A Review of the Eye V.Lite 115 Control

Disclaimer: Unfortunately, this racquet will not give you superpowers. But after watching some of Paul ‘Superman’ Coll’s performances using the V.Lite 115, it does make you wonder how he does it…

Credit to paulcoll.com

Racquet aesthetic

Performance and stats aside, every player wants their racquet to look good. The V.Lite 115 uses a slick black and white colour scheme with a strong pop of purple, making the Eye branding more recognizable without the racquet being too bright!

On any Eye racquet, my favourite design aspect is on the butt of the racquet, a classy silver Eye logo on a brushed golden background, this shows your opponent you mean business as soon as you spin for serve…

It also features Paul Coll’s signature just above the grip, which might help you summon the power of the pro, should you need it!

Weighting and balance

With a frame weight of 115 grams (and a finished weight of 154 grams), the V.Lite is more on the light side and the grip heavy balance point further adds to that feel. This enables delivery of a fast swing and minimizes the risk of losing control, this is especially beneficial for players with a smaller swing.

The V.Lite’s balance point isn’t too head light either and I personally found the balance point to be perfect for me! Although I like to have control over power, I was still able to access powerful strikes when I needed to.

Connection with the ball

One of the most prominent features I noticed on the racquet was the sturdy frame, built to assist direct response, this means that control and feel of the ball are two of the key elements of this racquet. Although it has a slightly lower density string pattern (14×18), the prominent element of control is actually further enhanced by the fanned string pattern, which increases the stiffness of the string bed.

With the teardrop head shape having a slightly smaller head size of 477cm2, the V.Lite 115, this racquet is designed for a player who is capable of consistently hitting the sweet spot.

Final thoughts?

The V.Lite 115 Control does exactly what it says on the tin! It’s a light, sturdy racquet, and I believe that it is an ideal fit for any player who either already prefers control, or for any player looking to further improve their control.

The Eye X.Lite 120 Control, what a racquet!

Full disclosure: I have never given lighter squash racquets a chance at all, I have always preferred racquets on the heavier side. But I think the X.Lite 120 might have just changed my mind…

The Maestro

Used and endorsed by 4 times world champion Amr Shabana, if it’s good enough for the best, you already know this racquet is one that you can trust.

At first glance

A smart black and white colour scheme that features a classy burst of purple. It catches your eye without blinding you, and if colour coordination is important to you, it will match well with most of your squash outfits!

The X.Lite 120 uses a traditional frame shape, featuring a bridge. In the past, I have mentioned my preference of the teardrop head shape, but as stated at the beginning of this post, this racquet may have just swayed me in the other direction…

In hand feeling

The moment you try a practice swing you will feel how responsive this racquet is. The X.Lite 120 is also ever so slightly head heavy which allows you to get some weight behind your shot, meaning power is very much still an option. 

I also believe that I have found a new love for the Eye PU grip that comes with the racquet, it is soft but not too soft and is very grippy even in a sweaty hand! After using Karakal PU super grips since I started the sport, I think it may be time for a change…

Making contact with the ball

A very generous sweet spot is provided by the 14×18 string pattern and larger head size (490cm2), giving access to a terrific balance of power and control.

With a feathery light frame weight of 120 grams, the racquet is perfect for whipping fast, deceptive shots at the last second to fool your opponent. Alternatively, this can also act as ‘a get out of jail free card’ when retrieving difficult shots from the front of the court, using a bit of wrist, you can flick it high and deep to get out of trouble.

It took me a second to realise why I found it so easy to retrieve shots that were tight to the side wall. The X.Lite 120, like all of Eye’s racquets, doesn’t actually come with a bumper! Although there is a slight increase  in the risk of the frame cracking, I would personally say that the reward outweighs the risk, especially as retrieving tight shots could mean the difference between winning and losing!

Final thoughts: the X.Lite 120 is absolutely ideal for any player looking to control and feel the ball, without losing the ability to strike the ball when needed! It is very clear why this racquet is used by one of the best players of all time.

