Monthly Archives: July 2012

Dunlop Biomimetic Max 2012 Squash Racquet

We just received our new shipment of Biomimetic racquets from Dunlop and I was very excited to open it to see the new Dunlop Biomimetic Max 2012 Squash Racquet.  It is a great looking racquet and I will be giving our demo a try in the next few days.  For now here is a promotional picture from Dunlop and the specifications of it.

To purchase the Dunlop Biomimetic Max 2012 Squash racquet please click here

The updated Biomimetic Max is an ideal racquet for any advanced/intermediate player looking for pure power.  The teardrop head shape provides long main strings for greater string deflection enhanced by Powermax string pattern.  Control and pin point precision is improved with the inclusion of Anatomic Construction technology which increases torsional stability during off centre shots.
The racquet is constructed with graphite and features Dunlop’s Biomimetic technology.  HM6 Carbon enahnces the racquet feel, Aerosping technology reduces aerodynamic drag making the racquet faster through the air and the Gecko-Tac grip gives ultimate control in all conditions.
Ramy Ashour Highest PSA World Ranking #1’s racquet.
Frame Weight: 130g
Balance: Extra Head Light
Head Size: 500cm2
Stiffness: 80
String Pattern: 14×18 Powermax
String Tension: 20-30lbs
Construction: HM6 Carbon
String: Precision
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Squash – Dealing with physical limitations

I have been in the unfortunate situation of dealing with some physical limitations recently that have caused me not to be able to play as often as I like and when I do play it has been at a much slower pace.  I have a swollen foot which some days is worse than others.  When it is bad I can barely play, most days I can tolerate the pain enough to play although I am not as mobile as I would normally be.

When this first started I found it very disheartening.  I was not able to play the game I normally play and was finding myself not being competitive against people that I should be and was very frustrated by that.  I came to a few conclusions from this though.  The first being that I would have to accept that my movement was compromised and not worry about the results so much.  The second was that I was going to have to finish points faster than I normally would. The third was that I needed more time to recover back to the ‘T’ than I normally would.

The first conclusion was a tough one to swallow.  I am a competitive person and not being able to play at my normal level was really frustrating.  When I am playing my best squash I am pretty quick on court and am on the ball quickly giving myself options.  I am getting balls back that my opponent does not think I will and forcing them to try and hit better and better shots often causing them to increase their error count.  I very simply had to accept that while I could force myself to do this sometimes and deal with the pain it caused I could not do it all the time.

The second conclusion took some revision to get right.  I am not a shooter by nature in squash and I went overboard on this approach of trying to end points early.  I was not working the point at all I was immediately trying to hit winners and take the ball short. This worked a little bit against weaker players but definitely not against better players. They were reading my shots and I had not worked them out of position before attacking short.  I adjusted and tried to establish a good length game and tried to wait for better opportunities to take the ball short.  This has proven to be more effective.

The third conclusion was for me to slow the game down.  I was finding movement after the shot the hardest.  I was not recovering back to the ‘T’ quickly and was often out of position. In particular I was very susceptible to being taken short.  Using more height and a slower pace to my shots in to the back court has definitely helped.  It gives me more time to recover to the ‘T’ and get in position to cover the whole court.

While nobody enjoys being injured I am now working on staying positive about this.  While my movement is not nearly what I would like it to be currently it will improve.  What I will take from this is a better attacking game as I have been working very hard at trying to work my opponent out of position and then taking the ball short.  I have also definitely improved my high and soft ball to the back of the court.  While my squash game is not what I would really like now it will be better in the future.

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SquashSkills.com – Worth the subscription

Squashskills.com Banner

I have been following Squashskills.com since its inception.  I like their Facebook page, follow them on Twitter and am now a subscriber to their website.  When they first started up I enjoyed watching their initial videos. I was very excited when Peter Nicol signed on.  Where else on the web could you get tips from one of the top professional squash players of all time?  I envisioned the site growing in to one of the top squash resource sites on the Internet.  Now that they have launched their subscription based site I believe they have achieved that.

