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a break can be good!

Published: 24 May 2007 - 09:07 by fatness

Updated: 26 Sep 2008 - 07:30

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Hello There,

played my first game of squash in 3 1/2 weeks a few days ago and i have never played better! I was beaten in the final of our club championships and didnt play since then until a few days ago. i was disgusted after being beaten, probably because of the fact i was 2 0 up and blew it. i felt like giving up after that match and lost all interest. as i said i played a few days ago and absolutely thrashed a lad that always beats me and plays in the a section. also played the following day and played well again. hopefully i can keep this streak up! anyway, i just thought i would let you know that a break can be good sometimes. it allows you to stand back and take into account what is going on with your game. also, not having played for a while forces you to go back to basics to get your game back. by going back to basics you may find flaws that you might not notice when in your usual routine of playing and training continously. obviousaly a long term break would be detrimental, but a short term break can help a lot! it is also worth mentioning that i kept doing some gym work during my break, 3 weeks doing nothing would really dent your fitness.

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From rippa rit - 24 May 2007 - 17:28

Yep, that is why this game gets you in.  There is not one way that works because of our opponents, and our own peculiar way of dealing with them.
How I figured this out for you was, when you are up 2 nil that could not mean that your opponent was too good....right.  You also thought you had it in the bag.
Yes, you may have been a bit anxious to win in three.
Your opponent might have been up tight in the first two games, and then thought, what the hell if I keep going like this I am going to lose, and then relaxed, and got into the rhythm, and ran like mad to get the balls into play.
The opponent creeping up on you as the game started to slide away starts up a sort of panic,and maybe lack of confidence, and you already feel a bit tired, and start to focus on the fact that you might lose, then worry about your mistakes, etc and suddenly change your game, etc. and next minute you have a real battle on your hands.

The main thing is that you have figured out what went wrong, eg stopped attacking, started to worry, lost concentration, backed off the ball and waited a bit too long to make sure you did it right, felt a bit puffed, could see the determination in the opponent's game unnerved you.  And, we could go on. How many times do I hear people say, after being up 2 nil and being beaten in five - "not fit enough", "too good" and generally it was all about them keeping focus on the process, eg good length, breath deeply in between points, be patient for the right shot to pounce, keep the ball tight, move the opponent from the T, and so on.
It is a balancing act for sure.

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From fatness - 24 May 2007 - 13:16

Thanks Rita,

Maybe its just me but i found that a break for a week or two takes the strain away from your joints ie knees hips and back etc. doing the gym work combined with leg specific weights helps build you back up again. I had a lot of annoying niggling injuries which either calmed or went away duriing the break. maybe it would be worth getting members here to share their playing experiences from a mental or technique / training point of view. I for one find this area very interesting. talking to top players at my club always interests me, in particular how they got to that level of squash and their experiences along the way ie how they overcame bad habits/weaknesses and also their mental approach to the game. I find your daily advice very interesting too, keep up the good work.

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From rippa rit - 24 May 2007 - 11:45   -   Updated: 24 May 2007 - 11:49

fatness - good thinking to have a break and do the gym stuff to rejuvinate you, and get the keenness going again after disappointment.   We have all experienced your feelings so you are not on your own.

I read other things into what you are saying - always do hey?!!
Playing without pressure can be a whole different game of squash.
A championship game puts different skills/pressure to the test.
Do yourself a favour and go to the Mental Skills section of the Squash Library and see if you can relate any of that content to your situation.

That tournament will have done you a good turn by making you take stock of your game and dig a bit deeper into your training, etc. 

Thanks for sharing.

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