Squash coach Latasha Khan grew up in West Seattle. In 1991, at age 18, she became the first person to win the juniors national girls championship and make the national women’s final in the same year. Ivy League schools took note, but Latasha eventually snubbed them in favor of the University of Washington, which didn’t even have a team. “I didn’t want to leave the West Coast,” she says. “I wasn’t really that serious about squash until I graduated from college.”
She got serious quickly enough. After graduating, she joined her sister Shabana on the professional women’s tour and went on to win seven U.S. titles and 10 Professional Squash Association titles. She exited the pro singles circuit in 2015 and now plays professional doubles.
Latasha’s success came as no surprise to those who know the Khan family. Latasha is one of eight children—four of whom play squash—and says that despite popular belief, the sport has more in common with tennis than racquetball. Her dad, Yusuf, emigrated from India to the United States in 1968 and took a job as a tennis pro in Seattle. Yusuf went on to help establish the squash culture in the city and even worked as the squash pro at the WAC for some time.
“A lot of people, if they want a workout, they switch from racquetball to squash,” Latasha says. “With racquetball, when you get better your rallies get shorter. With squash, your rallies get longer. You’re never standing around.”
Off the court, Latasha is an amateur photographer. She also does marketing consulting on the side. As for her approach to coaching? “The first thing is to just let people hit the ball,” she says. “I don’t even explain the lines or the rules right away. Because if you can’t hit the ball, you can’t play.”
—Latasha Khan offers private and group squash coaching by appointment. Schedule with Athletic Programs Manager Darin Barr at 206.464.3074 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
As published in the September/October 2019 issue of WAC Magazine.
—Posted September 6, 2019