1) How important do you think fitness/conditioning is to the modern game? In your opinion, have the fitness requirements changed at all with the transition to PAR scoring?
Fitness in my eyes is one of the key aspects to becoming a world-class player, not only in squash but in every sport. At the top end of squash, nearly every rally is intense and brutal so you have to make sure you are not weak in any areas and don’t break down. Especially with PAR scoring, you can’t take your foot off the gas at any point.
2) How many dedicated fitness/conditioning sessions do you complete in a standard training week?
Fitness varies in my schedule, if in summer training then I will be doing additional sessions maybe 4 times a week. But when in the season I will always try and get in 2 weights sessions a week, plus a ghosting/court sprint session combined with my solo training also twice a week, and various speed/power sessions as and when my schedule allows.
3) How long do you spend warming up before an on-court practice session and/or match? Do you pay special attention to any certain areas and if so, why?
I usually spend 15 minutes with my warm-up before practise, starting off with a bit of skipping or jogging to get the heart pumping and ready, along with dynamic stretches, foam rolling and muscle activation. It’s Pretty much the same with my warm-up for my match but with some more intense movements like ghosting, and short sharp sprints.
4) What is your all-time hardest off-court training session? How often do you perform this session?
Hardest session would be track sets of 400m or repeat bike intervals. I try to do both of those once a week.
5) In the aforementioned session, how do you keep up your motivation to not only finish but perform well? Do you use any particular mental strategies?
I keep my motivation by telling myself that no match is going to be tougher than these sessions and if they are, I wouldn’t be in an unfamiliar state and can then maybe push that couple percent more at the vital end of a game.
6) Do you use any particular type of training session as a ‘test’ to measure your fitness levels?
I do a bleep test quite often. It’s a good test because you can see your progress with the levels you reach.
7) Do you incorporate any gym-based weights/resistance sessions into your training programme? If so, what are your main goals from this type of training? (i.e. endurance, power, injury resistance etc.
I think doing weights is very important as it helps prevent injury because you are strengthening the areas as well as making them stronger. Squatting, deadlifting with lower reps but higher load is also going to increase your power if performed explosively.
8) Are there any particular items of training equipment you incorporate into your sessions that you feel especially benefit you as a squash player? (i.e. bungee cords, agility ladders, weighted vests etc.)
I often do skipping and agility ladders to help with fast feet and coordination. I find I benefit a lot from them. Bungee cord when working on my movement and trying to get stronger in certain areas is a good one for me as well
9) Do you follow any type of nutrition plan? If not, how have you learned to fuel your body best for your sport’s demands?
I try to stick to eating my carbs in the morning and afternoon with more protein and vegetables for my evening meal.
10) Do you use any supplements/vitamins etc as part of your diet/nutrition?
I take Wellman vitamins just to make sure I am getting all vitamins and minerals I need to perform optimally, as well as my carb/protein recovery drinks for after training.
11) Do you utilize any recovery techniques in between tournament matches? (i.e. specific foods, drink, treatments, ice bath, etc.)
After playing, recovery is important because I’ll need to perform again the next day. If I can I will try and get on a bike or get into a pool and maybe do some stretching/mobility in there.
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