Gawad takes the win at the Black Ball Open 2018


Gawad’s route to the final

A display of sheer consistency, strength, and skill was shown at the Black Bull Open by Karim Abdel Gawad. If beating Elshorbagy (world no.1) 3-0 in the quarter-finals and Momen (world no.4) 3-1 in the semis wasn’t enough, winning 3-1 against Farag (world no. 2) in the finals was the icing on the cake for the Egyptian pro.

Steady beginning (the first game)

The start of the first game appeared to favor Farag initially taking a 5-3 lead, however, Gawad quickly warmed up and found his pace. Firing a series of purposeful lengths using both pace and depth, Gawad began to dominate the T. Once his rhythm was in place, Gawad proceeded to confidently take a number of superbly accurate shots to the front, constantly mixing it up by throwing some crosscourt drops and quick boasts to keep Farag guessing. Gawad took the first game 11-6, looking incredibly strong by the end.

Upping the ante (the second game)

As soon as play began in the second game it became very clear that both players were fully in the zone, Gawad upped the pace by hitting a flurry of powerful lengths that were low on the front wall but still managed to reach great depth, forcing Farag to begin lifting the ball to get out of trouble.

Once again dominating the T, Gawad was eager to take advantage of any loose shots made by Farag by cutting them off very early and placing them tight into the front corner, this lead to a few unforced errors and incidents of contact due to the high pace, but both players (mostly) kept their cool!

This game was tight throughout and Farag managed to get a game ball opportunity at 11-10, however, Gawad delivered an impressive flurry of deception using huge racquet prep only to take the ball to the front, fooling Farag, the audience and myself on multiple occasions! Gawad took the second 13-11.

Turning point? (The third game)

The third game seemed like a turning point for Farag as he began effortlessly placing the ball to the front at every opportunity, landing in and around the nick every time! Gawad seemed a little too relaxed, intensity had faded and he seemed to be a lot less on the ball than he was in the first two games.

Farag’s quick lead left Gawad needing to catch up fast. Although he put away a few astonishing winners, Gawad made several unforced errors and Farag took the third 11-7. Gawad seemed tired, maybe he was using this game for a brief rest? This would be understandable after having such tough games prior to the final!

Finishing strong (the fourth game)

If your expectation for this game was for Gawad to still be fatigued, you would be sorely mistaken… Gawad came on as strong as he did in the first and managed to take the fourth and final game 11-8.

I believe that the reason behind Gawad’s victory in this match was his outstanding shot selection, having the ability to execute the right shot accurately every time during a fast-paced game is a very difficult thing to do, but Gawad pulled it off flawlessly.

As a whole Gawad’s performance was incredible throughout the tournament and I don’t think anybody can deny that he thoroughly deserved the win!

A Review of the Tecnifibre X-Speed Carboflex 130

First things first

As somebody who has used Tecnifibre racquets religiously for a good few years, I’d like to assure you that my opinion of this racquet is completely unbiased!


For me personally, how a racquet looks is a really important factor when I’m looking to buy a new one. In terms of aesthetic, the Carboflex uses a combination of black, red, blue and white (geared towards the French flag), which I find gives it a great overall professional vibe. 

The teardrop head shape is something that Tecnifibre has managed to perfect over the years. In my days as a junior I was insistent on using a traditional racket frame shape with a bridge, this all changed when I won an old model Carboflex 130 in my local club’s raffle, thanks to this I have sworn by the teardrop head shape ever since.

Balance and weighting

As a UK Squash player myself, I would say that I have a reasonably large swing and I’m certainly the type of player that likes to take his space! I found that, as the X-Speed is slightly on the head-heavy side, it manages to do an awesome job of assisting a big swing, and also allows a smooth follow-through without throwing you off balance.

