Info for Your Squashgame

Methodology


How to use the Evaluation Resources.

In order to set goals it is necessary to evaluate/assess what components are involved in the performance of the various tasks. Evaluation is an important part of any training, playing or competition.

The evaluation tables divide training and competition into various components, all of which form part of the overall performance.

If our training is out of balance, our performances will suffer.  It is not one thing alone that creates a great performance, but the combination of all the skills.

For some people, the use of a training diary would be very helpful in keeping organised, monitoring your progress and reflecting on the progress you have made.

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PSA Squash TV - CIMB Malaysian Open 2012

Model of Sports Characteristics

 
It is helpful to understand the characteristics required in a squash player.  We have all seen good and not so good players, as well as professional players on video, and have difficulty in knowing what they have or do to achieve such excellence in squash. 

In the table below, Squash Professionals would rate very highly on most of the elements within the table. How will you rate? Some things such as your height and limb length cannot change, but most other factors can be worked on to give you a higher rating.

Physical Physiological Skill Level Psychological Other
Height
Mass

Limb Length
etc.
Endurance
Strength

Speed

Power

Aerobic and Anaerobic Thresholds, etc.
Techniques

Information processing

In varying competitive environments, etc.
Motivation
Concentration
Aggression
Arousal

Risk Taking

Decision Making
etc.
Genetic

Biological  Age

Sociological,
etc.


We have broken this model down into the following terms to assist in the identification of the characteristics in performance.

In the evaluation sheets you will see these areas divided into smaller more specific segments to assist fine tune the evaluation process and to assist with correction.

In the Squash Library all of the above areas are covered extensively to help understand the relevant  components.  It is from these components these training, playing and competition goals can be made specific and achievable.

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Setting Up Your Training

Before you start the evaluation process, it is essential to set some goals. Without really thinking about it, you probably already have some goals. To get the most out of your potential, you need to take goal setting another step further. It is from evaluating play, that goals can be set for training.

View the Goal Setting Content here.

To have a goal is motivating; however, to know how to train to achieve the goals is the vital factor.

This type of analysis might sound too technical for the average player.  Yes, it is just a game of squash.  However, the greater the understanding of sports performance, which is not all that different to a model for success in any field, the better the chance of self help and improvement. 

There are Evaluation Tools in Gold which will assist all levels of player. The following is an example:

Goal Evaluation Criteria
Hit good length Drives landed deep in the corner of the court
Keep opponent out of the center court Ran the opponent up and down the court.
Limit unforced errors Keep the ball above the tin.
Hit the return of serve on the full Volley as much as possible
Put in 100% effort Kept chasing the ball till exhaustion.

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Initial Assessment

Knowing where to start the Evaluation process might not be easy for those who are not experienced at Squash or in the habit of setting up specific training for Squash. To be successful in getting it right requires a certain amount of detachment.

If you have a friend or team mate who can give you a frank assessment of your own game, all the better. It at least gives you a starting point. As you evaluate yourself more, you become better at the process of evaluation.
  1. Use the Match Evaluation Guide to initially start the process
  2. Establish your strengths and weaknesses
  3. From there you can decide on what course of action you need to take and what goals to set.
Things that you may need to consider:
  • How much time and effort you will put into improving your game
  • How structured this improvement will be
  • What extra sessions you will participate in
  • What those sessions will consist of (eg coaching, solo practice, physical training etc)
  • Whether you will need to find another training partner
  • Other possible forms of competition above your current games

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Repeating the Evaluation Process

The Evaluation Process is a cycle which follows the following path:
  • Completing a task, performance or action
  • Reviewing what happened during the task
  • Identifying areas of improvement
  • Trying to change or modify the areas requiring improvement through practice/training/coaching
  • Completing another task, performance or action
  • Repeating the process all over again
By going through this process time and time again, we will usually make progress. Our rate of progress depends on a number of factors:
  • Our ability to see things as they really are
  • How receptive we are.
  • How close we are to our potential (see above)
  • How good we are at identifying our strengths and weaknesses
  • The quality of advice we receive
  • How much time and effort we put in
  • The environment in which we are attempting to make these improvements
  • Our dedication to the task.

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