Over the years, lots of players have asked me what’s the best way to improve. When I tell them they just have to work hard and practice, they pause and say they are looking for the tricks, shortcuts or secrets that will get them there without the hard work.
I can’t blame them for wanting to improve with as little work as possible, after all today’s society is about “quick-fixes”, productivity and efficiency, so why not think in the same terms when it comes to sports?
The reality is that 99% of players can’t get better without spending quite a few hours on the court. Yes, there does seem to be a few individuals who improve with very little effort, but I am sorry to be the one to tell you that you are not one of those people. How do I know? Because if you were you would know it from a young age.
Where does that leave you? It leaves you with a choice.
- Option 1: continue looking for shortcuts, hoping to find some trick that will catapult you to the top of your club’s ladder or league, and dreaming of reaching your potential.
- Option 2: Commit to a scheduled training programme that focuses on the areas you need to improve.
The second option doesn’t need to take hours every day or week, it just needs to be planned and followed. Only have 20 minutes most days to improve your squash? No problem, 20 minutes is better than nothing. On another day, maybe you could get to the court a little early and do some solo drills or light ghosting.
Being committed to practicing doesn’t mean turning your life into a Rocky movie. It means accepting that just playing squash is never enough to really improve and reach your potential.
Yes, even if you are overweight, started squash in your 30s or 40s, just playing to have fun, it’s still possible to improve your squash.