I usually like my racquet frames to weigh anything between 130 and 140 grams, the Carboflex frame weighs in at 130 grams, which is slightly on the lighter side than what I would normally prefer, however it has definitely given me a new appreciation of racquets that weight a little less. Obviously, there are racquets available that are considerably lighter than the Carboflex range, and this is a factor that comes down mainly to personal preference.

How it feels

The 14 x 18 string pattern is on the less-dense side, and definitely gives a slightly softer feel when striking the ball. This enabled me to be able to feel the balls contact with the strings a whole lot better which boosted shot accuracy significantly. I actually found the sweet spot to be on the large side which is relatively forgiving, it gave me some leeway on shots where I may have miss-hit the ball if the sweet spot were smaller.

The 500 squared cm head size further attributes to the forgiveness of the Carboflex and gives the user a very generous surface to hit on. Composed of Basaltex, graphite and iBlades on either side of the frame giving it an increased level of stiffness and stability, I believe this racquet hits the ideal level of sturdiness without losing feel of the ball. An ideal combination for any Squash player.

A racquet you can trust

It goes without saying that any squash racquet endorsed by highly respected players is one that you can be sure to trust! Tecnifibre’s current reputation for producing excellent squash gear used by countless pros backs this up nicely. The X-Speed has been seen in the hand of some great players such as Marwan El Shorbagy, Gregoire Marche and Nouran Gohar. 

If you’re the sort of player who’s looking to step up their game and access a new level of play, the X-Speed Carboflex 130 is, in my opinion, an ideal racquet to do so!

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A review of the ASICS Gel-Blade 6 Indoor Court Shoes

If you are serious about performance and want to get the most of your game possible you owe it to yourself to check out the Asics Gel-Blade 6 …

The choice of many top players including TeamCT members Mike McCue, Nick Sachvie and Samantha Cornett the Blade is designed for the player that wants the absolute best in performance. Light and extremely low to the court the Blade allow you to really feel the court which allows you to move your best.

We asked Mike McCue to give us his opinion on them and here is what he wrote:

“The Asics Gel Blade is an old favourite that has been re-introduced for the new season with some noticeable improvements.. The Blade 6 is a performance shoe with an extremely lightweight, flexible design. There is less support through the mid and forefoot. particularly when compared with other Asics models like the Blast. With bulkiness kept to a minimum, the shoe fits snugly around your foot and feels almost weightless. Being lower to the floor allows for engagement of the entire foot when making an explosive first step, changing direction en route to a ball, and the all-important recoil out of the shot. Upon switching to the new Blade, I immediately felt an improvement in my movement laterally and into the front corners.

The trade-offs of this design are decreased stability and durability. Heavier players may find themselves wanting more support, and the smaller base requires well-balanced movement. I did suffer a few slips during the “break-in” phase while the rubber sole was slightly shiny. These issues subsided after a week of daily use. Overall, I would definitely recommend the Blade 6 to advanced players who are willing to make these minor sacrifices in favour of major performance benefits.”

I really like Mike’s review of the Blade and believe it articulates well who the Blade is designed for, and who they are not meant for.

The Blade are like having a sports car with a stiff suspension and very low profile tires. You are going to feel the court in the Blade much like you would feel the road in a pure performance based sports car. You are trading a nice cushioned feel to gain better performance.

For the player that is looking for a court shoe to get them around the court as fast as possible the Asics Gel-Blade 6 is perfect. The very light weight of the shoe adds as little weight as possible to keep from slowing you down on. The extremely low to the court design provides the best energy transfer from each stride you take.

Looking to explode off the ‘T’ with your first step? The Blade are going to allow you to do just that.

From a lateral support perspective the shoe itself is not aiding you that much, other than by keeping you low to the court. Other shoes like the Salming Viper 5, of the Asics Gel-Fastball 3 have a noticeably wider base in the forefoot area but for an athlete with excellent balance and strong feet and ankles the Blade perform extremely well. They allow your body to do the work naturally. In a shoe with more cushioning you really do need the shoe to aid in lateral stability. The Blade allows your body to engage as it is designed to do, to provide the lateral support required for squash.

