I recently put together this video discussing how I’ve gone about trying to get my kids interested in playing squash. As of this video, they’re 8 and 10 years old:
As I was publishing that video, I remembered I wrote a similar post when the kids were younger. The specifics are a little different because of their ages, but my general philosophy seems to have remained largely the same! Here’s the original post from 2011:
My children are currently 4 and almost-2 years old. They aren’t quite old enough to learn squash, but I still get them on the court once in a while, and we have a lot of fun. Here’s how we do it.
Over time I’ve collected a large box of different kinds of balls. Some squash balls, some blue bouncy balls similar to racquetballs, some foam balls, a little football — anything I can find. I bring this entire box with us to the squash court. We bring the box of balls onto a court with us and dump them out. Balls immediately roll everywhere.
My kids then spend the next hour or two chasing the balls all around the court, kicking them, throwing them, collecting them in the box and then dumping them out. I run around too, bouncing and rolling balls back and forth to the kids.
I also have a couple of old broken squash rackets that I bring with us. The kids can use these for various games. Sometimes they will pile all the balls on top of the rackets and try to carry them around the court. Other times they will actually swing the racket at balls on the floor, sending them all around the court if they connect with the ball.
Of course, the point here is I’m not trying to teach them squash. I’m just trying to get them out on court and let them have a fun time. At some point, they may decide to actually learn how to play the game of squash. If and when that point comes, I’ll help them learn. If they never decide to pick up squash, that’s OK too. Of course I hope they get into the game, so we can play together, but I know if I try to force it on them, they’ll never fully embrace it.
These early adventures on the court are a good way to get a run-around (especially on a rainy or cold day), and ought to give the kids a feeling that squash is fun. If they decide to play it more seriously as they get older, that will be fun too.