Using data collected from the wider squash community we are able to offer an expected score for each test dependent on your current playing level.
Testing can be a particularly useful way to monitor progress and encourage improvement. It can provide structure and focus for players of all levels who are looking to improve, particularly whilst facing the challenges of COVID restrictions.
Squash tests can come in a variety of different forms, from simple ball control exercises through to the number of consecutive drives that a player is able to hit off the back wall. Squash testing offers a means of identifying areas of strength and weakness within different regions of the court.
If there is a big discrepancy between scores on your forehand and scores on your backhand it will become obvious which side of the court you should focus your attention on in order to improve.
Why improve ball skill?
Developing a high degree of ball skill gives players a huge advantage over players who simply aren’t able to do as much creatively when hitting the ball. Whether it’s dealing with a tricky ball at your feet or adapting to a trickle boast at full stretch, ball skill gives you the opportunity to manipulate the racket face and work the ball into different areas of the court.
There are certain tests such as the figure of 8 volleys or side to side volleys that help develop your control and in turn, your level of ball skill. Ball skill is something that can be developed with time; you just need to give yourself the opportunity to get on court and practice. Use these simple tests to monitor your improvement and see how you get on.
Fitness testing gives players the opportunity to benchmark their current level and can serve as motivation to push harder on that next run, or not skip that gym session when you’re feeling a little tired.
Why improve your fitness?
Squash is a complex game that requires a good player to have a number of different physical attributes in order to be successful. It’s no good having great endurance if you have no speed and likewise, it’s no good having great strength or power if you have no flexibility.
As squash players, we need to work on all areas of our physicality to ensure that we can endure the physical demands of this wonderful sport. It’s easy to get into a habit of doing the sessions we enjoy but neglecting the areas that actually need work. Getting into a habit of regular testing can help keep you focused on the areas that need most work as well as keeping track of general trends over time.
Linking your test results to your playing level
If you are in the UK and already have a ‘level’ in the system you can visit this page to see what your expected scores are within each test.
If you do not have any competitive matches in the system, you can use the testing tool to create a ‘provisional level’ that will give you an indication of what your current level is.
This is an exciting development as it will allow players to understand their strengths and weaknesses and identify the parts of their game that they should work on in order to see the greatest rate of improvement.
If you want to increase your level from 1000 to 1500 you’ll be able to quickly and easily understand how many drives a 1500 player is able to hit off the back wall. This will give you a clear goal to work towards when you plan your solo practice.
Think of this as crowdsourcing testing… The more results that go into the system, the more accurate the system will become. As time goes on, we will be able to slice the data in different ways by looking at age and gender. This will offer unrivalled insight into the requirements of squash players at every level of the game.
The new rules around playing squash are undoubtedly frustrating, especially for those looking to restore that competitive component to their lives. The SquashSkills testing features create a framework for improvement that will allow players the opportunity to work on their games whilst practising social distancing.
We look forward to hearing your feedback, which will help us further develop this highly powerful development tool.