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My first competitive match

Published: 07 Feb 2007 - 06:10 by SamBWFC

Updated: 24 Sep 2008 - 16:15

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I've got my first University match coming up tomorrow, which will more or less be my first ever competitive match. I've played at junior level before, but only a few times and I don't really remember much of the matches.


What should I do in preparation for it? I know I should watch my opponent and try and figure out some strengths and weaknesses, anything else? I always get really nervous playing in front of/against new people, so is there anything I can do to help me keep cool? I know about relaxation techniques and the methods on this website, but is there anything else that you players personally do?


I know I'm a good player when I'm confident and relaxed, so it would help if I could stay that way. I'll let you all know how I get on, if the match does go ahead.

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From SamBWFC - 09 Feb 2007 - 02:14

Problem is now, it's coming to the end of the season and we've won the league already, so I probably won't get anymore games for a while. I'll have to see.

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From rippa rit - 08 Feb 2007 - 07:14

Sam - well done. 
You will be hungry to play more competitions now to test your ability.
Keep the same "routine" going and never underestimate an opponent.

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From drop-shot - 08 Feb 2007 - 05:20   -   Updated: 08 Feb 2007 - 05:20

You see, it took only few advices and you succeded! Congrats

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From SamBWFC - 08 Feb 2007 - 03:04

Well that was rubbish, I was far better than him, I won 9-0 9-0 9-0, I only dropped my serve twice. Hope I get a bit more competition next time!

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From rippa rit - 07 Feb 2007 - 07:17

Sam - That is a pretty good "routine" Sleave has set out for you, and it is also fairly simple.
Here is an article about the Big Match Nerves which might help you recognise what is going on. 
It is experience too that helps so don't expect too much of yourself or you will get up tight.

The night before the Tournament have a good feed of bolonaise to store up some glycogen, eat only light meals during the day of play allowing a couple of hours to settle, take a banana with you for a quick snack, hydrate before going on the court, and during the match.

As Sleave said settle down in that first game and don't try to win too quickly, especially going for touch shots if you feel a bit unsettled.

Enjoy it.  Good luck

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From drop-shot - 07 Feb 2007 - 06:25   -   Updated: 07 Feb 2007 - 06:25

Nervous? anxious and overaroused? Listen to the music on your iPod, read the book, focus on something else than squash. If you really want to perform well, do not get too excited.
Do stretching, rope skipping, all of it with you and yourself only.  Forget about people and everything else once you are on the court. During hit up breath regularly... Check your opponent hitting him few good and crispy nicks and lobs. Hit the cross and come back to the T to immitate the match situation...

During the match it will all go well :-)

My advice for the strategy - whoever your opponent is. Make him run a lot during first game. Long rallies, keep it wide, put him behind you. Only basic squash. Even if you loose the first game, your opponent will be aware abouth the physical strenght you have. I have been playing in amateur-semipro tournaments and I am happily using that tactics...

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