Squash Clubs are inhabited by characters. They fall into a
number of categories, and every club is sure to have obvious
candidates for at least some of these categories.
How many of these can you spot in your club?
Diver is the player who holds the point at hand in such high
regard that he is willing to sacrifice life and limb, (not only
his but yours too), to keep a tough return in play. When he goes
to launch himself, and you happen to be in has path, well I
suppose that it can only be a let , and bad luck for you at
that. It may sometimes be possible to 'con' a diver into
mistakenly attacking a ball tight to the wall, but I couldn't
possibly recommend this unless you're well down in the fifth ...Thanks
to Aron Allenson
Half of the broken rackets decorating the wall are his
handiwork. Takes a positive pride in smashing his bat and
assumes the rest of the club hold him in awe because of it.
You name it, he's played there. Give him half a chance and he'll
tell you about his game against the legendary `King Khan' at the
Punjab Club in Lahore.
King of the Locker Room, where he demonstrates vast numbers of
press-ups and sit-ups before the game in an attempt to psyche
you out. Fortunately he's less good at hitting the ball and is
usually far too knackered to cause much damage.
The archetypal primitive, motivated purely by bloodlust. Kicks
the door shut as he arrives on court and goes around testing the
strength of the walls.
More of a danger to himself than you. Most of his wounds are
self-inflicted as he charges after everything. Even if you're
losing it's worth hanging in there - with any luck he'll be
carried off before the end.
Maximises his chances by not letting his opponent get his eye in
during the knock-up. Plays the ball to himself for a while then
suddenly hits an unreturnable shot to you, perhaps muttering
`Oh, all right then, I'll carry on.''
Believes the secret of the game is to get the ball to just the
right temperature for his game and is always rubbing it between
points. Will invariably have brought along his own `special'
ball and will insist on playing with it.
All angles, boasts and reverses. Looks impressive but often gets
so carried away with his strokemanship he forgets to play
Similar type to above, often found in pairs. Has superb touch
and doesn't really mind who wins the point. It's how the shot
looked, especially to the gallery, that counts.
Believes the game is all about how hard you can hit the ball.
Drills holes in the tin and needs to have his rackets strung
weekly. Iy you happen to get in the way, well that's just bad
Lobs everything based on the theory that by keeping the ball
slow it will be more responsive to his subtler shots. Spends so
much time lobbing though, that he's forgotten how to play these,
and the occasional drop shot always bites the tin.
Plays Squash to get fit for rugby. Unfortunately no-one has told
him the basic difference, ie Squash is a `non-contact' sport.
Spends a lot of time squashing you against the wall and making
you run around him as he hogs the T or wherever else he feel s
He knows that you're supposed to make every effort to get OUT of
the way, but this guy always seems to be just where you DON'T
want him to be. It's rarely bad enough to get a stroke for, so
you're always tempted to play on ...
Not too difficult an opponent apart from his almighty back-swing
and straight-armed follow-through. Often plays the ball down the
middle for fear of hitting it out if it goes too near the side
The Walking Wounded. Arrives with assorted parts of his body
bandaged and reeking of Ralgex. Don't be fooled, he wouldn't be
playing if he was in such a bad way as he makes out.
Always clambering up in the rafters or organising human pyramids
to look for lost balls. Would probably be happier as a
Every rally becomes a game in its own right as he wanders around
between points, fails to pick up the ball three times,
constantly ties his laces and is never quire ready for your
Always complaining about something. The ball is too fast or too
slow, it's impossible to see with that light out, it's suicidal
to play with such a damp floor, etc, etc. A bit of a bore, but
provides you with handy excuses if you happen to lose.
Has been told by a coach to use a loose grip, which means that
all too frequently his racket will come flying in your
direction. May of course be using this as a terror tactic.
Plays `clingers' up and down the wall all the time, and expects
you to do the same. Gets very upset when you hit a cross-court
that forces him to change sides and start hitting down the other
The club masochist. Works at failure very hard and would
probably be very put out if he won a game. Always says he can't
understand it, but never seems to get any better.
