Here at SquashSkills we’ve highlighted many times how important the warm-up is for you to be able to compete at your highest possible level, yet it’s an area that is still very often neglected at an amateur level.
With our new content this week we’ve given you an insight into not just why we do it and how important it is, but we’ve also laid out all the details as to how to properly construct a squash-specific warm-up of your own… So now there really is no excuse!
Squash is an extremely fast-paced, high-energy sport, which can place a great deal of strain on the body. This short, intense nature coupled with the frequent twists, turns, and lunges of a rally, makes it a game that can unfortunately present quite a high injury risk.
This risk is typically greater for the older player, whose body has more mileage on the clock than their younger counterparts. For this reason, it’s crucially important that veteran players are more diligent and conscientious in their training to help keep them off the physio’s bed, and on the squash court.
I first saw Amr Shabana at the World Junior Championships in Cairo in 1996, where Lee Beachill, Stewart Boswell and Anthony Ricketts were also competing and Shabs had the reputation of being a shotmaker without serious intent.
We’re delighted to welcome Camille Serme to SquashSkills this week, as she takes us through her approach to the game technically, tactically, physically, and mentally – all of the 4 crucial components of the competitive squash player.
Here are five reasons why Ali Farag has risen to the top of the men’s game since graduating from Harvard University.
In the first of a new series here on SquashSkills we’re looking ahead at the major events coming up on the PSA World Tour over the next month and looking at who we feel are the in-form players and the names to watch as the action unfolds around the world.
Elite performers in sports such as squash are often lauded for their ability to play the right shot at the right time. While what is deemed the ‘correct’ shot may differ from player to player or coach to coach, it is certainly a key indicator of high level players that they have good decision making skills, that consistently result in a successful outcome. For those trying to improve their squash the ability to improve their decision making is thus an important factor, yet many players find it a difficult area of their game to consciously develop.
Squash is a tough enough sport as it is, never mind when your evening game/training session has been preceded by a long day at the office.
Just about every player at every level will have at one time or another blamed a loss on work/social/family stresses while lamenting their poor performance, but is there any actual real evidence to support the validity of this oft-used ‘excuse’?
It’s not always easy trying to fit in extra training time to work on your squash fitness. Any session you manage to add in then, you obviously want to ensure is as guaranteed effective and as efficient as possible. A great way to organise your physical workouts to optimise this effectiveness and efficiency, is through the use of Circuits.
When most people think ‘Flexibility’, they think ‘Stretching’. The idea that making the muscles ‘longer and looser’ is an essential part of warming-up, cooling down, and enhancing performance for a sport such as squash is one of those ideas that is pretty entrenched in most players minds.
I write to you from Leme Tênis Clube in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, which was founded in 1914 and for many years was prominent in Rio de Janeiro for the level of its squash, as well as tennis.
It’s a pleasure to write this endorsement for SquashSkills. In September 2014, I had a major hip replacement which had been affecting my squash ability. I did not rush back into competitive play for 18 months after the operation.
Squash is a sport that requires a high level of physical conditioning to excel. Players serious about their squash spend a lot of time and effort on their training programmes, working hard to squeeze in all of their sessions each week. It can thus be frustrating when workouts have to be moved or missed when work/family/social commitments intrude, and confine time and space availability.
We’ve already been treated to some outstanding early season matches on the PSA tour in China, France, and Hong Kong. With Autumn creeping in it’s now the turn of dedicated club players up and down the country to start getting back into the swing of things, as club box leagues and county league team squash begin kicking into gear for the new season.
To make sure you’re prepped for the coming season and ready to hit the ground running, check out our 5 point pre-season checklist:
As a player I was driven first and foremost about the outcome of a shot and by extension, the rally. As a coach I have to stop myself getting too caught up in the technical aspects of the game and allow the players I teach to find ways to achieve the desired outcome without too much technical coaching. Obviously, there needs to be some consistency in form and the mechanics have to be correct for the shot to be accurate. However, there as so many ways to reach the same impact point that too much technical focus can be counterproductive.
In this new semi-regular feature, we’ll be investigating some of the scientific studies that have been done into squash to see ‘what the science says’.
Although most people are familiar with caffeine and are aware of some of its potential benefits and effects, there are still a lot of myths and misconceptions as to its exact uses and functions within the body. Used correctly though, it can be a very useful performance enhancer for the squash player.
There is a certain level of complexity involved with team dynamics in any sport as there are many factors such as personalities, cultures, ages and abilities amongst the set of players. In squash, the team aspect is rather unique. Usually your team consists of 5,7 or 9 players and you set your lineup after try-outs, challenge matches or rankings.
We get a ton of great feedback and questions sent into us here at SquashSkills, many that well warrant a wider audience. In a new periodical feature on the blog, we’re going to be expanding on some of these discussions and making them into full articles.
This week’s then, sees us addressing a recent question that came in from a member about the use of ankle weights for the squash player:
“I was wondering if you have any advice on utilising ankle weights while playing/training? I have heard that some Egyptian players do this?”