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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06/08/14

Got (Choc) Milk?

Got (Choc) Milk?

After a tough training session or match, our bodies are often left in a state of depletion – replenishing certain nutrients in this post-exercise period can be crucial in optimising our recovery. Particularly for players competing in tournaments who have may have several matches across a day or weekend, or for those working on conditioning programmes that require multiple tough sessions across a typical week, recovering properly after a session is crucial. 

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Category: Fitness
Tags: Gary Nisbett, Fitness / Conditioning

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30/07/14

The Power Of Red

The Power Of Red

Watching the Commonwealth Games Men’s Final between Nick Matthew and James Willstrop this week, it struck me again just how fine the margins can be between winning and losing in competitive sport. When two opponents are so evenly matched, it can come down to the minutest of factors that give a player that crucial edge that carries them to victory – surprisingly, there is research to suggest that this may even include something as seemingly trivial as the colour of the clothes that you wear!

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Category: Squash
Tags: Gary Nisbett, Tournaments

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15/07/14

Responding To Failure

Responding To Failure

Whatever level of squash you play, almost all players will have general aims and targets for their performances. They could be anything from beating a regular partner at the weekly social night, to winning the club box league and climbing the local rankings, or even competing in county/regional championships or higher. Even if they’re not explicitly set out and formalised as ‘goals’, the standards and expectations players hold themselves to are a central factor in regards how they appraise their squash performances – be that consciously or subconsciously .

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

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09/07/14

3 Recommended Nutritional Supplements

 3sup

In an ideal world, we’d get all of our required vitamins, minerals, and nutrients from our diet. Unfortunately, due to time restrictions, cost issues, and often just plain lack of relevant knowledge, a lot of active people (and even many athletes) struggle to cover all of the necessary nutritional bases. Squash is obviously a very physically demanding sport, that places great strain on the body – it is especially important therefore that regular players in particular make sure to cover this full spectrum of essential dietary requirements, to enable them to optimally recover and get the full benefits of the training they undertake. This is where supplementation can be very useful in filling the gaps and helping to support our standard dietary food intake.

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Tags: Gary Nisbett

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02/07/14

Unstable Surface Training

garyblog

In pretty much any large scale commercial gym you might wander into, you’re more or less guaranteed these days to see a number of various inflatable balls, foam blocks, wobble boards and other ‘unstable surface’ items of training equipment. Their popularity has soared in recent years with the ‘functional training’ fad, and this popularity has unfortunately seen many otherwise smart athletes and trainers drawn in by the hype with little consideration of what ‘functional training’ actually means, and how balancing on one leg on an upside down air-filled rubber dome could ever accurately be described as ‘functional’.

 

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Tags: Gary Nisbett, Fitness / Conditioning

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26/06/14

Physiology & Sport: The Art of Dominance

Physiology & Sport: The Art of Dominance

In Amy Cuddy’s TED talk on body language: Your Body Language Shapes Who You Are, I discovered some impressive statistics to support the “fake it ’till you make it” concept of physiology. It’s been long known that not only does your mental or emotional state affect your body language, but the reverse is also true. You can choose to change the way you feel by assuming a different posture, pose or facial expression. I’ve been telling this to my boxing and kickboxing students for years. 

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Category: Fitness

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11/06/14

Creatine Use For The Squash Player

Creatine Use For The Squash Player

Perhaps the most common of the numerous proposed ‘Performance Enhancers’ available, are nutritional supplements – the various pills, powders, and potions that promise extraordinary gains in energy, power, and recovery. A quick browse around your local health food store will reveal literally thousands of different brands and formulas available, with ever more sensational advertisements, packaging, and promotional blurb. 

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Category: Fitness
Tags: Gary Nisbett, Fitness / Conditioning

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