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Older, Fatter Slower

Published: 28 Nov 2007 - 11:56 by raystrach

Updated: 28 Nov 2007 - 14:45

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It is not just the fact that as years go by, the Olympic message gets mangled into my verson above, life is continually providing challenges in trying to attain just a slice of the Olympic ideal. Since the distant last post i have continued to have my ups and downs, (mainly downs), but I know that substantial improvement is not out of the question.

Those who read this forum and this blog regularly will know that one of my favourite sayings with regard to professional squash players is that the professionals play Squash, but not as we know it.

There are a number of reasons for this.

  • The pros, even the crappiest of them, have got talent
  • They spend thousands upon thousands of hours builing up skills over a long period
  • They train for hours most days
  • They are continually playing players of like standard, each time wanting or needing to win.
  • They are extremely fit and fast - even the most unfit of them
  • Squash is their number 1 priority

To some extent, they could hit the ball just about any way they liked and they could still do it with a pretty high degree of accuracy. In contrast, what do mugs like us have to put up with?

  • Play once or twice a week
  • Do little or no real training
  • We have not been coached well, if at all
  • Just when it looks like we are getting fit, we have to go away for work or a family holiday or the end of the season comes round or one of about another 500 excuses which are perfectly legitimate reasons why our game goes downhill (trouble is everyone else has many of those 500 reasons at their disposal as well)
  • we play with equipment like slippery handles, stuffed strings, old rackets, worn out shoes
  • Squash is about number 5 on our priority list
  • We usually look to hope in preference to bitter experience, when we set our expectations
  • There are so many other things going on in our brain when we go on court, it is little wonder that we can concentrate on the task at hand at all!
  • Talent?

Despite all this, we manage to battle through, having some highs as well as the unfortunate lows. Yes, it can get frustrating and depressing, but e have to keep plugging on.

Along the way, the moments of percieved glory will shine on us briefly, reminding us that thier is still some life in us, and providing the encouragement to press on through the times when it seems it just can't get any worse, then does.

Press on  - higher, faster, stronger.


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From keithderham - 28 Nov 2007 - 14:42   -   Updated: 28 Nov 2007 - 14:45

Hello Ray -Thanks for the discourse regarding pros versus other(us) squash players.A couple of weeks ago I was arguing the toss about how often one should play if one is to enjoy playing.i.e.not getting thrashed.When I mentioned that I played 5 times or more a week,the other person's lip turned to a sneer as he said"and are you improving?"My reply was a muted"maybe not,but I enjoy myself".In hindsight I missed the obvious reply"No,but I am ranked higher now than ever before,and I am NOT getting any worse."I reckon once you hit 50 or more this is a reasonable goal.Nevertheless the moral is better to still be playing because you enjoy it than to to have given up(like many professionals) because you are not winning as much as you used to.So keep on hitting that little black ball.Best  wishes keith derham p.s I have now proof read this letter!!

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