Tag Archives: Mike McCue

The 2017 Canadian Squash Championship

I had the opportunity to go to Mayfair Lakeshore this past Friday and Saturday to watch the 2017 Canadian Squash Championships. What an incredible 2-days of squash. Having 2 athletes we sponsor in the semi-finals made it pretty exciting for me. We sponsor Mike McCue and Samantha Cornett. Mike was facing Andrew Schnell in the semi’s and Sam was facing Danielle Letourneau.

Mike’s match with Andrew was a big challenge for Mike. He has not beaten Andrew before and Andrew was the higher seeded player. Mike was seeded in the 3/4 position and Andrew Schnell was the #1 seed and defending National Champion. To make things even harder for Mike he had just played Andrew’s brother Graeme. Mike did beat Graeme in 4 games but they were extremely tough games with a match that had gone right around the 1-hour mark. Andrew had made relatively quick work of his quarter final opponent.

The match between Mike and Andrew was an incredibly grueling affair. I am constantly amazed at the court coverage of squash players of this level. In addition, how fit they are to be able to perform at this level over such a close 5-game battle is astounding. I truly believe the average club player would have been struggling fitness wise after the length, and intensity of the first few rallies. The 1st game was extremely close with nobody taking a big league. Andrew played the better squash at the end of it though and won it 11-9. It was Mike’s turn next though as he came back to take the 2nd game in extra points, 12-10. The pattern of close games continued with Mike taking the 3rd 11-8. Andrew though in the next game seemed to find himself and built a lead. Mike seemed to have perhaps lost a bit of focus. In the mid to late part of the game though Mike really found his game again and start to really press. He nearly got the game back to level before finally losing it 11-9. The score was now 2-2 and the 5th looked like it was going to an incredibly tense game. I know I was certainly tense as I was really hoping for Mike to pull the match out. Mike came out strong in the 5th, played a great game and managed to beat Andrew 11-7 and advance to the final. What amazed me the most about Mike’s performance was how focussed and calm he kept himself even in such a tense situation. Neither the pressure of the situation, or the pressure Andrew was putting on him phased him and Mike played up to his full potential in one of the biggest matches of his career. Not an easy thing to do. Congratulations Mike on making your first final! I hope it is the first of many.

On to Sam Cornett’s match. Sam was the #2 seed. She had won the Championship in 2015 but missed last years’ tournament due to injury. Danielle was ranked in the 3/4 spot. The match was very hard fought and close but Danielle seemed to be more of control of it and Sam was having to fight to stay in it. Danielle was really attacking well with some great variations and was taking the ball in short on the boast beautifully. She was really putting Sam under some immense pressure. Danielle went up 2-1 and up in the 4th game with several match balls. Sam played incredibly tough and fought off a couple of them. The last point unfortunately ended in a very hard stroke call against Sam. I was surprised and even some of the people near me that were cheering for Danielle seemed surprised that it was given as a stroke. You can be the judge if you like. As of writing this the video can be viewed below. It is a good match and worth watching. For the point in question pick the play up at 34:30 which is the start of the last point. While I was disappointed that the match ended on that call, Danielle had played extremely well to get to match ball. I was also impressed by Sam’s poise in this situation. I can only imagine how she felt losing the match on a call I am certain she believed was wrong but she handled herself with class. Of that I am not surprised. Sam Cornett is one of the truly great ambassadors for our sport.

Stream Live

The second day I was there, Saturday was finals day and I was very excited for it. I was hoping for Mike to win his first National Championship. I was also hoping that Sam would win her 3/4 match. Sam seemed to struggle in her match against Nikki Todd. She once again showed her grit and determination though and fought back from 1 down and then again from 2-1 down to level the match up. The 5th game was a very close game as well but Sam managed to win it to finish 3rd. I would also like to congratulation Hollie Naughton who beat Danielle Letourneau in the final. Hollie won in 2016 as well so is a back to back Canadian Champion.

On to the final match to be played. The men’s final featuring Mike McCue versus Nick Sachvie. A 3/4 seed version the other 3/4 seed. The first game of Mike’s match against Nick was close in the beginning of it but Nick built a lead and closed it out well 11-7. The hard work that Mike had put in to get the final looked to have taken a toll on his legs. Nick on the other hand had won all his matches 3-0 and never really looked threatened in any of them. Nick went on to win the final 11-7, 11-5 and 11-5. A truly incredible performance by Nick Sachvie. I would like to congratulate him on winning the 2017 Canadian Squash Championship. There were a lot of people in the crowd that were very happy for Nick. While I was hoping for a McCue victory I too am very happy for Nick. He had a great season on the PSA tour and is now the 2017 Canadian Champion.

