your swing on both sides, forehand and backhand. Page 7.
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.
Why China Will Dominate In Olympic Badminton In...
China will dominate in Olympic badminton when play commences in August 2008 in Beijing. Find out why.
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.
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.
Bob Malaythong - USA Olympic Badminton Contender
Bob Malaythong will compete in badminton for the USA at the Beijing Olympics in mens doubles. Malaythong, from Rockville, MD and Orange , CA, will pair with Howard Bach.
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!
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.
Join the Online Badminton Community
You may have partners with whom to play badminton, but still want more badminton conversation. Here's how to connect with the online badminton community and find discussion partners who share your sport.
Who's Going to Win the Beijing Olympics...
Here are key predictions for the Olympic badminton medalists at the 2008 Beijing Olympics. Mens and womens singles badminton, mens and womens doubles badminton, and mixed doubles are all predicted. China's domination of the Olympic badminton medal hunt is expected, but certainly not assured.
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.
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.
Olympic Badminton Mixed Doubles Stars for...
Indonesia Badminton - Indonesia Olympic Badminton Mixed Doubles Competitors
Yang Yu (China) hits a backhand in women's...
Yang Yu (China) hits a backhand in women's doubles play at the Yonex All England Open championship. Her mixed doubles partner Hanbin He is not pictured. Page 4.
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.
Flandy Limpele and Vita Marissa (Indonesia)...
Flandy Limpele and Vita Marissa (Indonesia) competing in mixed doubles at the 2008 Yonex Korea Open badminton championship. Page 3.
Where to Get Great Badminton Pro Videos
Badminton videos can show you how the professional badminton players move and hit, and execute their strategy. They also highlight badminton's tremendous worldwide popularity, and showcase the athleticism of the players. Here are some sources for great video recordings of professional badminton play.
How to Play Squash - The Criss-Cross Drill for...
Watch the ball hit the front, then side, walls and get ready to hit another backhand. Follow through with your racquet head remaining up. Page 8.
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.

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