I thought about purchasing the subscription a bit before I actually paid for it.  I created an account on the site so I could view the free videos.  Some I had seen before some were new.  The quality was certainly better than most squash videos on the Internet so that was definitely a positive.  I went through the different sections of the site and liked what I saw.  In particular I read “The Story of Squashskills” and am really impressed with their vision for the site.  I also liked that at launch they were focusing on a particular topic for one week and progressing through the various aspects of the game.   The video library is structured that way as well.  You can randomly just browse the videos or you can select a particular area of interest whether that is videos from Peter Nicol or videos on the forehand. I really like that feature, being able to find videos on the topic that  I want to watch easily by just clicking on the topic and being presented a set of videos that match.

I liked what I saw so I decided to go ahead and purchase.  I have gone through the new videos on the forehand and backhand to start with.  I am very impressed with them.  The videos are very high quality.  What I like the most about them though is listening to Jethro, Lee or Peter discuss the topic of the video and why they are teaching that particular shot or skill.  The videos themselves are well laid out.  The coach discussed the skill they are focusing on and particular aspects of it.  They then demonstrate the skill and you typically get to see it from different angles and speeds.  I find it particularly helpful to see the shot in slow motion with the coach describing what is happening throughout the swing.

I am excited about the V1 section of the site as well.  I have not used it yet but having the option of creating a video using the V1 app for the iPad and sending that to Peter Nicol or Jethro Binns for analysis is pretty exciting.  Technology is a wonderful thing and having it allow us access to world class coaches from afar is tremendous.  The V1 software gives Jethro or Peter the ability to slow down your swing, see the good and bad parts of it and recommend improvements.  This will be of real value to many players I am certain.

Squashskills.com has now officially launched and is live and I am happy that I have subscribed.  I think it will prove to be valuable to all levels of players.  Do yourself a favour and register for an account, review what the site has to offer and if you like what you see, like I did, subscribe for full access.

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Summer Training

After an extended absence from the squash blogging world, I am finally settled back into a normal routine and plan on posting again with some degree of regularity. Since my last post a few months ago, I have played several tournaments with some ups and downs, the net result being a jump in the PSA rankings to a new high of 202 this month. My most recent tournament was in the British Virgin Islands, a place not usually known for squash, but now home to former top-10 player Joe Kneipp and a $5000 PSA tournament. The conditions in BVI were extremely hot and humid, which essentially made the ball bounce like a blue-dot and led to some gruelling matches. I navigated a tricky opponent in the first round in four long games, and came up against top seed Adam Murrils in the quarters. I won the opener rather comfortably and stayed competitive until 5-all in the second before my legs were completely shot. It was a helpless feeling playing the remaining two and a half games with no explosiveness or stamina. This was a rare tournament where two rounds were played per day, and the big physical investment put into my first round match left me with few reserves for the quarters. Overall it was a good tournament, and I learned my lesson to be more efficient in the early rounds.

As mentioned, I played quite a few events before BVI but there are too many to discuss in one post and can all be summarized in a few words: too many tournaments in a row, too much time away from training, and a lot of negativity. I am quite happily passed that now, and have been into the grind of summer training since late May (the BVI tournament was an exception to this otherwise uninterrupted training period). This has been my first ever true summer of training, and the NSA is abuzz everyday with at least five pros and several juniors religiously showing up for the two/three sessions a day. We have been training in the gym with Bob Bowers (former trainer to Power, Ryding, Razik et al.) and after one month are all having tangible improvements. The next tournament for me and most of the other Canadian guys will be the NSA Open starting August 13th. This is obviously our home tournament and was a great success last year. We will all be buzzing to get on court for some real matches and see where we are at after a few months of hard work. It will also be a nice change for me to have a 5 minute bike ride into a tournament venue instead of the usual 5 hour flight!

All for now, and I will be back into regular posting for the rest of the summer.

 

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