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Squash is growing in popularity across the United States which had us wondering just how different is squash from racquetball. Our friends at Squash On Fire, DC’s premiere squash facility, invited us to come check out for ourselves this exciting and dynamic sport.
We wanted to learn how to play squash so Squash On Fire arranged a private squash lesson with one of their world-renown coaches, Ronny Vlassaks. Ronny explained the differences in squash balls and how to choose the right one, how to hold the racquet, swing mechanics, rules of the game and basic strategy tips.
We had an amazing lesson and can’t wait to get back on the squash court again! But don’t just take our word for it.
Here are 10 reasons to start playing squash as a family:
1. Fun Family Activity
Squash is great for all ages! We love that Squash On Fire was started by a family that played squash together. Learning to play squash allows kids to develop hand-eye coordination, focus, confidence and self-esteem that helps them in all aspects of life.
It is really never too early for kids to learn how to play squash, although most experts recommend that kids are ready for formal training around 6 years old. We are ready to sign our 6 year old up. It takes time to build the hand-eye coordination and basic skills for serious playing, but a little time playing as a family will get them further than you might think.
Once your kids are ready to get more formal training there are lessons and camps popping up all over. The Junior Academy at Squash On Fire is open to all ages and the camps start as young as 8. You can find out more about the Junior Academy offerings at Squash On Fire here.
2. Get Fit
You can burn up to 1,000 calories in one hour of squash! Squash is a fast paced and dynamic game that requires endurance.
The squash court is deceiving in its size and familiar appearance. Moving around the court constantly paired with short bursts of power is an effective and fun way to keep your heart healthy and your waistline trim.
You can get in great cardiovascular shape with regular weekly matches, lessons or practice. The pay to play system at Squash On Fire allows you the flexibility to play when you’re free without the guilt of a monthly memberships going to waste.
3. Increase Flexibility And Strength
In addition to the cardio benefits, squash also increases strength, agility, flexibility and power. Quick reflexes and flexibility allow you to get to the ball anywhere on the court.
Learning to play squash can increase your strength as you control your balance and rhythm while playing. All the improvements to your strength and conditioning will improve your general mobility.
4. Play Anytime
Escape the heat, rain, snow or even the dark and play squash! Playing indoors gives you the option to play any time of the day or year which allows you to integrate squash into your lifestyle. There are so many fun ways to exercise and spend time together as a family, but very few of them have the added bonus of year round, any time enjoyment!
Playing indoors also increases the times of day you can play. Parents can sneak in a game after the kids bedtimes or kids can play in the winter long after the sun has set. We love the flexibility of playing squash.
Playing year round also improves your game! Adults and kid can practice, play together as a family and compete as it fits into your busy schedule. Research shows that making lifestyle changes and creating routines in relation to exercise is the best way to see lasting health benefits.
Squash On Fire has lessons, clinics, courses, trainings, tournaments and round robins throughout the year so you can constantly improve your squash skills.
5. Receive College Scholarships
The College search and application process can be intense. Parents and students begin thinking and preparing for college earlier and earlier. Playing squash can provide students with another avenue to be recruited.
The College Squash Association is governing body for intercollegiate squash. According to the CSA some of the top colleges and universities in the United States have squash teams. These teams provide students with an opportunity for finding a good fit academically, athletically, and socially.
6. Play on a Team or Individually
As if the flexibility of playing anytime wasn’t enough, squash can be played with a partner or alone. Grab your partner, bestie or another friend and head to the squash court for a healthy social activity with no membership required.
Squash On Fire has you covered for brunch, snacks or bites after you play at the Upper West Side Cafe. Upper West Side Cafe offers a gourmet menu (including cocktails, beer and wine) and gorgeous view of a bustling M St.
We sampled some of the breakfast items including a green smoothie and the P.L.N.T and Avocado sammies. Everything was delicious and we love that it is all in one place so we could watch some college squash practice while we ate.
Squash doesn’t have to be long social affair. Because you are playing in a room, you can be your own opponent or practice some drills alone for a great workout. At Squash On Fire, individuals can practice alone or sign up for lessons, clinics, courses and tournaments.
7. Little Equipment Required
Squash gear includes racquets, balls and goggles. There are a ton of racket choices, but beginners can rest easy knowing there is no need to pay over $100 for the first few rackets. The balls are pretty cheap and since you are playing inside a room there is less chance you will loose them. I did a quick online search and found all of equipment, that was good for a beginner like me, for just about $100.
There are no special clothes required. We recommend you wear clothes you feel comfortable moving around in and are similar to what you would wear to any other fitness class. Most courts require you wear non-marking shoes (anything with a white bottom). At Squash On Fire you can grab a pair of their FREE loaners. We provide racquets and goggles at no additional charge.
8. Easy to Learn
Learning to play squash is much easier than we anticipated. We were surprised by how easily we picked up the basics. After a 30 minute lesson with the world-renown Squash On Fire coach. I am sure it helped that we have played tennis, but once you get the basic forehand and backhand swings down you can start to rally.
The rules of the game are relatively simple and easy to remember. The great thing about squash’s growing popularity is the amount of online resources are also growing. If you are looking for more personalized help check out the drop-in clinics at Squash On Fire.
9. A Strategic Game
Squash is an energizing activity that engages both your mind and body. We learned some of the VERY BASIC strategies of squash during our lesson. It became clear very early on that the mental game is just as important as the physical skills.
Squash is referred to as chess with a ball. The tactics you use in squash are easily applied to everyday life including assessing your opponents strengths and weaknesses as well as adapting quickly and anticipating your opponents response.
10. Decrease Stress
Is it just me or is there something so satisfying about the smash of a racket? The physical feeling of connecting with the ball is exhilarating. Not to mention the rush of competitive spirit and the feeling of accomplishment with a nice get.
Exercise in general is a great way to reduce stress. You get the endorphins going while you’re playing and reap the benefits of a more healthy lifestyle after you play. Not to mention the focus and concentration on the mental game helps clear your mind and keep you in the present moment.
Start Playing Squash!
Head over to Squash On Fire, DC’s premiere squash facility to get started with squash. Located in the heart of Foggy Bottom, the club boasts eight courts (two of them glass!), a full restaurant and bar, gym, locker room, and pro shop. Squash On Fire is dedicated to bringing squash to everyone and igniting the district with their no membership, pay to play system!
We think you will LOVE Squash On Fire as much as we did! Share your experience with us when by tagging @adventuremomsdc on your social media posts.
Where is Squash On Fire?
Squash on Fire is located at 2233 M St, NW, between the corners of 23rd and M St (next to the SoulCycle).
It is just a 10-minute walk from both the Dupont Circle Metro (Red line) and the Foggy Bottom Metro (Orange, Blue, and Silver line).
If you are driving, there is parking validation at two garages nearby:
- One Parking, located at 1255 23rd St NW, Washington, DC 20037
- PMI Parking, located at 2300 M St NW, Washington, DC 20037
Squash on Fire
2233 M St, NW
Washington, D.C. 20037
Telephone: 202-241-2233 / 202-559-9790
Weekdays 6:00 AM – 10:00 PM
Weekends 7:00 AM – 8:00 PM