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21/01/15

Vlog: Setting Reps And Rest Periods To Reflect Rallies

settingwithplay

In the first edition of the Squashskills V-Log Gary explains how to set reps and rest periods of interval training to mimic squash rallies and games. He suggests keeping intervals between 15-60 seconds as this is how long the vast majority of rallies will be, followed by a rest of around 15 seconds which reflects the amount of time taken between points.

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Category: Fitness
Tags: Interval Session, Gary Nisbett, Fitness / Conditioning

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16/01/15

Nick Matthew's Neutral Wrist Position

Nick Matthew's Neutral Wrist Position

I’ve been spending a lot of time recently teaching what I think is the correct wrist position to many of my pupils. My take is that although we will all cock and break the wrist at different times to hit the required shot, having a very neutral wrist position on both forehand and backhand makes the most sense. From there, you can change the wrist position fractionally up or down to make the best possible contact with the ball.

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Category: Squash
Tags: Peter Nicol, Nick Matthew, Technique

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07/01/15

Do You Need A New Year Detox?

Do You Need A New Year Detox?

Whilst New Year’s resolutions revolving around healthy lifestyle goals and new fitness programme pledges are a long established tradition, something related that has become an ever increasing trend in recent years amongst health devotees looking to kick-start their wellness regimes is the ‘Detox’ – a juice/supplement/enema based ‘flushing’ of the body, to cleanse you of ‘toxins’ and set you on the righteous path toward health and happiness.

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Category: Nutrition
Tags: Gary Nisbett, Fitness / Conditioning

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22/12/14

Peter On Yoga & Squash

Peter On Yoga & Squash

I tend to have a short attention span when it comes to my physical conditioning – focusing day-to-day and/or week-by-week with my preparation and recovery. I was not always this way; when I was a professional my regime was long-term, unwavering, and there was always plenty of time allocated to training.

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Category: Fitness
Tags: Yoga, Fitness / Conditioning

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17/12/14

End Of Year Reflections

End Of Year Reflections

As we now approach the end of the year, whether you’re continuing to play and train over Christmas or whether you’re taking some time out to rest and recuperate, it can be a useful process to take a look back over the past 12 months and take some time to evaluate your overall game and performance levels, to gauge where you are now and to assess where you would ideally like to be at this same time next year.

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Category: Fitness
Tags: Gary Nisbett, Fitness / Conditioning, Practice, Physical

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10/12/14

Winter Break Training

Winter Break Training

‘Summer Training’ is a set fixture on the calendar of athletes from many sports, and squash is no exception. Players of all levels set aside the summer months to really work hard in their squash training – usually most predominantly the physical elements of their game – in an attempt to boost their squash-specific conditioning and optimise their performance for the long season ahead. What isn’t quite as common however, despite being potentially just as useful, is utilising the mid-season break for its own dedicated training block.

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Category: Fitness
Tags: Gary Nisbett, Fitness / Conditioning

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05/12/14

Winning Ugly

Winning Ugly

We try and feature sport psychology and mental training tips here at Squashskills whenever we can, and the challenge is always to make the content and information as practical and easy to implement as possible. There is a lot of interesting theory surrounding the whole field of sports psychology, but the average squash player is usually (quite understandably) more concerned with what they can do to actually improve and impact their game in the shortest timeframe and with the minimum fuss possible. 

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Category: Fitness
Tags: Gary Nisbett, Fitness / Conditioning

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19/11/14

Spinning For Squash

Spinning For Squash

There are dozens of different exercise classes available to the average gym goer nowadays, with a variety of different durations, intensities, and pieces of equipment used. Many are variations on a similar theme (such as the martial arts themed Tae-Bo, Body Combat etc.), but few offer any real specificity for the squash player and as such are of limited benefit for those using the gym primarily to get fit for their on-court performance. One class that does potentially hold value for the squash player however, is Spinning.

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Category: Fitness
Tags: Gary Nisbett, Fitness / Conditioning

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06/11/14

Combatting The Common Cold

Combatting The Common Cold

For those of us in the northern hemisphere the recent dropping temperatures and shorter days marks the gradual passing of Autumn to Winter, and for those so predisposed it also unfortunately marks the start of what is often termed as 'cold season', that time of year when it seems everyone is starting to go down with various minor illnesses/viruses and having to suffer all of the nasty congestion, coughing, and spluttering that invariably goes with it.

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Category: Fitness
Tags: Gary Nisbett, Fitness / Conditioning

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30/10/14

What's In Your Squash Bag?