If you are a serious athlete and are looking to take your movement to the next level you owe it to yourself to take a good hard look at the Blade 6, they will help you get the most out of your game …

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A review of the Asics Gel-Fastball 3 Indoor Court Shoes

Are you looking for a light, high performance pair of indoor court shoes? If so, take a serious look at the Asics Gel-Fastball 3 …

The Fastball 3 are a very light, low to the court, high performance indoor court shoe. They are designed for the player that values performance most and wants their shoes to allow their feet to work very naturally …

One of our TeamCT players, Cameron Seth has just recently switched to using the Fastball 3 and we asked him to give us his feedback of the shoe.

Here is Cameron’s review:

“I’ve been using the Fastball 3 Asics shoe for a month now and I can safely say this is one of the best shoes I have ever used. I’ve tried a lot of different shoes in the last few years. Most recently I’ve been using the Fastball 1, but before that I have tried Salming Viper, Hi-tec Infinity Flare, Prince NFS and Black Knight.

The Fastball 3 is a change from the Fastball 1 and 2, but it is a change for the better in my opinion. The first thing I noticed when I put them on was that they have a very wide base of support in the forefoot. I felt very stable and as if I could really feel the ground. All the Fastball shoes are low to the ground (compared to the Asics Gel Blast for example) but in the Fastball 3 I felt even more connected to the ground than the Fastball 1 and 2. I also found that the material of the shoe is softer and more comfortable than the previous versions. As with any Asics shoe they are durable, well made and look great. I have the black and orange style, they have some colour but they aren’t too flashy.

The only thing I think might have been a bit better on the previous version of the Fastball is that on the lateral side of the shoe they’ve made a small dip in the rubber that wraps along the outside of the shoe. Not sure if this was an aesthetic choice by Asics, but I’ve found for me that when pushing off laterally the old Fastball grips the floor a little better.

Overall the Fastball 3 is a great shoe and I’d highly recommend it.”

As Cameron noted the Fastball 3 do keep you very close to the court. While they do have Asics’ Gel in both the heel and forefoot area in the forefoot there is not much of it. That is by design. By keeping you so low to the court they really do provide excellent performance. They allow your feet to work very naturally…

As you add more cushioning, and thus lift into a court shoe the shoe needs to do more of the work for you to provide the necessary lateral support. While the Fastball’s wide base at the forefoot area helps the shoe provide excellent lateral support, its low to the court design really allows the foot to work naturally to protect against outward roll.

The upper of the Fastball 3 is incredibly soft, light and comfortable

The design makes them very comfortable to wear and play in of course but it also more importantly contributes to the design of the shoe. As a soft, light, and low to the court shoe the design of the Fastball 3 is more minimalist in design.

If you want to get the highest performance out of your squash game, you need a purpose-built indoor court shoe. The Asics Gel-Fastball 3 is exactly that type of shoe …

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Are you ready? Tournament season is here!

It is terrifying how quickly the weeks speed by. Here we are at the beginning of October and not only are the pumpkins already out on the porches with Halloween candy crowding the grocery aisles, but we are getting into the thick of it with tournaments (which to some, might be scarier than those Halloween ghouls).

If you have yet to play in your first tournament of the season, I am sure you are about to embark on one very soon. Sometimes starting a season is daunting and can be rough on the body and the brain. If you want to avoid some of the strain on both, it might help to prepare for the oncoming season accordingly.

First and foremost – WHAT ARE YOUR GOALS?
Are you looking to peek for a certain tournament? Are you aiming to have a specific seeding or standing by the end of the season? Are you defining success by beating that ONE person you have struggled with over the past few seasons? Or are you just looking to perform well and have fun? No matter what your goals may be, it is good to have awareness of what they are before you head off to compete. These objectives will determine how you prepare for competition.

