Lets get back to squash a better player

by John Welton

 

The third lockdown has been tough for everyone, but with the government’s roadmap out of lockdown the end is in sight and the chance to play the game we love is upon us!

In the last few days England squash has released it’s expected guidance on a return to squash on the 12th of April (confirmation of which we expect from 5th April).

For many the guidance may look a little disappointing, as we are unable to play freely from the 12th. Instead, we will have to wait until 17th May before we can enter the courts with friends and old foes!

With this news, I have heard quite a bit of negativity, and understandably so! We are all desperate to get back on court, get stuck into some match play and compete. However, this isn’t going to be the case for the first 5 weeks of our return to the court. This got me thinking about mindset, how can we as squash players use this period wisely and maximise this time.  Growth mindset is a theory we use consistently with our players from beginner to professional. We believe it is an essential trait for any player to have who wants to improve.

 

“The growth mindset definition is to belief that skills and intelligence can be improved with effort and deliberate practice. People with a growth mindset embrace challenges, overcome obstacles, learn from criticism, and seek out inspiration in others’ success.”

 

It will be extremely easy to look at the guidance and be angry, disappointed by its limitations on your play. However, we have had a long layoff from the game, and it will take time to regain fitness levels and skills sets so this period of time alone is a good opportunity to ease back in.

I as a coach would go further than that though and suggest using a growth mindset to examine what you could improve and achieve within this period to make yourself a better squash player. We have had a forced reset in our games from these lockdowns, this is an opportunity to really look at these and highlight some areas you’d like to improve. Set yourself some short to medium length goals through this 5-week period and beyond.

Throughout our experience with professional players from all over the globe there is one area they will all tell you has been a vital component in them reaching the level they are at, this is solo practice. It’s the one session where you can really hone your skills and focus entirely on a particular area of your game without the pressure of a match situation. Professional players will do anything upwards of 10 hours solo practice per week. Now I’m not suggesting you suddenly start putting those kinds of hours in but that really drives home the importance of solo practice.

As I mentioned earlier in this post it can be beneficial to highlight some areas of your game or shots that you would like to improve and use this time to practice them. Whether you are able to seek out good advice in the form of a local coach or even using some of the great content online can help with this journey. Perhaps start to put together your own 5-week practice plan. For me personally I have had some knee pain from Patella tendonitis, so I will be using this time to do a lot of ghosting sessions, slowly bringing the intensity up and increasing length of session. It is also a great way for me to think about my first movement from the T and movement patterns around the court both aspects I’m keen to improve upon within my game. This way I know I will be ready to play at the intensity required for competition when the time comes.

Most important of all enjoy being back on court and that feeling of striking a ball once more!

We will be releasing some great solo practice content in the form of session plans and videos on particular solo exercises throughout April and May so keep an eye out across our social media.

One response to “Lets get back to squash a better player

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

read

British junior championships review

by hadrian

As always the team at Edgbaston priory club and Birmingham university provided an excellent experience for the British junior championships. Somewhere close to 500 kids battled it out across the two venues and it was very encouraging to see so many young players at such a high level when there is plenty of talk about…

learn more

Where focus goes, energy flows

by Hadrian Stiff

As part of a personal development, I am part way though there is a section on ‘state’. The state being referred to is the combination of a physical and mental position which we hold ourselves. Many things will affect the state, from the posture of the body to the internal dialogue in the mind. For example,…

learn more

The challenges of being coach and parent

by Hadrian Stiff

My 11 year old Son Elliott has just begun his junior tournament career and last weekend we travelled to London for the first event away from home. The main purpose of this event was to introduce the experiences of different courts, opponents and the pressure of this foreign environment and see how he responded and…

learn more

Learning happens in the gaps.

by Hadrian Stiff

We have many different environments in which we can improve our squash. From lessons with a coach to solo practice, group training and matches there is always lots that can be learned from each. The key question for me as a coach is how best to help everyone to absorb and retain the most impactful…

learn more

Another big thank you to Avon squash!

by John Welton

One of the hardest areas to maintain sustained growth in any country is in the junior programs. The pandemic has had a huge impact on our sport and particularly our junior programs. We have seen a really positive return to our junior squads but there has been a small drop in numbers. It is now…

learn more
We use cookies to make the ELITESQUASH website a better place. By using the site, you agree to their use in accordance with current browser settings. To learn more about this and how we use data we collect, check out our Privacy Policy
Contact us

How can we help? Are you looking for something special?