Racquet Sports: Most Popular Articles
A good squash serve is a valuable weapon to get you into each point, and give you control of the initial exchange. Here's how to hit a good serve in squash every time. (Demonstration by squash professional Jonathan Lam.)
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Here are the fundamentals of learning to play badminton; all the key shots and techniques that can transform an amateur into a competitor.
Here's how you can remain a good competitor by avoiding these examples of misbehavior in squash and by following good squash etiquette.
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.
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.
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.
Here's a great way to avoid tennis elbow!
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.
Holding the racquet correctly is the beginning of effective hitting in racquetball. Learn the correct racquetball grip to hit with pace and precision.
Squash is a very fast game, and it demands precision and power in your shot-making. Here's your most effective squash grip for meeting those demands of the sport.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
class="no-js" itemscope itemtype="http://schema.org/Article" > itemprop="description" >To transition
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
You'll play better, and more safely, if you warm up first, and stretch afterwards. Here's why that matters.
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.
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.
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.
Here's how you can find a fellow badminton player, in only seven easy steps!
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.
The backhand squash serve has some advantages over the regular forehand serve, at least from one side of the court. Here's how to hit a backhand squash serve to best effect.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Here's how you can find a squash partner, in only eight easy steps!
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.
If you can't watch every tournament live, it's still possible to watch the best professional tournaments,
Here's how you can find a racquetball partner, in only eight easy steps!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
As you step towards the front wall with your front foot, raise your racquet arm so that your lower arm and the racquet are roughly parallel to the floor. Turn your waist (rotate your trunk) away from the front wall, so that your chest faces more towards the back wall. Page 4.
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.
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.
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.
Watching the ball is of paramount importance. A key point to remember is that the ball is moving all the time; so you need to watch it closely. If you are tempted to look at the walls, and watch where you think the ball is going, you should remember that the walls don't move. They are always right there. The ball, however, is moving, so be sure to watch it all the way onto the strings of your racquet. Learning how to watch the ball is a big part of success in squash. Page 9.
Continue watching as you take the racquet all the way back. Note that the striker's torso is facing the side wall even though his feet are angled toward the front corner of the court. It is valuable to turn your torso fully sideways (facing the side wall), or further back, before you hit your volley. This full preparation and good upper body position will enable you to hit your volley with more power and control. Page 5.
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.
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.
The criss-cross squash volley drill is a great way to practice on your own. You can improve your squash volleys all by yourself, and practice good footwork and good swing technique.
Toss the ball gently towards the side wall so that it will hit the wall about shoulder height. Page 2.
Badminton equipment for competitive play includes the right shoes, racquets, strings and shuttlecocks. These online resources will help you be properly prepared.
This squash practice drill can help you groove in your forehand and backhand groundstrokes. Solo squash practice like this is essential if you want to play your best during competition. Here's the sequence for productive squash practice, as viewed from the front of the court.
Tips for getting your first racquet
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.
This shows the racquetball drive serve in step-by-step fashion, as viewed from behind the server. Eight easy steps to a perfect racquetball drive serve, as demonstrated by T. J. Baumbaugh.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Turn your shoulders toward the back wall and throw the ball underarm toward the back wall, releasing so that the ball softly hits the back wall at about eight feet in height. In this case, the ball hits the back wall just above the top of the glass portion of the back wall. Make the toss very easy so that the ball bounces back to you slowly. Page 2.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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!
China's Chunlai Bao stretches for a precision forehand in competition in England. Page 3.
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.
Recover fully to a position behind or on the receiving line. This will give you the best ability to cover both deep and short shots by your opponent. It is very important that you continue to watch the ball so you have the earliest possible knowledge about where your opponent is hitting the ball. Page 10.
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.
You can watch racquet sports professionals on the Tennis Channel even if you don't care much about tennis.
Jin Chen (China) in play at the Yonex All England Open badminton championship. Page 4.
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!
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.
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.
These are the top ten ways for you to stay healthy and injury-free as a racquet sports player.
Here are some tested suggestions for cross-training that can help a racquet sports player stay fit and healthy.
This is a racquet-man's paradise. The Racquet Club of Philadelphia provides facilities for squash, doubles squash, racquets, court tennis, and table tennis. Along with the best showers I've ever enjoyed.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Nova Widianto and Liliyana Natsir in mixed doubles badminton competition at the Yonex All England Open.
BIRMINGHAM, ENGLAND - MARCH 13: Nova Widianto and Vita Marissa of Indonesia in action during the Yonex All England Open Badminton Championships at the National Indoor Arena (NIA) on March 13, 2004 in Birmingham, England. Page 4.
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!
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.
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.
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.
Adding good wrist snap right when you hit the ball will add even more pace to your shot. This combination of good shoulder/trunk rotation, good forward weight transfer as you step, and good wrist snap at contact will give your shot plenty of zip. Page 6.
Since you want to hit hard in this drill, use a full follow-through after your backhand. Your racquet arm travels forward and around, and your non-hitting arm moves out as a counter-balance. Page 8.
China will dominate in Olympic badminton when play commences in August 2008 in Beijing. Find out why.
Here are nine easy steps to hitting a good crosscourt drive serve in racquetball. When you mix the racquetball crosscourt drive serve with your straight drive, lob, and z serves, you will have your opponent guessing and frustrated.
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.
The advanced version of the backhand rail drill in squash requires hitting the ball after it bounces off of the back wall. This is a very demanding and realistic drill that can hone your backhand drives to razor sharpness. Here is how to perform this drill step by step.
Raise your tossing arm towards the side wall and get ready to release the ball from your grip. Continue to take your hitting (racquet) arm back towards the back wall. Page 3.
When you succeed in hitting a ball that travels closely along the side wall, be ready to take a big step to hit the next ball. Each ball should travel closely along the side wall. As you gain control, try to keep all shots within one foot width of the side wall. Page 10.
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.
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!
Toss the ball to your forehand and hit it in the air before it bounces. Watch the ball hit your strings and direct it toward the left front corner of the court. For the drill to work, you must hit the front wall first. Page 2.
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.
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.
Chen Wang of Hong Kong confounds her opponent during badminton competition at the 15th Asian Games in Doha. Page 5.
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.
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.
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!
Kenneth Jonassen of Denmark executes a badminton smash during play at the Yonex-Sunrise Hong Kong Open. Page 5.
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.
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.
Xingfang Xie exhibits her poise, balance, and focus during competition at the Yonex Japan Open badminton championship.