Depending on your goals it might be essential to hit specific tournaments throughout the season. Make sure you check out the schedule in advance and book those calendar dates. Blocking out the schedule should show you when you need to rest and recuperate and make some decisions on whether certain competitions should be on your schedule based on your needs.

No matter what your goals are, sometimes the start of the season can be rather bumpy and somewhat ugly. I for one played in a tournament this past weekend and was rather disappointed by my caliber of play. It was sloppy, undisciplined and unfocused. Thankfully I was able to scrap my way through, but even with the goals of tournament being to “just having fun” and “warm up for the season ” the lack of quality in my performance was disappointing. So I had to remind myself, of a few things:

  1. A competitive frame of mind is a hard thing to hold. It takes practice to maintain that focus. Give yourself a few tournaments to build up the discipline required to keep the focus necessary to perform well.
  2. The body also reacts differently in a tournament atmosphere than it does in league or casual matches. You can have a casual match that pushes you to the limits and you don’t feel as fatigued as after a tournament match that maybe didn’t feel as physically challenging. You should be prepared for this, and be a little gentle with yourself during the adjustment… (not easy to do, I know).

Last but not least –  ENJOY IT!
Squash is such a wonderful sport with a fantastic community of people.
In the words of the late great Jim Mason, squash is the triple “F” – Fun, Fitness and Friendship. Don’t deprive yourself of some brilliant life experiences and connections. Get out there and get into the action!

If you haven’t checked out the Ontario schedule yet… here you go: http://www.squashontario.com/tournaments/

Nicole Garon
Squash Pro & Program Director

A Review of the Salming Hawk Indoor Court Shoes

The Salming Hawk are a revolution in the design of indoor court shoes …

The Hawk is built from the outsole up. They provide exceptional grip and good stability on the court. They also provide excellent cushioning while also providing excellent performance.

This post provides our take on the exciting new Salming Hawk and how they might benefit you, the squash player…

After the review of the Salming Hawk you will also find a section where we review the technologies Salming has incorporated in to the Hawk. We provide Salming’s description of the technology and once again provide our take on them.

Salming Hawk Indoor Court Shoes


Technologies Included in the Hawk:

  • T.G.S 62/75

Here is Salming’ description of the Hawk:

“Dominate the court in these indoor shoes. Hawk features a low to ground profile fueled with energy, stability and an impeccable grip. The ExoSkeleton inner cage is connected to the lacing system and offers excellent support. The HexaGrip outsole featuring two LMSplus 8°areas allows for stability during multidirectional movements. The new midsole Recoil ERF – Energy Rebound Foam – with its added offset cushioning heel area (SoftFOAM) provide energy return and comfort in every step. The upper is a 3 layer construction with air mesh for maximum breathability.”

Our take:

The Salming Hawk are a terrific blend of comfort and performance …

They are designed for the player that is looking for excellent cushioning but also wants a very high performance pair of indoor court shoes.

Cushioning is important in an indoor court shoes to protect your feet and joints from the hard movements we squash players have to make. As we age, we tend to need more cushioning in our shoes. Too much cushioning though, or the wrong type of cushioning can hurt performance …

The Hawk provides excellent cushioning in the midsole of the shoe in both the heel and the forefoot area of the shoe. The heel is a straight cushioning foam designed to protect against hard heel strike which is very common in squash.

In the forefoot area there is excellent cushioning provided by an Energy Return Foam (ERF), called Recoil ERF, that not only provides great cushioning but also provides energy back to the player. This helps mitigate the loss of energy found in a shoe with too much cushioning or that does not have ERF.

The upper of the shoe is a 3-layer upper. It consists of:

  • A soft, comfortable inner mesh layer
  • A fully integrated Exoskeleton layer that really locks the foot in place
  • A mesh layer on the outside

The inside and outside of the shoes being mesh helps keeps the weight down and really allows the Hawk to breathe well. The fully integrated Exoskeleton layer provides the structure the shoe needs to keep your foot locked in place.