What's In Your Squash Bag?

Working on a coaching camp with a group of high-level juniors recently, one of the things we were discussing with the youngsters in respect to how they could set themselves apart as players, was the crucial importance of proper preparation – be it for training, competitive league matches, or as part of a tournament. Something that we looked at as part of this was what should be considered the most important and essential contents of a player’s squash bag. 

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Category: Fitness
Tags: Gary Nisbett

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23/10/14

Impact of Injury

Impact of Injury

Anybody that plays any kind of sport on a regular basis, will at some point very likely have to deal with the issue of injury. Particularly in a sport as physically demanding and dynamic as squash, sudden trauma injuries (such as strained muscles or sprained ligaments/tendons) or nagging overuse injuries (such as tendonitis) are common. We talk a lot about the physical side of injury, the rehabilitation, therapy, and strengthening/rebuilding, but what is less commonly discussed is the psychological impact of injury.

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Category: Fitness
Tags: Recovery, Gary Nisbett, Physical

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17/10/14

Progressive Practicing

Progressive Practicing

When I was a professional, and especially at the beginning/middle of my career, my morning weekday sessions would always follow a simple progression. As the focus later in my career was more specifically on my technique and learning to play in a different style my sessions were sometimes just a random collection of routines and conditioned games that fit with what I wanted to practice. 

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Category: Squash
Tags: Peter Nicol, Practice

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10/10/14

Understand The Difference That Tin Size Makes

Understand The Difference That Tin Size Makes

It is really important to understand the difference the lower 17” tin makes in the men’s professional game and therefore the types of boast that can be played from various areas. This is most noticeable with the two wall boast, which is generally played by hitting much harder on the 17” tin than is possible (or beneficial) with the higher, normal 19” tin.

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Category: Squash
Tags: Peter Nicol, Technique

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08/10/14

Coaching: Developing Young Athletes

Coaching: Developing Young Athletes

We’re fortunate to have a tremendously diverse membership here on Squashskills, and included in that are a large number of coaches from all across the globe. We’re often asked to feature more content specific to coaches looking for help with their skills development programmes, and in particular those that do a lot of work with junior squash players. 

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Category: Fitness
Tags: Gary Nisbett

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26/09/14

My Experiences: Using The Boast

My Experiences: Using The Boast

We have been looking at forehand boasts this week and I wanted to share a few experiences I had using the boast to both good and bad effect. There is such a fine margin with the boast and playing on a 17” tin accentuates that – the difference between a working boast and feed for a counter drop winner is the ball landing and staying a few of inches further away or nearer the T!

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Category: Squash
Tags: Peter Nicol, Jonathan Power

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26/09/14

Sports Psychology - The Winner's Mind

Sports Psychology - The Winner's Mind

We’ve featured a number of Sports Psychology posts and links here on the site over the past couple of months, and judging by the feedback we get it is an area of great interest and relevance to many of our readers. There are a number of components that make up ‘sports psychology’ however, and for someone with little experience and familiarity with the area it can be quite a difficult thing to fully understand exactly what it is, and why it’s so important.

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Category: Fitness
Tags: Gary Nisbett, Fitness / Conditioning

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18/09/14

The Image of Success!

The Image of Success!

We’ve discussed on the site before the importance of a strong mental game for maximising squash performance. Especially in matches with very closely matched participants, any small advantage gained can potentially provide that crucial edge that is the difference between winning and losing. One of the most popular and oft-utilised sport psychology techniques is Imagery.

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Category: Fitness
Tags: Gary Nisbett, Fitness / Conditioning, Physical

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10/09/14

11 Points on Fitness Q&A: Adrian Grant

11 Points on Fitness Q&A: Adrian Grant

Adrian has recently returned from the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, where he and Nick Matthew teamed up to win silver medals in the men’s doubles, narrowly missing out on adding a second gold to the one’s they won in Delhi in 2010. Adrian has also been a key member of several of England’s European and World Championship winning teams, while reaching a career high no. 9 in the PSA rankings and claiming a number of the tour’s most prestigious titles.

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Tags: Ask a Pro, Gary Nisbett, Fitness / Conditioning

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20/08/14

Pre-Performance Routines

Pre-Performance Routines

One of the biggest frequently problems reported by a lot of squash players, is achieving a consistent level of performance. That familiar and frustrating feeling of playing your best squash one day, and then walking on court for your next performance and feeling like you’ve never hit a ball before, is one that has affected most regular players at one time or another.

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Category: Fitness
Tags: Gary Nisbett, Fitness / Conditioning

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