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December 2020

At the time of this article and videos, the global Coronavirus pandemic is on its second wave here in Europe (I live in northern Spain) and play is suspended in many countries and even if it is not, you local courts might be closed. So this advice might not be useful at the time of publication, but will hopefully become useful at some point in the future.

5 Reasons To Play Your First Tournament

Taking the decision to play in your first proper tournament is an important step in your development. And for many it can be a very scary and stressful experience. No player will ever reach their potential until they challenge themselves and playing new people in new surroundings is a great way to become better. Playing the same people, week in, week out, can be fun and give you an easy way to measure your progress. “John used to beat me and now I beat him, so I must be getting better, right?” Well, maybe, it’s not that simple. All that might have happened is that you adapted to his game. And, yes, adapting to different players’ games IS one way to show your progress, but if it takes you 10 times to beat somebody who is essentially the same standard as you, then have you really got better? When you play your first tournament is important too. Too early in your development and you might not have as much fun as you could and too late, and you might keep delaying it until you are too nervous to try. As a compromise, you could look to visit a club night/afternoon at a different club. That has some of the same benefits as entering a tournament without the pressure. You could also visit a tournament without registering to play, just to experience the atmosphere etc. Lastly, you can make a counterpoint to each and every point I raise below and I respect that. I want to reiterate that if you are happy playing the same partner and have fun when you do, that’s great. I’m not trying to gatekeep fun squash. All I ask is that you try entering a tournament a couple of times and if after those two you don’t want to continue, then at least you tried. Video Squash Coaching from the comfort of your sofa! Onto The…