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Peaking for a Championship

Published: 03 Oct 2004 - 23:02 by rippa rit

Updated: 15 Aug 2006 - 16:20

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Rippa Rita`s championship squash tip
Recently a National Masters Championship was held involving Individual Events and Team Events conducted over two weeks.  After speaking to a few of the competitors I realised not every player can conquer the challenges that continuous competition brings.

Squash skills and practice are just some of the obvious attributes. Let's take an overview of a 1 - 2 week match schedule (and this applies to any age, gender, and standard of play).  What are some things that can throw the body and mind out of balance?
    • Travel skills. (The amount of energy it can take to be organised and on schedule).
    •  Sleep/Rest. (Vital for concentration and energy/enthusiasm).
    • Food. (Regular nutritious meals consumed taking the playing schedule into account).
    •  Alcohol. (Minimise until the competition is over)
    • .Environment. (Hot/cold weather, humidity, venue air-conditioning, height of ceilings)
    • .Facilities/Equipment. (Washing, gear, transport).
    •  Recovery. (The ability to bounce back into top form day after day).
  •  Always address:-
    • fitness (muscle soreness/stiffness,stretching)
    • injuries (taping, physio, wear and tear)
    • mental (psyching in/out when affected by the above)
    • relaxation (massage, relaxation techniques).
  •  As a mentor/coach it would be remis of me to concentrate on perfecting skills and practice without discussing the exterior factors.
  • How can you prepare yourself better and develop these attributes?
    •  a) Play in some weekend club tournaments.
    •  b) Travel to a district event.
    •  c) Always play as though it was a real fair dinkum match for a few weeks leading up to the titles.
    • d) Visit other centres/clubs to get used to different venues.
    •  e) Arrange some matches day after day to see how the body reacts.
  • Enjoy the challenge!
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