Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Squash for beginners: How to get involved

For many of us at the Seattle Athletic Club, Squash is something we see frequently but are unsure of how to get involved. The idea of jumping in with both feet and buying all the best equipment seems foreign to you, as it should, so here is a guide how to get started on a budget.

Squash is a great workout and one of the healthiest ways to stay fit. According to Forbes magazine Squash is the healthiest sport to participate in. Based on six categories, Squash beat all other sports judged including rowing, swimming, running, and rock climbing. 30 minutes on the squash court provides an impressive cardiorespiratory workout. Extended rallies and almost constant running builds muscular strength and endurance in the lower body, while lunges, twists and turns increase flexibility in the back and abdomen.

One thing you must understand is that squash is a game made for everyone, and you are already at an advantage being an avid participant in group exercise and yoga classes, but for those of us who want to turn exercise into something more challenging and fun, Squash is your solution.

Your first step on how to get involved would be to learn the game. After you have a basic understanding, try watching a game or two at the club.

The next step to your growing addiction to Squash is simply talk to one of our staff. There are several ways to go about this: Our own Ayub Khan will offer you free tips while watching you practice for 15 minutes (at least 3 times) until he believes you are ready to participate in Round Robin, where you will play similar skilled members one-on-one; Another way to learn squash (if you are a lady) is from Yusuf Khan, our squash director, who offers women free lessons on weekend mornings; and for those of you looking for an even larger advantage, lessons can be booked through the squash office throughout the week (please call ahead for all activities).

The final step would be finding a partner to play with. If you haven’t already done this through round robin tournaments, we will match you with one! A partner matching form can be found on our web site.

As for not jumping in with both feet, racquet rentals are available for $3 in the pro-shop, and balls can be rented for free at the front desk. Aside from that, all you need is a pair of non-marking tennis shoes and you will be well on your way towards one of the most rewarding sports you can play.

Written by Ayub Khan and Kevin Kramer
Seattle Athletic Club Downtown

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