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Get cunning!!

Published: 19 Oct 2006 - 16:06 by rippa rit

Updated: 24 Oct 2006 - 06:59

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One thing about squash is you can bring as much of your personality into it as you like, eg cunning, crafty, moods, competitiveness, good and bad traits, etc etc.
My story is - I played this frustrating match in top comp and my return of serve kept getting crunched with a volley into the front corner which I was scrambling to return into a decent court position, so it was putting me on the back foot from the first point.  Talk about frustrating!

The next step was to figure out a way to handle this next time I had an opponent do this to me - so
  • After the match I sat down and thought about how I could have avoided this - just taking that quiet time to mull it all over while my blood cooled down!
  • Later I wrote a few notes ready for the next time I played this opponent as I did not want to lose like this again with one shot bugging me which upset the whole game. Probably a bit therapeutic too.
  • Because I wanted to overcome this I put the notes on what I had to practice just inside my squash bag (on the top of my gear) so it stared at me every time I opened it up to go on court. 
From then on I kept doing this sort of routine and that surely helped me overcome these opponents, if not all the time, at least most of the time.
Hey, it also built up a lot of resources in my game that I could call on as required.

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From rippa rit - 24 Oct 2006 - 06:57   -   Updated: 24 Oct 2006 - 06:59

Biz - yeah, thanks for sharing that.  I guess originally it was a sort of "bush" psychology way of a means to an end.
However, since progressing in coaching and seeking to become more professional it sort of seemed to me bordering on Mental Rehearsal, and of course Game Planning.

It is probably just a matter of what works -  I talk of what you are speaking more as the use of Cue words to promote action. 

As a coach I guess it is about developing a coaching style to enhance your student's performance.

It is all good mental stuff and assists confidence during play.

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From BizarreCo - 23 Oct 2006 - 23:19

Very similar method to neuro-linguistic-programming (NLP) which is being used by a lot of top sports-people. This associates a specific action to a word or phrase (in your case a written note). Upon hearing/saying/reading these words, the body is "programmed" to respond accordingly. With some is can be as simple as "Fast" to go faster or "Slow" to go slower. Some self-explanatory ideas are:

  1. T
  2. Fast
  3. Slow
  4. Tight
  5. Deep
  6. Short
  7. Low
  8. High
  9. Volley
  10. Lob

By using these words and training yourself (over time!) to associate these with the vision of playing the shot, the feeling and movement involved and also the entire sequence of events that follow (e.g. lob from the front and return backwards to the T automatically). In your case Rita, you used a written note to mentally program yourself to do thing differently against one specific type of player. I find I have to use NLP to keep telling myself to slow down and play my shots as opposed to running around like an idiot hitting the spots off the ball!


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