My first introduction to squash was in college. That was 45 years ago! And, until last year, I never learned the game.
I had periods of more or less effort. I took to heart earnest tips from my mates racking up points on me. Mostly, I found myself competing with the walls and my body’s ability to recover from a self-inflicted thrashing.
Somehow that little black ball kept compelling me to do things that, from any outside view were, well, ridiculous. Squash was turning out just to be a reason to grab a beer with friends.
Still, I persisted. I hired a coach. In the first lesson, he suggested I watch the greats, Nick Matthews, James Willstrop, et al. Then last year through Squash TV I found SquashSkills. Soon I was watching “Squash Porn” for hours at a stretch.
SquashSkills has been an ongoing personal conversation with the best of the best in the sport- intimate, sincere and humbling.
The teaching methodology is nothing short of profound. First, the holistic view of the game is conveyed by analytical review of the professionals. Then, every possible facet, from strategy to conditioning, is decomposed into step-like “training packets”. These allowed me to build new neural pathways in increments I could take to the court week after week.
With time, I was following along the series and “reassembling” the parts into a whole game. Now, squash has become about finding my flow. It’s become a dance of mental focus during hard physical exertion that brings satisfaction but leaves room for endless refinement.
Re-evaluating my grip, my swing, my movement, my conditioning and my mental state under the light of expert knowledge made me a complete beginner. It is so powerful to become a “beginner” every time you step on the court.
Learning from the best and in good company is a pursuit of pure joy. “There is no try. Just do.”
Thanks all you SquashSkills Jedi!
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