Fittest man in the club. More of a long-distance runner than a
squash player. He just keeps `pooping' the ball back to try to
take the sting out of your shots, but rarely has any winning
shots himself. Whether you get a result depends on whether you
can put the ball away.
Never seems to rise as high in the club leagues as he should. He
prefers to languish in the lower echelons terrorising the club's
Spends most of the time mumbling and cursing beneath his breath
- `Rubbish', `Come on', `Watch the ball', `that's more like it'.
No need to worry - he never actually follows these instructions
Spends hours after the game working out what went wrong, why his
favourite shots didn't seem to have quite their normal `bite',
and why your normally innocuous shots caused him so much trouble
Frequently plays solo, for hours at a time in order to rehearse
his drills and set-piece combinations. The problem is that while
he can do all of these perfectly on his own, he can never pull
them off in a match or in front of a crowd.
Not much interested in the score and doesn't much mind losing.
Just puts it all down to experience and `the learning process'.
Will probably go off between games to `park' his mind and chant
Has an ambition to transform the game by being able to kill the
ball dead in the nick every time, and spends all his time
practicing hitting the ball into the crack. No-one at the club
is too worried for the moment.
little understanding of the cruel tactic schemes more
experienced players construct to ensure his inevitable defeat.
He will, in a happy tone of voice, start every point (he will
normally be recieving) with an optimistic statement like; "this
point will be mine" or "now I know how to trap you" etc.....
Fortunately he will very rarely prove himself right. His
optimistic constitution prevents him from noticing the cruel
smile slowly turning into a full face grin on his opponents
After the game you can be sure that he will express a strong
belief that the "next time" you will not win, and definitely not
with such humiliating scores. This, by the way, is also the
typical response that the optimist gives his wife when
confronted with the childish and irrelevant question; "who
The optimist is the ideal squash partner as he combines a
sporting spirit with an inevitable loss. Treat him with parental
care, and never tell him how small his chances actually are of
ever winning a match. Thanks
to Poul Haestrup
Always gives you the benefit of the doubt, ever eager to pay
tribute to your shots and frequently mistakes the score in your
favour. He may have been told you turn into a wild animal when
roused, but watch him carefully when the game gets tight.
Comes to do business as much as to play squash. May, after a
long rally, ask you if you have enough life insurance. Let him
think he can sell you an extra policy - there's a fair chance
he'll let you win.
The Club McEnroe. Unfortunately he has the tantrums but not the
talent. Believes he has to be `on the boil' to get his game
going, and needs an audience for his cursing and racket-bashing.
Fortunately he devotes more energy to working himself up than he
does to winning the points.
May look as if he's just having a final arthritic fling at the
ball, but he is not to be underestimated. He learnt to play
`before the war', and has enough sneaky unorthodox shots to add
you to his list of victims.
Knows more about the game already than you are likely to learn
in a playing lifetime, and will run forever to get your supposed
winners and blast them back past you. Fortunately he will
probably fade away once he discovers girls and booze.
This is the almighty squash player that, while playing
squash, offers his opponents three perspectives: (1) player, (2)
referee, and (3) coach
(1) as a player, he may qualify as a B-player, but, (2) you can
bet the score will be questioned at least three times during a
match with substantial time taken to argue/discuss, and, (3) you
miss a shot because of extreme frustration and, guess what, he
will first identify your error and begin to tell you how to
correct your error. Note: item (2) generally follows item (3). DudleyBH@aol.com
Always juggling scores to slide ahead. suddenly points are
reversed in his favor. fully aware of his tactic, this person
will do well as a corporate accountant.
This player constantly is doing drop shots about 90 percent of
the time. The players drops the ball from everywhere in the
court even from the back of the court. When this player has his
drop shot on he can be unbeatable but when his drop shots start
hitting the tin, this player will lose games very badly. On the
rare occasion that this player drives the ball, he often scores
winners because he has caught his opponent by suprise. kevin
Spends all of his time insisting on rules and regulations that
you have never heard of. Do not fear in front of a judge because
he is actually quite unsure about these rules. He will be quiet
and will mess up shots because of all of the conflicting
theories running around in his head. Neil&Peter