Squash is the most demanding sport in the world with some of the fastest athletes, most intelligent players, and most skilled in hand-eye-coordination to ever grace the earth. The footwork, balance, and stability combined with aerobic and anaerobic endurance are unmatched in the competitive arena.
BUT – it has one major flaw that could be destroying your game and your body.
… now before you tar and feather me and throw me out of your life, hear me out…
I see it every day, pros, amateurs and aspiring youth, spending hours and hours on the court, honing their skills, perfecting their strokes, and eventually running themselves into the ground with debilitating knee pain, horrible plantar fasciitis (heels and arches hurt so bad you don’t want to get out of bed the next day), and aching shoulder pains, and ‘tennis’ elbow (errr… ‘squash’ elbow?).
Don’t worry there is a solution but first here is the problem.
We have forgotten how to move.
Our culture is sedentary. We spend hours behind a desk, phone, in meetings, or just behind the wheel of a car. And, those who try to combat the sedentary lifestyle respond by playing as much as possible and moving as much as possible. But, it makes it worse, in many instances, our movement on the court is just like our movement in our everyday life, as little as possible and as many shortcuts as possible, this is where the injuries start.
We cannot touch our toes, lunge properly, or keep our shoulders squared but yet we play for 3 hours and expect to “get in shape.” (I’m not sure what shape that is, but you’re not going to want to be in it once you’re there)
The solution: move well, not more.
If I am describing you, here is my advice: Spend less time on the court with your racquet, and more time off the court perfecting your movement.
Think of your game as a pyramid: it should be built from the bottom up, not the top down (I think we can all agree that is how the Egyptians did it, and also that they know a thing or two about squash, however unique their technique may be in both!).
The base of your pyramid is Proper Movement, then the next level up is Proper Focus & Strategy, then the top level is Proper Skill. Now, remember, all are vital, all are tremendously important and without any of them there would be no pyramid at all.
But, If you simply hop on the court and “hit it around” to warm up – you are flipping your pyramid on its head and just buying time until it topples over and collapses down on its own weight. Bringing your knees, back, and shoulders with it into the ruins.
Training Team Leader/ Performance Coach
RDV Sportsplex, Orlando, Florida, USA
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