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Squash is a fun sport that is relatively easy to start because it does not require a lot of equipment.
If you are just getting into the sport, you might be wondering what to wear for squash matches or even just for practice.
Besides the obvious chose of active wear, there are also other factors to consider when choosing your outfit that will help you play your best.
What to wear for squash
While you do not need specific clothing to play squash, you will want to wear clothing that is ideal for prolonged periods of physical activity.
Players should wear clothing that is lightweight and breathable to help them stay cool during gameplay.
Additionally, clothing that is specifically designed as athletic wear is more beneficial because it will wick sweat away from the body so that your clothing does not stick to you and become uncomfortable.
Most players wear shorts to play squash, and women may also choose to wear skirts.
Sweat bands are also beneficial during squash.
Because squash is played on a court, it is a confined area that does not allow for a lot of gear to be close by, so you may not have easy access to a towel.
Squash is also a fast-paced game, and there is not always time to take a towel break to wipe off sweat.
Wearing a sweat band on your forehead will help absorb sweat so that it does not drip down your face, becoming a nuisance and potentially obstructing your vision.
You can also wear wrist bands for quickly wiping sweat away during the game.
If you are just starting out with squash, you can wear any indoor athletic shoe as you start to get the hang of the game.
If you are a more serious player and are playing more often, court shoes are your best option.
The sole of a court shoes is designed to grip to a court floor; this will give you better traction, especially during the quick, repetitive movements that the sport involves.
Also, most courts will not let you play in shoes that have black soles because they will leave marks on the ground, so also keep that in mind when you are selecting a pair of shoes.
When you try on a pair of shoes to purchase, make sure that you wear the same types of socks that you will wear when you play and also put on your ankle brace if you usually wear one during a game.
This will ensure that you get the right fit for the conditions under which you will be playing.
Choosing a shoe that fits properly will help prevent blisters, bruises, and other injuries to your feet.
In addition to good shoes, a good pair of socks is also needed to help prevent blisters.
Blisters are caused by a combination of heat, moisture, and friction.
Because a game of squash consists of constant, repetitive movement, your feet heat up and start to sweat; then, friction is caused between your feet and your socks during movement which starts to rub on your skin, causing a blister.
A good pair of athletic socks will help minimize these factors to help protect your feet.
You should choose a sock that is form-fitting because if it does not fit well, your foot will slide around and cause additional friction.
Some squash players even choose to layer two pairs of socks during gameplay.
This is helpful because the friction occurs between the two pairs of socks instead of between the socks and the skin, thus decreasing the risk of blisters.
You should also wear socks that are made from a breathable, moisture-wicking material.
If a material is moisture-wicking, it pulls the moisture away from your skin and brings it to the surface of the material so that it can evaporate.
This helps keep your feet cool, even when playing in warmer conditions.
If you do start to get a blister from playing, tend to it immediately.
Covering the spot that is hurting to prevent additional rubbing is much easier than trying to treat a blister.
Eye protection is very important for playing squash because this game has a higher risk for eye injuries.
Some form of eyewear is actually mandatory for competition, but it is highly recommended for players at any level regardless of whether you are playing hardball or softball squash.
The material should be impact-resistant in case you are hit in the face with a ball.
It is also recommended that you purchase a pair of goggles that have an anti-fog and anti-glare coating to reduce obstruction to your vision during a match.
Another tip to keep your glasses from fogging up is to warm them up before you wear them and keep them on between matches.
Since you will wear the goggles for long periods at a time, make sure your goggles are comfortable and do not inhibit your vision in any way.
Goggles should fit snuggly against your face so that they do not shift during the game; if your goggles are constantly sliding down your nose, it will cause a distraction when you have to keep pushing them back into place, and it could potentially hurt your skin from continuous rubbing.
Also ensure that the shield part of your goggles wraps around to the side of your eye so that your peripheral vision is not obstructed.
Prescription goggles can be specially made for those who wear glasses if you prefer not to wear contacts.
If you would like more information about what type of eye protection to wear, the US Squash website has a list of approved and unapproved eyewear.
In addition to clothing, there are also several other items that you will need to have with you for a game of squash.
Rackets come in a variety of different weights and sizes with different levels of power, balance, and grip.
While there are a lot of options to choose from, you are going to want one that feels comfortable in your hand and best suits your strength and ability levels.
If you are a beginner, choose a racket that is a moderate weight because lighter rackets do not give as much control.
Beginners will also typically do better with a larger racket head because it has a larger area to make contact with the ball.
If you are experienced, a lighter racket is the way to go because it allows for better precision and control to those who have more experience.
Experienced players can also play with a smaller racket head, which will decrease the level of power behind the hit but will increase the maneuverability.
Another consideration is the balance of the racket. Rackets can be head-weighted, hand-weighted, and neutral.
Head-weighted rackets provide more power, and hand-weighted rackets allow for better precision and quicker motions.
A neutral racket has elements of both.
The tension of the strings also makes a difference. If the strings are looser, there is more power in the hit, but if they are tighter, there is more control.
Another important element to choosing a racket is the grip because this helps you feel the shots you are making.
A lot of players choose to cover their racket handles with overgrip tape until they get the width of the handle to a comfortable level of grip.
This is recommended because if you are grasping the handle too hard in an attempt to control it, you are more likely to overuse the muscles in your forearm and elbow which can lead to injury.
The best way to pick a racket balance, string tension, and grip is to try them out and see which one feels the best to you.
While there are many different types of rackets with a variety of features, your level of comfort with the racket is ultimately what will lead to the best gameplay.
There are four different types of squash balls and they are set apart by the color of the dot on the ball.
Balls with a blue dot are designed for beginners or young players; they have a good bounce that helps make up for a lower skill level, and they are also the fastest of the balls.
The red dot balls are for intermediate players and also have a decent bounce.
Balls with a green or white dot are for advanced players, and they do not have much bounce.
Yellow dot balls are meant for players with a lot of experience; they have a very dull bounce and a slow speed which forces players to be more agile during the game.
Balls with a double yellow dot have an even slower bounce; this type of ball is the standard for competitions.
Balls can become dull overtime and stop delivering the right amount of bounce.
As a result, balls should be replaced often, which means you should have several with you for a game just in case a ball needs to be replaced during the match.
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