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Fun Squash Drills – (Bring The Mojo Back To Your Game)

Let The Games Begin

Players of any sport, as they continue to progress and improve their focus and technique may at times lose sight of the fact that at the end of the day, they’re playing a game. Players want to improve, but at times practice can devolve into something we get used to and comfortable with and that’s where growth is stymied. This isn’t just a problem for athletes either.

Educators and corporate trainers now use gamification in order to help students or executives improve their scores at school or performance at work by challenging them with drills that keep the mind sharp and are at the same time, fun.

Gamification is defined as “the application of typical elements of game playing (rules of play, point scoring, competition with others) to other areas of activity, specifically to engage users in problem-solving.” (Wikipedia)

Here, we’ll explore how incorporating a game within a game can help you improve your squash skills while having fun at the same time. Which is the point of all this anyway, right?

Going To Camp

Squash camps are a great way for young players to learn and develop their game or for more seasoned players to fine tune what they already know. It turns out that squash camps are also a great source for fun squash drills.

Squash drills don’t have to be rote exercises that simply teach muscle memory. Drills can also be fun and help players of any age or ability level to improve their game and turn them into better overall players.

Kids by nature love games and competition and so do most adults-especially if you’re in a group setting. We’ve put together a list of fun squash drills that have become tried and true favorites. Only, don’t call them drills when trying to convince friends or team members to partake. Remember, gamification is the word of the day. Drills sound boring. Games are fun.


Set up a diamond configuration on the court. You can use safety cones for the bases. Have one player “pitch” the squash ball to the “batter” who stands at home plate. The batter can use whatever swing motion he likes to strike the ball, and the object, like in baseball is to advance to as many bases as possible after the ball is hit and put into play. Position other players in the “field” in order to catch the ball, relay to a player covering first, second or third base and attempt to tag the batter out.

This fun squash drill is a great ice-breaker and a good general warm-up as it gets players moving, running and jumping. It’s not a very technical teacher of squash skills but works well with kids and adults and can help give them a break from mundane drills if you’re running a camp or clinic. You can have players alternate between forehand and backhand for each inning.

A general understanding of the game of baseball is needed but the rules of kickball will work too. Suffice it to say that it’s easy to explain, requires minimal set-up and works well with groups. Give it a try!

Variation: Have balls caught in the field for an out worth a certain number of points. Tally up the points at the end to determine the winning team.

Relay Race

For this fun drill you can use the safety cones used for the baseball game. Arrange the cones in two lines. Have team members stand single file behind each line of cones. On your mark. Get set. Go! Each player then has to weave through the line of cones whilst bouncing a squash ball on his racket. At the finish line he must pass the ball to a teammate with a deft bounce, no hand touching allowed. Continue until all players have run the gauntlet.

This game teaches and improves eye-hand coordination, lateral agility, speed, and concentration. It’s also a heck of a lot of fun for all ages. It might be a little trying with the younger ones who are still developing their motor skills but just give them a helping hand. Fun is the key component here.

Variation: Instead of running the cones, require players to bounce the ball off their respective sidewall, or bouncing it off the forehand or backhand as they navigate the cones.

More Variation: Have players try this while dribbling a basketball or soccer ball through the cones. Even though you’re not using a racket or squash ball these other ball skills still translate well to the game of squash and give players a bit of cross-training that can benefit them in the long run.

Pass The Racquet

Line players up with these simple instructions: The first player serves the ball, quickly passes the racquet to the next player who then returns it and so on. Aim for a high, returnable shot with the goal of extending the longest possible rally. Players must maintain the same order as they hit and pass the racquet to their teammate.

Variation: Instead of hitting easy, returnable shots, players vary the shot angle and shot selection, presenting more challenging returns when passing the racquet on to the next player.

Benefits: Improves reaction time, coordination, court awareness, racquet handling.

Mix and Match

This game works best when you can divide players into groups of 3. The object is to have players face off against each other playing games with four or five different types of balls.

For example, use an over-sized Karakal ball, which moves slower and is designed for coaching. Add other balls with different qualities. Try a slightly smaller blue ball with a pronounced bounce, a one-dot ball and so on.

To really challenge your players, use a white Dunlop Sports Pro Glass Court Squash Ball. These balls are made specifically for top players and can be challenging to see on a standard court that features white walls. Players are guaranteed to have fun experimenting and playing with the different balls.

Benefits: Players are forced out of their comfort zone and must vary their foot and racquet speed due to the different qualities of the specific ball they are playing at the time. Using the white balls on a standard walled court improves vision and reaction time.

Tip: Coaches should warm the balls up for 15 minutes or so before using them in this game.

What’s My Number?

For this fun squash drill, (sorry, game) you’ll need a dozen or so tennis balls (white or yellow) a black Sharpie marker and a few players with racquets.