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Western Canada Tour

I recently played two tournaments near Canada’s west coast, in Alberta. The first tournament was a 10k PSA event in downtown Calgary at the lovely Bankers Hall Club. I wasn’t meant to be in the event, but due to a last minute withdrawal I was given a spot in the main draw. Continue reading

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Control the ‘T’ Sports is Proud to Announce our Sponsorship of Mike McCue

Contact: Jeff Warren
Phone: 1-877-370-4661
Email: jeff@controlthet.com
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

CONTROL THE ‘T’ SPORTS IS PROUD TO ANNOUNCE OUR SPONSORSHIP OF MIKE MCCUE

Control the ‘T’ Sports is excited to announce that we are sponsoring Mike McCue who is currently ranked #154 on the PSA World Tour, for his footwear and apparel.  Mike is a very dedicated professional squash player who trains out of Jonathon Power’s National Squash Academy in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.  Mike’s dedication has allowed him to move up over 100 spots in the PSA rankings in the past year alone. Mike’s passion for the game and his dedication are consistent with our beliefs as a company.  Control the ‘T’ Sports was born out of our passion and dedication to the game of squash.

Mike has chosen to play in the Asics Gel-Blast 4 Squash shoes.  We think it is important to know that the choice of the Asics Gel-Blast 4 was Mike’s choice of squash shoes not what we as a corporate sponsor asked him to play with.  Mike will also be wearing Asics shirts as part of his sponsorship.

Mike McCue stated the following on his partnership with Control the ‘T’ Sports, his goals on the PSA tour and why he chose the Asics Gel-Blast 4 Squash Shoes.

“Control the ‘T’ is an independently owned Canadian company, and I think both of us are up-and-comers in our respective fields. Both of us are working very hard and are very dedicated to the sport of squash and I expect big gains for both of us over the next few years. Control the ‘T’ Sports is my first non-racquet sponsor and a good starting point for me with regards to partnerships and sponsors.

I am hoping to start making real inroads on the PSA tour this year. Ranking-wise I would like to reach the top 115 by the end of the year and get some wins over top 100 players. I am expecting to make it past the quarter-finals of $5k tournaments and past the first round of $10k’s. I would also like to qualify for a larger event. I feel like my basic game and fitness are coming into place, so I need to learn how to win matches and navigate the various scenarios you come across at tournaments. Making good on just a few opportunities can make the difference between a successful career and mediocre one.

Asics shoes are generally accepted as the best squash footwear on the market. My two favourite features are the shape and lightness; they mould perfectly to your foot and afford you total mobility (obviously essential in squash), while still feeling almost weightless. I don’t even really notice the shoes while playing, and I think this is the biggest compliment you can pay to any piece of equipment.”

Control the ‘T’ Sports is very excited to be working with Mike McCue and we wish him all the best on the PSA World Tour.

 

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For more information contact Jeff Warren by email at jeff@controlthet.com or by calling 1.877.370.4661

 

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National Squash Academy Open 2012 – Mike McCue Wins His First Round Match

As mentioned in an earlier entry Mike McCue who blogs for us is playing in this year’s PSA 5K National Squash Academy Open.  Mike played his first match last night which I was lucky enough to see and he won convincingly!  Mike played Tyler Hamilton who is also from Canada.  Tyler is the higher ranked player ranked #170 in the world to Mike’s #197 ranking so this was a bit of an upset.

From the outset Mike was very focused on the task at hand.  This was evident in his demeanor even during the warm-up.  Once the match started Mike got off to a very quick start and never really looked back.  He put Tyler under a lot of pressure with some exceptional length.  There were several points won on straight length balls that Tyler looked to play early, decided not to because they were just too tight to the side wall and let them pass only to watch them die in the back court nick.  Tyler was clearly not having one his better days on court but part of that was due to the quality of Mike’s shots.

When Mike was put under some pressure by Tyler he was able to play some good defensive squash.  He covered the court very well.  Tyler was able to play some nice tight drop shots in to the front but Mike covered them well and was able to get the ball behind Tyler even from this difficult position consistently.  When Mike was given a good chance to attack he was able to either put Tyler under a great deal of pressure or hit some great outright winners.

