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Developing Habits to Make the Most Out of Your Training!

Our Top Tips for Players to make the most of their training sessions & practices by developing good habits!


Prestbury Junior Open 2024

Whether you attend weekly Group Sessions, 1-to-1 Sessions with a Coach or if you simply turn up and play Matches, if your aim is to learn and improve every time you step on Court, we have come up with a list of habits you can add to your routine to better engage the mind and body for success!


Whatever your level, these simple tips can help you succeed in your training!


#1 - Arrive Early


Nouran Gohar Warming-up

Nobody performs at their best when they are rushing around with an unsettled mind.


Arriving at least 10 minutes before the start of the Session allows you time to prepare yourself mentally for the session and go through whatever routines you need to, personal to you, that allows you focus on the upcoming Session or Match!


This time also helps you to declutter your mind from whatever stresses the day has given you. Promise yourself that for the next 40 minutes, 1-hour, or longer, that you will be present and in the moment.


It also helps the Session start on time, with more time spent hitting Squash Balls!


#2 - Goal Setting


Set yourself a clear personal goal for the Session or Match!


What are you working on with your Coach? What do you want to improve?


Taking the time to give yourself something specific to work on in the Session will give you a focus and improve your chances of making lasting changes to your game.


Example: "Today I'm going to look to Volley more" or "Today I'm going to try and get down lower on my Drops"

*Remember! - Results in training and friendly Matches don't matter!


You might make more mistakes than normal, you might lose to someone you know you can beat, but by practicing these things when it doesn't matter, means that when it does matter you'll be better prepared to execute the shot correctly. In the long term you will be a better player for it!


#3 - WARM UP!


Camille Serme Warming-up

Our players must be sick of us droning on about the Warm-up! It's a big bug bugbear seeing people rock-up, go straight on Court thinking the Knock-up constitutes a good Warm-up - it doesn't!


It's not only good for firing up the body and making sure you are physically ready to play, but it also fires up your mind and gets you in the zone to play, learn & compete!


Complete a high quality Warm-up that covers balance, mobility, agility, lunge technique, rhythm and timing! A Warm-up should:


  • RAISE - Heart Rate, Breathing Rate, Body Temp. Blood Flow & Oxygen Levels

  • ACTIVATE - Key Muscle groups with Dynamic Exercises

  • MOBILISE - Key Joints through Dynamic Stretches & Movements

  • POTENTIATE/PRIME - Explosive Movements so you're ready to play at 100% from the very first point! Ghosting is the perfect, Squash specific exercise to finish off a good Warm-Up!

  • AVOID STATIC STRETCHING!


If you are not slightly out of breath and sweating after the Warm-up, you are not Warmed-up enough! Use the R.A.M.P method above to properly structure your Warm-up.


Whether you are nervous or too relaxed, the Warm-up helps to find your optimum state for performance. Use the Warm-up to figure out where you are mentally as well as physically.


#4 - Phones Away


Kids looking at mobile phones

While it is hard to believe, people did used to survive without the need to be glued to their Mobile Phones!


When you arrive at your Session, put your phone away and don't get it out again until the session has finished.


Other than being a bit rude and disrespectful in a Coaching environment, your phone connects you to a world away from the Squash Court and distracts your focus from what you are trying to learn.


If you're not 100% focused on the session, then someone, somewhere is. It's the small details that can really optimise your learning and development.


If you can focus deeply on the key points of the Session, you'll avoid unnecessary distractions and stick to the objectives of the session far better.


#5 - The Session Doesn't End When the Last Ball is Hit!


It would be a wasted opportunity if after the last ball was hit, you packed up and started thinking about what was for tea.


Nour El Sherbini Post-Match

Before reaching for your phone, find a quiet space and spend at least 5 minutes stretching out and cooling-down. Let your mind absorb what you have learnt in this golden period of reflection, to maximise your learning. Make a few notes if it helps, to take into your next session or Match.


What did you do well? Did you achieve your objectives? Were there any missed opportunities?


Asking yourself these questions is a great way to reflect on the session and learnt the most from your time on Court.


And there you have it...


5 very easy and quick Tips to help you get the most out of your training sessions!


Keep plugging away at your Squash, and if the INSPIRE Squash Academy can help in any way, please get in touch with one of our Coaches!


Additional Question:

Did you recognise any of the 3 PSA Players above?

How many could you name?


PSA Photo's by Nathan Clarke - @whatnathansaw on Instagram (https://www.instagram.com/whatnathansaw/)

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