The tongue of the Salming Hawk is quite unique in an indoor court shoes as it is very thin and made of rubber material compared to a traditional thicker tongue. Looking at it I was not sure how it would feel but it is very comfortable. It does not bunch up at all and you virtually don’t even notice it is there. Considering how comfortable the upper of the Hawk is, it is a smart design choice.

Overall the Hawk is a very comfortable pair of indoor court shoes. Other than the exceptional cushioning underneath my feet I hardly noticed I was wearing them which is the mark of a good pair of shoes …

Now on to the performance of the Salming Hawk …

The Salming Hawk perform very well on the squash court. They are not an all out performance shoe like the Salming Viper or Asics GEL-Blade though. The Blade and Viper are very low to the court and have much less cushioning. As such they are a bit harsher on the body. The Hawk provide much better cushioning while still performing quite well. They provide a good balance between comfort and performance.

The Salming Hawk is uniquely constructed from the outsole up rather than the upper down. Salming’sHX120 outsole with Hexagrip wraps up over top of the bottom of the upper rather than the upper coming down to meet the outsole.

This design really gives you incredible grip all around the outsole. No matter what direction you are heading, or where you weight has shifted the outsole of the Salming Hawk is going to provide excellent grip.

Salming’s LMS+ system found in both the heel and forefoot area on the lateral side of the shoes that provides good stability. The LMS+ unit flares out 8° to provider a wide base to help protect your foot from rolling outwards. It works extremely well and the Salming Hawk provide excellent lateral stability.

They are designed for the player that wants their shoe to provide good stability, performance and cushioning all in a light and breathable design. If that sounds like you don’t wait to pick up your pair …

Shop for Salming Hawk



Salming’s description: “An increased radius on the inner side of the outer sole, facilitates rolling the foot inwards and toe push off. Reaching for that stop ball in squash or covering a shot in floorball is made easier with the RollBar™ technology.”

Our take: The key benefit of the Rollbar technology is the aid it provides in pushing off towards the ball. When you dig your foot in to the court to push forwards, Rollbar allows the foot to work inwards towards the toe to provide better push off. Additionally, the shoes are very firm in in the toe area to maximize energy transferred to the court and provide the best possible drive.

Salming T.G.S 62/75

T.G.S. 62/75

Salming’s description: “Torsion Guide System. The distance from heel to the ball of the foot (62% of the shoe) has been designed with extra stability, which ends in the so-called ”ballet” line, a 75° angle. In front of the 75° line, we have equipped the shoe with greater flexibility to stimulate the foot’s natural movements. TGS 62/75 takes all of the gait cycle criteria into consideration. At the same time, it softens the strains caused by friction during lateral movements. The shoe bends in exactly the right places, stimulating the foot’s natural lateral and forward movements.”

Our take: The back portion of the shoe is firmer and designed to improve balance and stability. The forefoot area of the shoe has been designed to allow more freedom of movement to allow your foot to move and perform naturally. The split comes at the ballet line. If you were to drive your heels up off the floor so that your weight is on your forefoot area the “ballet line” is where your foot would leave the floor. It is also where Salming has designed the shoes to flex. The front part of the shoe is more flexible. The back 62% of the shoe is firmer to provide maximum stability.

Salming Exoskeleton


Salming’s description: “The fully integrated ExoSkeleton connects the lacing system for support and stabilizes the midfoot. A thin durable breathable mesh. A gusset tongue construction, where the tongue is integrated with the interior of the shoe making sure that the tongue always is in preferred position”

Our take: This is one of the key components of Salming’s Hawk. The shoes is largely made of mesh. The fully integrated EXOSKELETON provides the necessary support to the shoe. The EXOSKELETON  is the little bands that come up from under the foot then around the foot and in to the lacing area of the shoe. They are very light but very solid and keep your foot in place inside the shoe. This is a critical component in lateral support as if you foot starts to slip outwards when planting the foot on a lateral movement your weight will start to transfer outwards and this increases the risk of injury. It also decreases performance.