Mike won the first two games convincingly but winning the match is not always as easy. I know Mike well enough to know how much he wanted the result.  He wanted the win.  He is at the beginning of his PSA career and training extremely hard.  Playing in these challenger tournaments is tough.  They are hard to get in to and with a bad result it is one match and out.  Knowing how much Mike wanted to win the match I was really hoping he could close it out.  Mike managed to maintain is focus brilliantly in the last game.  Even when there was some discussion with the ref by Tyler about a call you could still see the focus on Mike’s face the same as you could early in the match.  It is very important in situations like these to maintain that focus.  It is easy to let up a bit when you are up two games and your opponent is struggling.  Letting up though can result in your opponent getting back in to the game and finding some form. This can lead to a momentum switch and really put the pressure back on the guy who controlling play early.  Tyler pressed back a bit late in the third game but Mike was having none of it.  He closed out the match and moved on to the second round match where he will play Colin West.

Congratulations Mike on a well-deserved victory!

 

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Mike McCue – In the Main Draw of the National Squash Academy Open 2012

Mike McCue who blogs for us is entered in the National Squash Academy Open 2012 that starts next week and we would like to wish him the best of luck.  Mike trains out of the National Squash Academy (NSA) so this is a tournament on his home court.  Many of the entrants in this tournament train out of the NSA.  Mike’s first match is against Tyler Hamilton a fellow Canadian.  It should be a very tough match.

I will be going to watch the first day of the tournament at least next Wednesday and expect to see Mike’s first match.  I definitely hope to be watching a win for Mike but I know for certain I will be watching some very high quality squash.   If you are in the Toronto, Ontario area this is definitely an event worth seeing.   Will this years top seed, Dane Sharp repeat as champion or will someone else take the title?

Good luck Mike!

To check out the draw click here

 

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How the Pros Train

Some of the most frequent questions people ask about life as a squash player (other than “How much money do you make?”) have to do with day-to-day training routines. After all, the main reason top pros are so good is the years of dedicated, methodical training they have done.  Most squash fans know that the average pro is doing two or three sessions a day five days a week, so without discussing the obvious I will try to give some insight into what myself and my training partners do in a given week.

Since the National Squash Academy opened last year, training for players based in Toronto has become centralized. Obviously this is a big step forward for Canadian squash. Any day of the week, you can find 6-10 of the best players in Canada and the odd international guest on court at the NSA. There are two sessions per day most days. One of them is either match play (three times a week) or drills involving lots of movement and options. The other one is usually a “closed” session, with the purpose of improving technique, accuracy and consistency. The more intense sessions are a great time to implement new skills being perfected in the closed sessions. Total time on court each day is usually around four hours, and there is always work to be done in the gym afterwards. Due to each player having different tournament schedules, it is rare to have everyone on the exact same program for a day. The core values of each session remain the same, and it is up to the players to tailor their training around tournaments as they see fit. This is a whole science of its own and often takes years to master.

Training full-time is a huge mental battle and there are ups and downs within each month, week and day. On the one hand, you have to put 100% effort mentally and physically into every session in order to see results. On the other, showing up to the courts every morning with weary legs and doing boast-drive for the thousandth time can leave anyone struggling for motivation. In my few months of being dedicate full-time I have started to understand two major points: 1) you absolutely cannot get caught-up in micro-frustrations. On a given day you might be a bit tired, a bit slow, or a bit inaccurate. This obviously happens to everyone, but letting bad days undermine your confidence and limit your enjoyment will only turn squash into a chore rather than a passion. 2) you can’t train with an insane intensity every day without burning out at some point. It can be tempting to exhaust yourself to satisfaction on a Monday or Tuesday, but the rest of the week will be compromised. Five days at 85% are better than one day all out. I’m always looking to derive new lessons from my training experiences. Hopefully they will pay off some day!

 

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Control the ‘T’ Sports is pleased to introduce Mike McCue

We are very excited to announce that Mike McCue, an up and coming PSA Tour player will be blogging for Control the ‘T’ Sports.  Mike has been playing squash since the age of 10 and is currently 18-years old.  He finished his junior career as the #2 ranked player in Canada.  His current ranking on the PSA Tour is #234.  Mike trains under Jamie Hickox and Jamie Nichols at the National Squash Academy in Toronto.

Mike’s posts will focus on squash from the perspective of someone that is turning professional and trying to make it on the PSA Tour.  You can expect posts from Mike focusing on his training, training tips for other players, life as an up and comer on the PSA Tour, coverage of tournaments he plays in and other topics related to squash.  We hope you enjoy his posts!

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