Or, do you switch to golf, tennis, or some other outdoor sports?
Either way, if you are taking some time off from active squash, this may be a good time to invest in some training and tune up of your game.
The upside of squash training is that you can do solo drills. The downside is that it can be boring.
To break up the monotony of solo training, you could look at some squash training aids that could potentially help improve your game. Unfortunately, there are not many affordable training tools out there.
Most of the training tools for squash appear to be targeted and priced at a level which only clubs or organizations can afford. The average squash enthusiast would struggle to justify the spend required to acquire some of these training gadgets.
Here are five squash training aids worth checking out.
Footworker Pro: If you do a lot of ghosting as part of your squash training, this may be of interest to you. The concept is simple. The Footworker Pro adds a randomness to your ghosting routine by taking the predictability out of your movements on the court. With settings that take into account your skill level, the device offers variations on speed, duration and areas of the court covered – full court vs. front or back. The Footworker Pro, is placed on the front of the squash court and cycles through a random sequence of lights that turn on and off guiding the player to the next position from where the imaginary ball should be hit. Here’s a demo.
The Footworker Pro is priced at $300 CAD. A software only version of a similar tool is advertised by another company – Squash Footwork Pro – which offers a version that can run on your laptop for $30.
The Squash Cannon: If you don’t much care for solo drills, and cannot always find a partner to hit with, this one may be for you. The squash Cannon is a ball machine for squash.
Endorsed by none other than the former world number one squash player Jonathan Power, the squash cannon has a sixty-ball capacity and comes with a range of modes and timing settings to simulate game situations.
With a price per unit of $3987, this is probably a tool more suited for clubs that offer training for their members and potentially a revenue stream through rentals of the machine.
Here’s a video of the Squash Cannon being used for training.
Smartspeed: Technically, Smartspeed is not a squash training tool – it is way more than that.
With professional soccer player Christiano Ronaldo and American football running back Ryan Matthews featured in its case studies, it is touted as a system for reactive speed and performance training. In simple terms, it uses a system of timing gates to measure the speed and agility of athletes.
With use cases spanning military, educational institutions, healthcare, and sports, the Smartspeed system is not for built or priced for the individual squash player. The best price I could find for a 4-set Smartspeed Pro system with a bunch of peripherals was $15,000 on eBay.
Here’s how the Smartspeed system is used for squash training.
SquashApp: If you are wondering if there is an app to improve your squash game, rest assured – there is an app for that, sort of.
The app allows you to create an account under one of four different categories – player, coach, Federation, or University. Through a series of inputs that reflect shot type and win/loss data the app generates an analysis of your strengths and weaknesses in a game situation. Here is a comprehensive blog post on SquashApp.
The Racket Bracket I wrote about this a few months ago in a post titled “Five tennis training aids worth checking out.” I believe that this tool could work for squash as well. The idea of cocking the wrist does not come naturally to most beginners and some intermediate players. The Racket Bracket forces players to position themselves and cock their wrists to hit the ball effectively. The goal is to ensure that the players move and position themselves in such a way that the contact with the ball is made at the right point and the right height. In a nutshell, the Racket Bracket prevents or limits the flexibility of your wrist, forcing you to improve your footwork and hitting technique. The Racket Bracket is listed online at $39.99.
Are there other modestly priced squash training aids that should have made this list?