The Making of Champions
Published: 29 Jan 2009 - 19:21 by raystrach
Updated: 03 Feb 2009 - 22:24
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It is the same in all sports - some athletes have the knack of doing the right things at the right time. And it usually doesn't happen just once.
In our sport, the player with the reputation of doing just that is David Palmer. Whether he is just metally strong or Joe Shaw's psychological training program really does work, no one could be sure.
David has a habit of winning the big ones, the British Open and the World Championship. And while he has been ranked number one at times, he seems to save his best for the big time.
His two most recent majors, the last British and a recent World title were won from what would have been impossible positions for others. The fact the he won them had a lot to do with his confidence in coming back from these situations to prevail.
But these things don't just happen by accident. Where as many athletes (and mugs like you and me) might either tighten up, panic or just give up, he focusses his attention very strongly to the task at hand. He plays "in the moment" not thinking of consequences "if" something might happen, but controlling the things he can control and not worrying about anything else.
To some, this extreme focus comes naturally and it comes to all levels of athletes from C to A to elite. Fortunately, it is an attitude which can be trained, although it does take work.
As you are reaching your physical and skill potential, it is the mental potential which will usually be the one which can make the most difference to your game. Improving you mental abilities can result in a huge improvement in your playing ability.
I am quite mentally strong, but if I do not keep exercising my mental strength with hard competition, my mental game goes to jelly. For me, living out of the Squash mainstream in a provincial area, it is difficult to get regular hard games so I have to keep on working on the mental side of my game.
I have a set of processes which, if I can implement them well, enable me to play with plenty of mental strength. However, If i can't quite get it right, or if I get lazy in going through those processes in a match, I play like a woose.
There are plenty of library and forum articles on the mental side of Squash. If you put in the effort, you will be rewarded.How to add images to Members' Forum posts and replies here...
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From raystrach - 03 Feb 2009 - 22:24
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From rippa rit - 31 Jan 2009 - 11:29 - Updated: 31 Jan 2009 - 11:31
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