How to Play: Coaches mark up the balls with numbers ranging from 1 to 10. Put four of the same number on each ball (roughly on the front, back, and sides). One player then hits the ball towards his opponent (after first looking at the number) the receiving player must call out the number as he’s returning the ball. Forehand or backhand strokes work best but you can also try high serves. Players will make their own variations as they test each other. This is a fun one.

Next, we’ll introduce a more high-tech component to vision training in which you can actually incorporate this game.

Benefits: Improves vision and alertness, improves foot speed, lateral movement and agility by playing a ball (tennis) that has distinctly different qualities.

Sports Training Glasses

Have you ever tried to focus on hitting the ball with one eye closed? Or how about tracking a ball with someone rapidly turning the lights on and off? If so you’ll know that it’s difficult. So why would someone want to try this? Because training under stress will improve your reaction time and many athletes are now using Sports Training Glasses to this end.

Nike SPARQ Vapor Strobe Glasses are engineered to help athletes better focus their vision on the ball, and enhance object tracking by using an LCD shutter similar to 3D glasses. You can adjust the strobe from rapid to slow by toggling a switch on located at the temple of the glasses. The Vapor Stobe is used by athletes in football, soccer, tennis, and hockey and would certainly benefit squash players. The bad news is they retail for upwards of $500 a pair. Warning: These glasses can also trigger epileptic seizures so if you are considering them make sure you don’t fall into this category.

A Better Option: Many of us would be hard-pressed to spend $500 on a pair of glasses so we have what may be a better option, sans the strobe lights and Nike branding.

Swivel Vision Sport Goggles eliminate many visual distractions and redirect focus toward oncoming balls and help to sharpen visual skills and reaction time for better performance during a match. Simply adjust the glasses to make tracking the ball more challenging or eliminate peripheral distractions to fine-tune your focus. These glasses accomplish much of what the Nike Vapor Strobe will do but at a fraction of the cost as they can be found at major retailers such as Amazon for about $30.

How To Use: If you run a clinic or summer camp a half-dozen or so pairs of these glasses is a great investment for your participants. And they’re also a great addition for any player looking for an edge. Use them to make any normal training session more challenging, productive and fun.

Benefits: Improves ball-tracking, visual acuity, reaction time, reflexes and depth perception.

Dodgeball: This is always a popular game. We played with the foam squash ball again. Didn’t know it would come in handy so much time week. Everyone is at the front of the court and one person hits the foam ball at them from behind the short line. I had the kids still wear their eye protection just to be safe. If you got hit with the foam ball you were out until there was only 1 remaining.

Race to 5 Points

Running a squash camp or clinic? This is a great game for larger groups. Arrange players into 3 groups (3 or 4 players in a group works best). Each group sends in one player at a time to play a game to 5. If a player wins 1 or 2 points rotate in another team player until a team reaches 5 points. The winning team keeps playing until they are knocked out. Keep rotating players and teams to give everyone a chance to play. Keep the players moving and the pace high.

Benefits: This can be a great ice-breaker when starting a clinic session as players get to bond with each other in a team environment. The drill also builds endurance and gives players a chance to compete in a fast-paced competitive match.

The Electric Chair

Shocked by the name of this drill? We’ve saved our favorite for last and it’s a real leg killer. In squash, it’s important to keep a low body position and be able to move laterally with power. This drill will keep you focused on keeping a low body position whilst moving from side to side, hitting an alternate forehand and backhand shot. Keep the pace high but not so high that you sacrifice form.

You’ll need two people for this drill. A coach (or executioner) who will stand at the front wall and another player who will be sitting in the electric chair, albeit briefly.

How To Do It:

Place a chair or box jump between the tee. One player will take a position at the front wall and serve balls to the seated player. The coach should allow just enough time for the player to return the shot and then return to the seated position before sending the next shot. The coach can vary the pace and alternate between forehand or backhand with the player returning shots while moving laterally and always returning to a seated position to await the next shot.

The idea is that you want to position yourself to get back to the T (chair) sooner in order to be ready for the next shot. This drill gives you the chance to hit a lot of balls in a short amount of time from a low position. Try for 3 rounds of 15 shots each then switch, with the coach sitting in the chair and the player serving.

Benefits: Develops lateral quickness, mobility, body positioning, timing, core strength, power and endurance.


There you have it. We’ve given you an introduction to gamification and how you can use a game within a game to improve your performance on the court. Some of these games are simple and need only two players. Others take a bit more time to organize and may be better suited for camps or clinics.

The idea behind them is the same though. By giving mind and body a respite from repetitive drills you’ll stimulate growth and perhaps add some needed fun to your training mix.

We’ve touched on a few examples of fun squash drills in this article. Do you have some favorites you’d like to share? Leave a comment below!