Blog
07/07/15

Vlog: Scheduling Your Training Sessions

VLOG

In July's Vlog Gary gives two tips to help increase how often you train and really improve your physical conditioning. Firstly, he suggests adding fitness bolt-ons before or after practice matches or on court training to give you that slight edge. Secondly Gary suggests scheduling 2-3 conditioning sessions a week to fit around work and social commitments to really take you to that next level of conditioning. 

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19/06/15

My Experience - Hitting Into Space

My Experience - Hitting Into Space

It may seem like the most obvious comment to make, “hit the ball into space and away from your opponent”. However, it is very hard in practice, under pressure to always understand where that space is. The game of squash is naturally very quick and relies on instinctive decisions so hitting into space is actually a very hard skill to master. 

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Category: Squash
Tags: Peter Nicol, Practice, Technique

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18/06/15

Court Shoes - Getting The Right Fit For Squash

Court Shoes - Getting The Right Fit For Squash

Overuse injuries are unfortunately common in squash, due to the highly demanding physical nature of the game. These injuries often manifest themselves within the arm around the shoulder and elbow region, but more commonly they tend to occur in the hips, knees, ankles, and feet – things like Achilles tendonitis, shin splints, and painful blisters being familiar to many players.

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Category: Fitness
Tags: Gary Nisbett, Fitness / Conditioning

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11/06/15

Being Mentally Tough For Squash

Being Mentally Tough For Squash

Squash is undoubtedly a supremely tough sport. The inherent physical nature of the game, trying to execute a game-plan while shoulder to shoulder with an opponent who is attempting to do the exact same thing, battling away within the walled confines of the court as tiredness and fatigue set in, all go toward making it one of the most challenging sports out there for the truly dedicated.

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Category: Squash
Tags: Gary Nisbett

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04/06/15

Alcohol and Squash Performance

Alcohol and Squash Performance

A pint or two in the bar is an integral part of the post-match experience for many amateur squash enthusiasts, and the occasional tipple shouldn’t be of great concern to the average healthy individual. Alcohol consumed regularly and excessively can have a variety of negative effects on performance for the sportsperson however, and can seriously undermine the hard-earned results from your squash training programme.

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Category: Fitness
Tags: Gary Nisbett, Fitness / Conditioning

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27/05/15

Issues With The ‘Smith Machine’ For Squash Players

Issues With The ‘Smith Machine’ For Squash Players

Most commercial gyms these days will contain a Smith Machine or two, and their large impressive shiny frames and apparent ease of use tend to have the effect of luring less experienced exercisers into the clutches of their attractive looking, but unfortunately rather poorly designed mechanical frames. Despite being so prevalent in so many gyms for so many years, there are a number of serious flaws in both their form and function.

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Category: Fitness
Tags: Weight training, Resistance Training, Gary Nisbett, Fitness / Conditioning, Physical

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21/05/15

Keeping Squash-Fit On Vacation – pt.2

Keeping Squash-Fit On Vacation – pt.2

With the Northern Hemisphere Summer starting to creep in, a lot of people’s minds turn to luxury vacations to exotic climes – or at least, weekend breaks out of town with the kids in tow! For the dedicated squash player however, the immediate concern naturally becomes: “But how will I keep up my training in Barbados/Tenerife/Skegness??”. The good news is, Squashskills is here to help!

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Category: Fitness
Tags: Off Season Training, Gary Nisbett, Fitness / Conditioning, Physical

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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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