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The Fog Of Squash War

Published: 29 Nov 2010 - 22:57 by raystrach

Updated: 04 Dec 2010 - 15:56

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It is a problem when you have a mental block against a player which does not allow you to play at your best when playing them.

It is like playing in a thick fog - you can't seem to see anything they do, you can't seem to relax and play your natural game or produce you best.

Playing in the local competition in beautiful Hervey Bay this year, has been a bit of a battle, mainly with an elbow and a back injury. It has enabled the two players who are either about the same or slightly better than me to have a bit of an easier time when playing me.

At the moment, they are better players. They are both reasonably fit and moving well. Although I don't liek getting beaten, i accept that i am just not at their level at present.

It is inpsiring me to overcome my injuries, and get my fitness back to where it was  at the beginning of the year.

However, when I come up against a player that i know I can do well against, but fail to do so time and time again, it cuts very deeply.

Although I don't want to my mind is telling me to start looking for excuses, even though I really have none.

For starters I need a plan to toughen up mentally. Not getting high level competition week in, week out is something of a problem, but there are things that can be done to mitigate against this problem.

Even though I know I can win most local matches, my performance is sub standard. I am not concentrating enough on the rallies hit by hit, but instead, playing the matches in waves  - winning points as I need to in order to win, rather than playing the way I ought to be playing.

Playing with more concentrated effort each time I play will help me once I get to playing tougher matches, especially against those I do not have a good recent record against. This process based focus, instead of the outcome based focus I am current employing will do a lot of good in the medium to longer term.

I need to sort out a couple of technical problems in my game. I have fallen into some bad habits in playing weaker opponents. Some of the kills that were formerly a part of my game have fallen into a state of disrepair, from not playing them on a regular basis.

Now, when I attempt them, I do not have the technical capability to make them work time and time again. I have now started to work on some of the mechanics of these shots to be able to produce them more consistently in tough situations.

I also need to prepare better. My eyesight is not great and previously I have used contact lenses to make up for this physical weakness.

However, I have not used contacts for at least three years, and whilst it is ok on courts with light coloured ceilings, once i play on courts with darker celings I really am hopeless. I have great difficulty seeing the ball.

It is purely a lack of sufficient preparation that I have not recently been to the optometrist to get a new script for the lenses. I have now rectified this problem as well.

I now have to put in the hard yards, plenty of practice and some mental rehearsal.

The result will be there for all to see soon enough.

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From rippa rit - 04 Dec 2010 - 15:56

Strach this post seemed timely as I have had a very stiff back that then turned to a niggling injury.  After 5 weeks and no play and plenty of pelvic muscle strengthening exercises I felt it was time to get back on court and give it a go; (table tennis it was but nevertheless just the same applies). I was prepared for the worst as a lay off usually means a lack of form.  To the contrary, I felt much looser in movement, and all of a sudden my timing was good, my shots ok, reflex good too, and most of all I was not concentrating on the injury which allowed me to actually play uninhibited. Any stiffness or lack of flexibility does definitely prevent good play, and affects your concentration and confidence.

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