Before learning how to warm up a squash ball properly before a game of squash, be sure you read our recent guide below:
A very important part of the game of squash is the function of the squash ball. Each type of squash ball is intended for players of various experience levels, and what makes each of these balls different, is the amount of rubber and air inside each type during its construction.
When each type of squash ball is made (for beginners, intermediate players, advanced players, and pros), the ball is created based on how much bounce it is going to give the player. This bounce is largely dependent on the ambient temperature of the court — the air inside the ball should be 113 degrees Fahrenheit on the court in order to work as it should.
This is because the molecule movement in the rubber makes the ball more flexible when bouncing, and if you remember your high school chemistry class, the way to “excite” molecules and get them to move faster is thermally — with heat. This thermal “warming up” is accomplished by doing some pre-match warm up drills with the squash ball, which require hitting it around the court to literally heat up the air inside and make the rubber more flexible.
This makes warming up a squash ball particularly challenging during the winter. Playing with a “cold” ball is like a runner taking off for a marathon without warming up — performance will be greatly affected.
Pre-Match Warm Up Drills with Opponent
In order to bring a squash ball up to temperature, squash players volley the ball high on the front wall along the side wall, and hit a cross-court shot to their opponent, in order for them to do the same and repeat the warm up volley back towards you.
This is done for about four to five volley shots. The player can then start to hit rails along the side wall with the ball bouncing in the service box area. Hitting two to three consecutive powerful rails, followed by a cross-court shot, will help to bring the ball to the appropriate playing temperature. It also has the added benefit of helping you warm up as well!
The duration of a pre-match warm up drill depends on the court temperature. During the winter, another volley or two may be necessary to get the ball warm.
Solo Warm Up Drills
Advanced players can also do some solo warm up drills such as the “Figure 8,” which you can view in the video below.
The Figure 8 is one of the most popular solo hitting drills and is used to warm up the player as well as the ball.
Squash Ball Warmer
Traditional warm ups are preferred by most players in order to heat up a squash ball, but there are times (such as the winter), when players like to use some tech. There are squash ball warmers that are available commercially, which warms up and brings the squash ball up to playing temperature for the player(s).
This is a simple solution that eliminates the need to spend five minutes hitting the ball as hard as you can on the court during pre-match warm ups.
Jetbounce Squash Ball Warmer is the premier source used by players to bring their squash ball up to ambient temperature.
However, unless you live in the U.K. or Europe, it can be difficult to get these warmers in the U.S. There are not that many retailers that sell it and most do not ship to the U.S. (even official retailers on Amazon).
The best way to get these warmers is to find a seller that does ship to the U.S. on eBay, Amazon, or a certified JetBounce retailers. After some digging around, I was able to find a certified retailer called Just-Rackets.co.uk, which will ship worldwide.
Link to Purchase: https://www.just-rackets.co.uk/squash-jetbounce-ball-warmer.html
Link to Shipping Costs: https://www.just-rackets.co.uk/shipping-costs
What Not to Do
To warm up a squash ball, either do the solo or partner drills on the court, or use an approved squash ball warmer. Do not try to warm up the ball by rolling it under your shoe or the like, because this will only damage the ball and make it more likely that it will burst.
Armed with this information, grab your gear and hit the court!