Written by John Beddington, this illustrated guide has been written not only for the beginner learning to play for the first time but also for the player who has been hitting the ball around for some time and wants to improve his or her present standard.
For the beginner the first view of a squash court may seem daunting – a more or less square, gleaming pit with wooden floor, white walls and ceiling, no windows, and apparently no door. Many squash courts have glass back walls although when this book was first written some 40 years ago this was not the case. The first sight of squash being played may, of course, be equally disconcerting – two players running wildly to and fro whacking a little black ball around the walls with alarming enthusiasm.
However, the beginner can quickly appreciate the enjoyment to be gained from the game. The physical activity, the need for fast reflexes, and the concentration and anticipation make squash a superb fun and exercise game. For the more advanced player, improvement will bring ample opportunity for tournament and championship play at all levels, from club ladders and leagues to international status.
It has been said that becoming a champion is, like genius, the result of 90 per cent perspiration and 10 per cent inspiration. Squash is a game that exercises both the mind and the body, so that any effort to improve needs to be both mental and physical. However, to become a real champion at the game, the perspiration will be more of the mind than the body. Physical fitness is vital, but it is a small matter by comparison with the mental effort the average player must make for consistent improvement.
The popularity of squash has been maintained for many years, largely because it is a game suitable for both men and women of all ages – from those still at school to those approaching, or even well into, middle-age. It is also one of the most cosmopolitan games of our time.
Traditionally, books on sport are written by experts, for example, John McEnroe on tennis, or Tiger Woods on golf. This book is about squash – what the game is and how it is played. Above all, it is a game to be played with enthusiasm – and in that respect this book is written by an expert. Although there are countless squash players who are better than the author ever was, there are few who take more pleasure in the game.
No other sport has the ability to provide such excellent exercise leaving one physically tested to the extreme, but with the added euphoria of leaving one with a totally clear mind.