People learn and improve at different speeds, and in different ways. The reasons for having coaching also change depending on your level. For example, you should have coaching when you first start to play squash top avoid creating bad habits and developing ineffective swing technique. Improvers should have coaching to consolidate their correct technique and to begin to understand basic court craft. Club players should have coaching to replace bad habits with better ones and to fine tune their training sessions. Of course there are other reasons for each standard and individual needs too.
I prefer to think of the quantity of coaching as a percentage of your time on court. From an improvement point of view, there’s little point in having 40 minutes of coaching a week if you only play another once per week. That said, when I was the club pro at The Lansdowne Club, I had a handful of pupils who only ever had coaching. That’s right, I was the only person they ever played with. It shocked me to find out. But, if money is no object, and convenience is paramount, then booking a coach is your solution.
The percentage does change depending on your level, point in the season, your objectives and how much disposable income you have, but as a general guide I would say between 10 to 20 percent of you time on court should be spent having coaching. For some players though, that is totally unrealistic due to the cost. For others, less than 10 percent works well too.
Is More Better?
In most cases, yes, it is. But you do need time away from the coach to allow their lessons to become habits, to allow you to implement what you have learnt etc. Finding the right balance between coaching, solo/pair drills, conditioned games, practice matches and competitive games takes a little time. As much as you may love playing competitive matches, that aspect should probably be the least amount of time!
Of course, if you rarely play competitive matches, then all of this is less important. I define competitive matches as tournaments, inter-club matches and leagues/boxes.
If you really want to improve, then coaching should be on the top of you list as far as training goes. If you can afford weekly sessions and play at least other 3 times per week, then do that. Consider once per month if you play less than 3 times per week. It is possible to have the occasional lesson and still benefit, for example to solve a particular issue, but in general schedule regular session and use the time inbetween to put into practice what you learnt in the lesson.
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