Blog
20/04/15

Inject Pace Into Your Game

Inject Pace Into Your Game

There are many different ways to inject pace. I think a good way to learn about this is to understand how the best players in the world inject. I have listed below 3 players and how they manage to inject pace with the skills they have – all different, to show that we all have to learn and work within our own skill set. 

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Category: Squash
Tags: Peter Nicol, Physical

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09/04/15

Utilising Coaching Theory To Develop Performance

Utilising Coaching Theory To Develop Performance

There is a lot of very interesting literature surrounding the field of learning theory, with a lot of it of great relevance to sports coaches. Indeed, coaching itself is increasingly being treated as more of a science, with its own specific topics of research and study. This is of great benefit to anybody working in the coaching field, and the materials available today can really enhance the quality of teaching and instruction that a well-informed coach is able to offer.

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Category: Fitness
Tags: Gary Nisbett, Fitness / Conditioning

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26/03/15

Watch & Learn

Watch & Learn

Watching some of the fabulous live matches at the fantastic Canary Wharf Classic tournament this week, it’s been great to see a full house of squash-enthusiasts there every night, and particularly pleasing to see so many youngsters there taking in the action.

It often strikes me the relatively small number of squash players who actually watch elite level squash however, despite the potential benefits of doing so – particularly for juniors still learning the game, or adult players who are engaged in coaching/training and looking to improve their abilities.

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

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19/03/15

Shot & Ghost Drills

Shot & Ghost Drills

We’ve spoken frequently here on the site before, about the importance of specificity in your squash training. Trying to simulate the demands of a tough rally and replicate overall the unique energy requirements of the game in your conditioning sessions, should be one of your key focuses. A great way to do this, is to incorporate some shot & ghost patterns into your training.

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Category: Fitness
Tags: Gary Nisbett, Fitness / Conditioning

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11/03/15

Playing Like You Practice

Playing Like You Practice

A problem sports psychologists often hear reported by sportspeople of all levels, is an inability to replicate their training performance in a more competitive environment. Many squash players report being able to hit great lengths, cut in wonderful drops, and cover the court effortlessly in training for example, but when it comes to their big league matches or tournaments they’re left frustrated, with their technique and poise seeming to desert them just when they need it the most.

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

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11/02/15

How Important Is The ‘Cool-Down’?

How Important Is The ‘Cool-Down’?

For the diligent squash player, the cool-down (or warm-down) has long been as much an integral part of training/playing as the warm-up. But while for most players the warm-up will follow the same general pattern of progressively warming and mobilising the body in preparation for exercise, there is usually seen a far higher degree of variance in cool-down routines.

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

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21/01/15

Vlog: Setting Reps And Rest Periods To Reflect Rallies

settingwithplay

In the first edition of the Squashskills Vlog 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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