[Updated on 1 June 2020] Much like tennis and a few other sports, squash can be played by two people or four, and since doubles squash is gaining in popularity but is a little different than singles squash, you may wonder exactly how to go about practicing the game so that you can improve your skills and do better the next time that tournament or championship rolls around.
How to Get Started
Before you decide exactly how to practice with a partner and another team of players, let’s talk about the advantages of playing doubles squash as opposed to playing with just one other person. These include, but are not limited to the following:
- Because there are a total of four players on the court, communication is key, but at the same time, doubles squash is a much more social game that all four players are guaranteed to enjoy
- Fun, fun, fun! Let’s face it, doubles squash is just a heck of a lot of fun
- Because there are four players, it is a little easier on your body because you aren’t doing as much work, and even though the game tends to last longer, you’ll likely not be as exhausted once it’s over
In fact, many people who play squash switch to doubles once they get older. With doubles squash, a hardball is used instead of a softball, which usually results in less twisting and turning of the body. In many ways, more skill than fitness is required when you participate in a doubles squash game, making it a much better sport once people get to middle age or older.
This is not to say that doubles squash isn’t a good workout. In fact, doubles squash is a great way to keep in shape because you still have to run and hit the ball, as well as move around on the court. It’s just that it’s a little bit easier on your body than playing only with a partner.
Tips for Being a Better Doubles Squash Player
Before you start your official practice for doubles squash, it’s good to keep in mind a few tips that can help all players on the court get better at playing the game. Here are just a few suggestions that you can remember to improve your skills on the court.
- If you are aiming for a cross-court shot, aim hard and high at either the shoulders or the knees of your opponent.
- If you are the one defending, don’t just cover the shot that continues play but also the one that beats you.
- If you rush to the front of the court, play more lobs and fewer drops. This helps you get into the right position and attack the corner that your opponent is absent from.
- Important: to win in doubles, you have to volley every ball that you’re able to touch.
- Since there are four corners of the court and two people on a team, you should split the team on the diagonal and hit toward one of the open quadrants.
- The reverse corner is a great attacking shot; this is because your opponent often needs to play the ball back cross-court to your partner and therefore, they should be ready to attack on the volley.
- When playing on a doubles court, never use a racquet made for singles squash.
- When you rotate with your opponent, don’t move in a box stop but instead laterally on the red line. This will help you not get blocked out.
- When you wish to open up the court, attack cross-court.
- With shots on the front wall, try to vary the direction, speed, and height of those shots.
When you have the right doubles partner, it is easier to practice your skills so they can be improved. The above tips have to do mostly with your shots and your strategy on the court. Now, let’s turn our attention to the art of serving when you’re practicing your doubles squash moves.
Serving the Ball – It All Starts Here
How you serve the ball can set the tone for the rest of the game, and even though doubles squash serves may not be as important as tennis serves, it is still a good idea to do them well. If you vary them, you can keep your opponent off-guard, and it starts with the serves themselves and learning the four basic types of doubles squash serves.
The four types of serves for doubles squash are lobbing to the corner, which is a rather difficult serve, serving hard-right to the back-wall nick, serving criss-cross to get a sharp angle, and executing a chip serve to the sidewall looking for a nick.
When you return a serve, the rules are a little different (naturally). When you return a serve, you should always have the racquet up and stand with the bulk of your weight on your toes, hit very high or very low when the serve is hit down the wall, volley each and every service return, and always stand one step’s reach to the sidewall.
One of the things highly recommended by experienced doubles squash players is to target your weakest opponent and be ruthless when you do. Although good sportsmanship is always crucial, remember that this is not an afternoon tea party. It is a game that you want to win, and the more you practice those aggressive shots, the better you’ll get at the game.
Practicing your moves in doubles squash practice will help you improve your skills once you get on the court because it is just like any other sport – practice makes perfect. Naturally, there are other techniques besides the ones mentioned here, but these are great starting points and should help you feel a lot more comfortable on the court.
The important thing is to practice often, with your partner whenever possible, and constantly be learning additional techniques and moves so that you get better each and every time you go out there and play. The more you practice with a partner, the more you’ll be able to anticipate each other’s moves and, therefore, your practices will become much more efficient over time.