With all the talk about mental health being most talked illnesses, given a research study stating that Squash is the healthiest sport in the world; it is evident that the sport can help people with mental health issues – mainly helping people suffering from mild-depression or anxiety – resulting in an increased confidence.
Having worked in the health club industry at facilities with squash courts, notably a high-end health club in Berkshire and managing an independent in the West Midlands (even playing in the 3rd division Novice league) – I have seen the evidence of how playing squash can bring to anyone who plays recreational or in the clubs inter-club leagues with fellow members.
It is not the physical benefits, but mind measurable benefits
From playing squash, you will not only feel physically fit, but you feel the sense of positivity, which can do wonders on your mental health, some of the most notable benefits are:
1) Boost to your confidence and self-esteem
There is nothing like that winning feeling having won a squash rally or hitting that vital shot to win that vital point. From this, you get the ultimate boost of self-motivation to tackle anything, especially when dealing with negative emotions.
2) Improves your hand-eye coordination
If you are someone who does a job that requires a lot of concentration, especially your job involves working shifts or a maintenance job – Squash can help you concentrate, thus this is a transferable mindset.
3) You can make friends
Like most sports, you can establish friendships; however, squash is renowned to be the most sociable sports on the planet –even if it is a competitive inter-club league match. Whether you are young or old, even if you are starting out as a novice you will instantly make friends. I speak from experience; I am still friends with my fellow competitors in the Novice league now after 12 years!
Lets not forget, Squash can played in doubles!!
4) Decrease stress and banishes negative thoughts
I have to admit, when I played squash in the novice league, I was experiencing stress and thinking negative thoughts (mainly due to work); come away with a quick few practice shots and a surprise victory, the stress went and my mood was positive. This was mainly down to smashing the ball so hard against the wall, thus releasing an Epinephrine in my head – in other words, an adrenaline rush, resulting positive thoughts in my mind.
Creating camaraderie amongst the youth at a young age
To sum up, for young people playing Squash will help them to engage with people of cultures, especially if the squash academy is community driven – not saying there is a social class divide, but it is important for young people to learn from other people; plus if the sessions are fun.
With the recent innovation of public outdoor squash courts, by my good friends ASB Squash, this makes the sport more interesting in allowing people to get outdoors and get vital Vitamin D for your body.
It is my professional opinion that Squash is the best sport to tackle issues surrounding people’s health – especially when dealing with stressful personal issues – however, it is always important to warm-up before playing a match to prevent injury.