Are you new to squash playing? Then before straightly on learning the shots, first, you must learn how to grip the racket correctly. Correctly gripping the squash racquet will enable you to play the shots effectively.
Mastering in any sport requires a lot of practice. And practicing the correctly from the very beginning is the key to be an expert on the sport. If you start with the wrong method, you’ll suffer in the long run. It’s not easy to change your gripping style suddenly once you get accustomed to the wrong one.
Table of Contents
- Different Types of Squash Grip
- How to Grip a Squash Racket Correctly? Step-By-Step Guideline
- How To Check That Your Grip Is Correct?
- Mistakes That You Should Avoid
- Final Verdict
Different Types of Squash Grip
In squash, there are two meanings of the term ‘grip’. One refers to the padding that’s on the racket handle. This makes sure that the handle snugly fits your palm. The other meaning which comes first in our mind when we hear the term is the way one holds the racket.
But there are different ways in which one grips the racket. It depends on the comfort level and which one works best for a player. The name of some variations are-
- Backhand grip or eastern grip
- Western Grip
- Semi-Western Grip
- Continental Grip
However, here, we’re going to describe the general method of gripping a racket.
How to Grip a Squash Racket Correctly? Step-By-Step Guideline
Step 1: Hold out your hand such that you’re going to give someone a handshake. Now lay the racket handle on your palm. Place it such a way so that the handle rests just below the base of your finger. The thumb stretched outside, should be parallel to the racket.
Make sure it rests on your palm making a slight angle. The racket side that’ll make contact with the squash ball should rest in the air at more than 90-degree angle. The racket must not be facing downward or even toward the front wall. Otherwise, the ball will always go downwards when you hit it unless the player plays a trick.
Step 2: Now grip the handle with all your fingers curled around the handle except the thumb and the index.Rather extend the index slightly upward so that it forms a ‘V’ shape with the thumb.
This V formed by the index and the thumb should be parallel to the racket handle. Place your index finger slightly away from the three curled fingers like it’s about to pull a trigger. This’ll increase control over the racket.
Step 3: If you hold the racket lower, it’ll be easy to achieve power but difficult to control. On the other side, if you hold it higher, the reverse will happen. That’s why you should hold it in the middle of the grip. It’ll enable you to get a good balance between control and power.
But it’s not mandatory to hold it such this. You can hold it lower or higher unless you struggle to keep the balance.
However, holding the racket more towards its bottom will sometimes give you advantages. It’ll enable you to reach some shots those would otherwise simply whiz past you. On the other hand, when you hold it higher, the racket will seem lighter which will, in turn, reduce the reaction time.
That’s why you can play volleys and drop shots better holding like this. But as said above, the leverage and the reach are slightly compromised.
Step 4: Finally, hold the racket firmly but not stiff. If you don’t be flexible in holding this, it’ll build unnecessary tension in the muscles of your forearm. So your hand will tire up very soon.
But you should neither hold the racket too tight nor allow any side to side movement of it in your palm. Holding the racket toward the bottom of its handle will prevent the sideward motion. The butt of the handle of the racket should rest on your hand.
How To Check That Your Grip Is Correct?
To confirm whether you’ve adopted the correct method of gripping, you can do the following two tests.
- Mimicking that a ball is coming to hit your racket, first, you have to apply pressure on the racket head. Now see whether you can resist it with the forefinger (index finger).If you can, then you’re correctly holding it. Now again, exert pressure from another side like you’re playing a backhand shot. If you can resist the pressure with the thumb keeping the wrist flexible, then the grip is perfect.
- You can also test whether you’re flexible enough or not. Tell someone to pull the racket out of your grip while you’re practicing squash. If the racket gradually slides out of your hand, then you’re holding it correctly. And if he has to struggle to free the racket out of the grip, then yes, you’re holding it too tight.
Mistakes That You Should Avoid
People often do the following mistakes, especially in the beginning stage.
Holding a squash racket like a tennis racket:
The squash grip differs from the tennis grip in many different ways. A tennis grip is flat and tight whereas the squash grip shouldn’t be too tight. Like tennis, it’s not a full-hand neither a 4 finger grip. Here, the racket is largely controlled by the thumb and the index finger. The remaining 3 fingers support the grip.
Holding the racket such that the thumb is below the index finger:
As mentioned earlier, there should be a V-shaped formed between the thumb and the forefinger. The bottom of this ‘V’ should be in line with the line inside the racket.
Holding the racket at its butt so that the butt rests at the middle of the palm:
Hold the racket below but not the butt. Instead, the butt should rest on the fleshy part of your palm below your baby finger.
It’s always wise to adopt a particular style of gripping from the beginning of learning. The more you’ll practice with this the more you’ll get expertise on it. It becomes challenging to change the gripping style of the squash racquet later on.
Best of luck with your sport.