Salming Ergoheel Cup


Salming’s description: “To stabilize and fixate the heel, which is key to providing a great fit and comfort, we have developed a new anatomical Ergo Heel Cup that is slightly longer than the average heel cup.”

Our take: Salming’s description is clear and it is also very accurate. The Ergo Heel Cup helps keep your heel locked in place in the back of the shoe to prevent it from slipping upwards. This keeps the back of your foot from rubbing against the shoe and prevents blisters.

Salming Hexagrip


Salming’s description: “A new very durable lightweight rubber compound – HX120 – that features Salmings HexaGrip™ pattern designed for the best possible grip on all indoor surfaces.”

Our take: Hexagrip was first introduced in the Kobra series. It is an update to the rubber that they use on the outsole of the shoe. The rubber is formed in a hexa pattern, a 6 sided pattern to provide the best possible grip to the court. HexaGrip provides incredible traction. To maximize your movement you need your court shoes to have the best grip possible and HexaGrip is exceptional. Good grip on the court is also important from an injury prevention perspective as if you slip on the lunge you risk tearing muscles. Salming XR112 with HexaGrip is their top of the line outsole material.

Salming Softfoam


Salming description: “The SoftFOAM™ – is a cushioning compound featured in the heel impact zone designed to reduce impact forces and increase comfort when lunging. The SoftFOAM™ heel insert area has 70% better shock absorbing properties than standard EVA midsole..”

Our take: Squash is full of very hard movements. Foot impact is almost always a heel strike and due to that indoor court shoes should provide excellent cushioning in the heel. Salming’s SOFTFOAM2 does just that. It absorbs impact very well and provides excellent protection to your feet and joints.

Salming Recoil ERF


Salming’s description: “The material in the midsole is a newly developed compound named RECOIL™ ERF – Energy Rebound Foam – which is a super lightweight cushioning compound that releases a higher rebound energy effect.”

Our take: Salming’s Recoil ERF is a competitive difference for them compared to most other manufacturers. Not only does Salming’s Recoil ERF provide excellent cushioning, it also returns energy to the player to help mitigate the loss of energy that might otherwise occur. This helps you, the squash player, get around the court as fast as possible without sacrificing comfort.

Shop for Salming Hawk


Working Through the Slump!

We have all hit a dreaded “Slump”. This is when everything is off. Your shots are loose, the tin grows taller with every swing, your movement is awkward, even your trusty bread and butter shots have seemingly vanished all together. The worst of it is, the harder you try – the nastier it gets!!

Whether it be a game, match, week, month or more; a slump is horribly frustrating for any athlete. For now let’s focus on the immediate situation, hitting a bad patch within a game. So what is the key to breaking out of that raunchy performance when your “A” game has abandoned you?


Yep. So hard to do, but essential none-the-less. Do not allow your emotions to kick-start the panic cycle. The more frustrated, aggravated and irritated we become; the tighter our bodies get. A stressed body contributes many negative factors into the game. Gone are the loose mobile legs, smooth swing, and confident shot selections. In come the tight shoulders, tense swing, sluggish untrusting legs and impulsive, forced shots. All of which allow more ugliness to seep into the game, affording your opponent to easily take advantage of (and clean up) the slop.


Try not to self correct or coach in that ever so damaging tone that is way too easy to slide into.

“Stop doing this. Start doing that… Idiot…Bleep, Bleep… etc. etc.”

Guess what? This does not aid in leveling out the bumps in the game. It only further contributes to the problem. The more we focus on what we are doing wrong, the more entrenched those actions become – stop feeding the beast! Instead of berating yourself, try to turn that negative self talk into something more comforting.

“Alright. No worries. This will pass. You’ve got this. Just breathe etc. etc.”


You can’t merely power through it by hitting harder, trying shots that are not normally part of your repertoire and forcing winners from a defensive position. Now is not the time to be clever or creative. Now is the time to stop the frantic noise in your head and remove the complexity. Now is the time to be a minimalist. Go back to the basics. Execute good length, and good things will come of it.

