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Too frustrated

Published: 13 Feb 2009 - 07:21 by aprice1985

Updated: 17 Feb 2009 - 08:49

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I know there have been posts in the past about getting wound up on court but I have now begun to just get so annoyed with myself when I lose that I am thinking that stopping squash might be the best option.  Even if i know i have played relatively well, unless i am beaten by someone miles better than me i just get angry and start thinking about all the shots i missed and oppertunities i fail to take.  I play quite a defensive game and win a lot of points on length that my opponenets can't get back but more and more i play people who can kill one mistake by me but when they make a mistake i never manage to kill the ball and finish the rally.

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From aprice1985 - 17 Feb 2009 - 08:49

I played our club coach on sunday and beat him although we played to 9, him playing english and me PAR.  This made me think how i did that, yes i ran like mad and he was playing silly trick shots and keeping rallies going but he was still making me work harder than any other opponents in recent times.  Firstly, playing a coach makes you think of all the things they tell you - racquet up, step towards the side wall not lunging straight to the ball and giving yourself space.  but more importantly, i wasn't even trying to win, all i was trying to do was keep the ball alive for as long as possible, when it finally sat up miles i would attack but even then was often so streched there was no time to think about it just play a shot.  The pressure to attack may have been getting to me and i need to go back to the thought of if i am going to play defensive then play defensive, force really good chances to attack the ball and otherwise keep it deep, let my opponent make the mistake attacking too early, just because i may have better technique doesn't mean i have to be the one playing the flash attack.

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From hamburglar - 14 Feb 2009 - 01:10   -   Updated: 14 Feb 2009 - 02:00

Hate leads to anger, anger leads to fear, fear leads to the dark side...

Squash is the most zen sport I have played. You need to find your calm and play any good shot for each situation you're in. I find angry players only help me by hitting hard so that:

the balls comes off the backwall easily
any shot near the tin just comes back for an easy shot at the service line.
They run for everything and even when they're in the front, the smack the ball to the back.
the ball gets hotter and harder to kill

Boast and drop more, volley more, throw in some lobs. Have some fun.

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From mike - 13 Feb 2009 - 09:15

It's sounds as though hate of losing, fear of mistakes, playing a highly defensive game and not being able to finish a rally may be connected to one another. Which means ironically your hate of losing may indirectly cause you to lose more than you should!

I don't think it's realistic to keep rallying indefinitely without hitting some shots that your opponent can attack. Instead I think you should work on your own attacking game to take better advantage of your opportunities. While you are doing that you may even lose more, but try to take a long term view that it's worthwhile to develop a lacking part of your game. Try to learn from your losses in a dispassionate way to see where you need to improve.

I hate losing matches I think I should have won too, sometimes it plays on your mind for a couple of days.

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From rippa rit - 13 Feb 2009 - 08:27

aprice - you have shown this frustration before and managed to work through it.  It is a pity you do not have a video of when you first started playing in Ireland, and I am sure you have progressed a lot in that time. There is a lot to learn both technically, physically, and psychologically and in your playing all of those elements have to be trained and refined over time.

To be able to play a defensive game is good and a necessary part of playing, but the skill is to be able to then capitalise on a lose shot hit by your opponent.  To be confident to do that (do not want to make a mistake) you need to practice the attacking shots, eg volleys (take a look at the videos for ideas which are now placed in the Solo Drill and Pair Routine section of the Library) from all angles, and all heights aiming for both long and short target points.

When attacking, do not try to hit a winner but hit the ball high enough to be safe, but with authority, which in turn should put pressure on the opponent, enough to put up another lose shot, giving you a further chance to put more pressure on the opponent.  If you muck it up so be it, just defend for another point, and then come back to the attack on the next lose one....when people get your good shots back that is OK.  As you take your game a little further you will have failures, depending on the ability of your opponent.  That is normal.

Go to the Library/Mental Skills and take notice of the positive self talk and focus.  Practice these skills every time you play.  Always focus on the process, not the negativity, eg I hit the tin (negative), response "aim a little higher next time" (positive); opponent is volleying my serve and sending me to the back (I am serving like crap today), response "change the angle and height of the serve". This is the only way to keep your mind on your game and prevent the inappropriate dialogue in your head.

If you could just do these things you would be a winner in my book. 

Quitting is not winning. Something you did not want to hear.


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