Category: Psychology

Introduction to mental skills training with Jesse Engelbrecht

17th June 2020

As a player, I felt I was not able to reach my full technical and physical potential due to my wavering mental side of the game. As soon as I thought I had figured things out and strung together some good wins, the cliff face seemed just around the next corner. Lack of confidence, nervousness, the red mist, anxiety would all begin to appear all too regular and have huge detrimental effects on my performance no matter how hard I was training. Maybe this sounds familiar with a lot of players?

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In conversation with BP – Juniors’ post-match analysis

12th June 2020

Following the Digital Premiere of A Bronx Tale, check out this free video where BP shares his process for analysing a match with the juniors right after a competition.

The questions BP asks to get the juniors to analyse their own games eventually make them more independent and aware of what they need to do.

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Learning and growing away from the courts

29th April 2020
learning

It seemed appropriate to write a blog during this time of worldwide lockdown. As we have seen there are a multitude of home workouts that we can all access at our fingertips. There has been however a global trend of these becoming less and less viewed and practised as there is only a limited amount of motivation that can be put towards these. There has not been as many other sources of inspiration and motivation that I would have liked to see so here is my little bit to add to this that may spark some interest and motivation from within you. I like to remind myself that this is an amazing opportunity for us all to learn and grow away from the squash courts.

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Origins Part 2 – The Barringtons give their views on court sprints

27th March 2020
court sprints

Check out this clip from the Origins series that sees Joey and Jonah discuss the merits of court sprints and how you can effectively balance solo practice and physical exercise.

This 30-minute interview has been very well received and offers some light relief during these particularly difficult times.

We hope you enjoy…

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Common amateur fault – Reactive movement

24th March 2020
reactive

In this next instalment Common Amateur Faults, I will be looking at the concept of reactive movement in the game.

I really like this definition of reactive movement: 

“Acting in response to a situation rather than creating or controlling it” 👎🏼❌

Now let’s compare this definition to the definition of proactive movement:

“Creating or controlling a situation rather than just responding to it after it has happened” 👍🏼✅

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Put it into practice: Mental approach

2nd March 2020
mental approach

SquashSkills co-founder and all-time great of the sport Peter Nicol is back centre stage this week, as he introduces a brand new playlist that examines his mental approach to the game, and details what players at all levels of the game can learn from his experiences.

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Post-match analysis

post-match analysis

Whether tackling things from a technical, tactical, physical, or mental perspective, there are numerous avenues to explore when it comes to boosting your squash performance. One potentially very valuable tool you can simply and easily incorporate is a proper post-match analysis and performance evaluation process.

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Year in review: Your 2019 squash performance analysis – Part 2

23rd December 2019

As 2019 winds down and thoughts turn to Christmas and New Year celebrations for most, it’s a good opportunity to take a step back and turn a critical eye to your squash performance over the past year. In this two-part article we’re going to take a look at how you can go through and evaluate all the key areas of your game, and then consider how you can start building a plan to tackle your weaknesses head-on in 2020!

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Year in review: Your 2019 squash performance analysis – Part 1

18th December 2019
analysis

As 2019 winds down and thoughts turn to Christmas and New Year celebrations for most, it’s a good opportunity to take a step back and turn a critical eye to your squash performance over the past year. In this two-part article we’re going to take a look at how you can go through and evaluate all the key areas of your game, and then consider how you can start building a plan to tackle your weaknesses head-on in 2020!

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Good habit forming for improvements

2nd December 2019
habit

I have become quite interested of late in the subject of habits and read some interesting studies around the subject. How parts of the brain are able to be formed and shaped differently with some simple good daily habits. I believe that good practice of daily habits can have a beneficial effect on your game of squash in the bigger picture and this article will look to explore this phenomenon deeper.

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10 New Years resolutions to help improve your health and performance

26th November 2019

New year, new you! This is the time of year when mood is good and motivation high, with many players setting themselves commitments and targets for the coming 12 months.

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Mental freezing in squash – Overcoming the yips

28th August 2019
match mentality

‘The yips’ is a phrase first coined in the world of golf but has a now become a cross over term to many sporting disciplines. The best definition of the yips that I have found is “a state of extreme nervousness that causes a golfer to miss an easy putt.”

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Mindset for returning the serve

20th May 2019
returning the serve

All too often I see players not getting into the right frame of mind when looking to return the serve. I believe this moment, right before the ball goes into play, is a key few seconds that players need to try and be more mindful about.

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Building the Mental Game

9th November 2018
mental

When I ask athletes and coaches to make a list of mental skills they often look at me in shock as they usually don’t know what to put on it. It’s easy to list the shots you can play in squash, the types of physical training required and what you are meant to do as part of your recovery. Listing the mental skills in sport and in squash, in particular, is likely something you haven’t done before.

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Go with the flow!

22nd June 2018
flow

Most squash players whether amateur or professional, can recall having at some point played a match where everything just seemed to come together; where winners were rolling off the racket, movement was smooth and effortless, and the mind was free and clear. This state of ‘flow’ is actually a widely studied psychological concept and, while difficult to harness, is something that if embraced can be hugely beneficial not just to your sporting performance, but – if the psychologist behind the theory is to be believed – also to your general happiness and satisfaction in life.

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Decision making in squash

27th March 2018

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.

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How mental fatigue can affect your squash performance

5th January 2018
mental fatigue

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’?

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Squash tactics: Learn how to read the game

17th November 2017
read squash game

When you watch top-level squash, or any sport, executed with grace, flow, timing, rhythm and skill do you ever wonder “how are they able to do that time and time again so effortlessly?”

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Your 5-point squash pre-season checklist!

26th September 2017
squash pre-season

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:

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Mistakes I made and lessons learnt!

20th April 2017

I’m still asked about whether I miss playing professionally and most people who ask, have a preconceived idea that I do. To their disappointment, I usually explain how happy I am and how fortunate I’ve been to play the sport I love but am also completely content never to play competitively again. I feel this satisfaction stems from the fact I’ve made mistakes throughout my career but always managed to work through them and learn more from the struggle – I have no regrets.

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