Remember, there are good days and bad days – everyone has them. There are more than a million reasons that this particular day you may be a little off. It could be the simple fact that your opponent is playing spot on, forcing you out of your groove. The trick is to not let it all trickle in. Sometimes it is important to accept that you are not at your best and be okay with that. Even the recognition of that fact can help calm the mind and body enough to shake the dust off. That in itself might be all you need to turn things back around.

So, when your “A” game abandons you. Be Calm. Be Kind. Be Simple.
Good luck.

Nicole Garon
Squash Pro & Program Director
Brantford Movati Athletic

Off Season Squash

If you are suddenly needing to cut your lawn twice a week and struggling to find squash partner who’s not on the golf course – then Summer has arrived!

Summer signifies the end of a hard fought squash season. But as they say “ All good things must come to an end” and for good reason.

Squash is a tremendously demanding sport both mentally and physically. With the competitive season at an end it provides many of us with a much needed body break to recoup and repair from the general physical wear and tear, but also a bit of a brain unwind as well. It is important to refresh and rejuvenate, otherwise it could cause full on burn out (and possible injury).

Golf, cycling, soccer, tennis, baseball, rugby… whatever your summer sport of choice is, get out there and do it! Our Canadian summers are short and those perfect sunny days are quite coveted. My suggestion is to enjoy it while you can. The sleet, snow and chill is always lingering in the not so distant future. Seek out the sunshine, play in the sand, enjoy a pint on the patio and get your fill of vitamin D.

This mixture of play and relaxation can be quite healing. To me it is an essential part of the off season. Without a bit of a break and different routine life (including squash training) can start to feel like a week with no weekend.

With that said, if you are looking to maintain or improve your skills over the summer, there are things you can do to catapult yourself past opponents who let the racquet and body rust over the summer. Look at your game and determine where you would like to improve. Is it your Speed /Recovery time? Strength? Shot selection? Racquet work? Strategy? Whatever it may be, now is the time to focus on how to improve in those areas.

Speed Work/Recovery Time:

There are several things you can add to your summer routine to help increase your speed and recovery time. Court sprints. Ghosting. Interval Sprinting/Training. Spin classes. Plyometrics etc.


It is hard as a player to fit in weight work during the season as there are countless court hours as well as tournament demands. Several strength exercises have too long of a recovery period for a squash player to plan around (especially leg work – we really need our legs)! Now is the perfect time for a squash player to hit the gym. Remember, you don’t want to lift for muscle mass, you want to lift for strength. Too much mass can slow you down on court or impede your swing. Lift for muscle endurance.

If the above two items are a key goal for you to improve on, I highly suggest you check in with a personal trainer or look online for specific squash strength training and speed drill regimes. There is information out there to help you create a program that suit your needs and objectives.

If shot selection, racquet work and/or strategy happen to be your required area of development; summer is the perfect time for taking lessons. When taking lessons it is inevitable that things will start to crumble and get frustrating as you try to make the changes. Doing that during the season can have some exasperating effects, and many people tend to regress to their old habits in order to feel more in control of their games. It is not an easy thing to make technical changes but you have to break the eggs to make the omelette. Therefore I suggest you break the eggs now and make it messy when the score doesn’t matter. If you are eager to make these improvements over the sunny season you should be on court at least once a week (one lesson/one game). Summer squash is great for working on these maddening specifics and fantastic for building endurance. The ball is hot which tends to keep the rally going longer – keeping you on the move.

In conclusion summer should be what you want it to be …

A body and mind break from the game for recuperation, straight through to full on training to take the squash world by storm when the season hits this coming fall. Whatever you choose to do – good luck and have fun!

One last word of advice. Make sure to take some time to enjoy our short and sweet Canadian heat. A nice cold beer on the patio after a sweaty summer squash match is a beautiful thing!


Nicole Garon
Squash Pro & Program Director
Brantford Movati Athletic