Squash is a physical game as we all know. Being physically fit and prepared is imperative to success. Being mentally prepared is just as important though.
Being mentally prepared means having a clear vision of what you are trying to do on the court. It means controlling your nervous energy and using it positively.
Preparing mentally can start before even arriving at the club. I enjoy watching video’s of pro’s playing squash to see their strategy, their shot selection and to watch their movement. All of these help me envision what I am going to try and accomplish on the court.
When you arrive (early) at the club and are preparing physically by stretching and/or riding a bike you can work on getting in to the right frame of mind. What works for one person will not always work for another. It is important to figure out what works for you. For some a very aggressive frame of mind is important. I have one friend that goes in with the mindset that he is going to triple bagel all of his opponents. For others simply be relaxed may be the correct approach. Whatever it is, identify it and get in to that frame of mind before stepping on court.
Being prepared mentally on court during the match is important too. When playing a competitive match it is essential to evaluate continuously what is working for you and what is not. That way you can adjust your play accordingly to do what is being successful for you. Your opponent will likely realize the change in play and adapt their style so this process will go on throughout the match. Pay attention while playing!
Remember it is equally important to be mentally prepared to play squash as it is physically!
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