There is a very different vision of practicing at different squash clubs. At many clubs "practice" is always match play. I believe practice should consist of both drills and some match play.
Drills are a very important and often overlooked part of practicing in squash. They help improve your game in many ways. A well structured drill gets you to practice shots you would not normally attempt in match play. They can force you to not take the easy way out of a difficult situation which is often a low percentage shot. When stuck in the back corner not having the option to boast is a great way to learn what other options you have. They help you recognize patterns of play and how to capitalize on them. They also help you learn proper movement to and from the ball. The key to drills is to know what you are trying to learn and focus on the skill that is being practiced.
Match play at the club level helps with learning to be able to play the same shots you have practiced in your drills in a competitive situation. In practice matches it is important to try and remember what you were working on during your drills so you can practice that in a game situation. Match play also helps you learn how to manage your own anxiety. Being able to perform under pressure is crucial to squash when playing competitive matches.
Proper practice, both drills and practice matches will definitely help you when you are playing competitive matches. Ingraining good habits in to your game will help you to play your best under the stress of a very competitive match!
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