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Evaluate Pre Competition Behaviour


There are certain things that must be done to perform successfully, and each competition can present a slightly different set of circumstances.

  • Preparing to perform adds a sense of control.
  • Relieving tension, enhancing concentration and building confidence can depend to a great extent on the preparation.
  • The day before the match, visualise some problems you expect to encounter.
  • Visualise how you will successfully handle the problems to include a perfect performance.

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PSA Squash TV - CIMB Malaysian Open 2012

Preparation Checklist

What we do before a match can be set up as a routine, and if followed regularly will become just a matter of course for all matches. The following will give some order of preference:

Good Bad
I checked my gear My grip was worn out and slippery.
I checked my clothing was in order. The elastic in my pants was loose and I kept hitching them up.
My squash bag was packed and checked I left my socks at home.
I had a light meal as soon as I came home from work. I ate a baked dinner and felt like going to bed.
It was a cool night so I went for a jog to warm up before leaving home. I watched TV and felt half asleep before going to the courts.
I arrived early for the match and did a stretching routine. I was running late and rushed straight onto the court.
Driving to the courts I visualised my lob serves, and straight drives. I did not think of the front wall targets and my shots landed in the middle of the court.
I also visualised some situations where I have made poor decisions or behave poorly in the past and how I might change that behaviour Whatever happens, happens. There is no point in worrying about losing the plot or using bad tactics.
I found out who I had to play and revised the ten fundamentals. I went onto the court and just ran my hardest.
Based on what I knew of my opponent, I gave some thought to a game plan i didn't worry about a plan, I just went on and played.
I did not try to win the hit up, and just tried to get into a rhythm and relax. I felt so anxious when I got on the court I ran around hitting the ball as hard as I could.


Once you are in the habit of following a set routine you can easily add more specific items to suit the match, eg something specific about the opponent (provided you have found out who you have to play).

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