How to optimize training cycle
Perform your training on a cyclic routine, i.e start slowly, peak, cool down, rest then repeat. This is
certainly the best way to make rapid improvement in the game. Playing every day for several hours won't get you to the top
level any faster. In fact playing continuosly leads to mental and physical fatigue and actually hurts your game more than
it helps it.
By training on a cyclic basis you are always physically and mentally fit when you step on court and can
perform your best. Also you give your body and mind plenty of rest to recover from hard training sessions and allow
new techniques and stratgies to seep into your mind quicker. Apply the cyclic training principle to your daily, weekly, monthly and yearly routine.
Get fit to play squash or play squash to get fit?
Hashim Khan is famous for his saying, "Get fit to play squash, not play squash
to get fit". However, there is no subsitute for playing squash against an
actual human being.
I have always found running incredibly boring even though it is just as
good a workout as squash . What is it about squash that makes it fun? My
theory is it is all about competition. If you remove the opponent and
play by yourself it becomes just as boring as running.
But add the opponent back in the equation and some unique genetic
response turns on that makes all the exercise "fun"... I suppose this is
the same in all sports, but I would not know since I only play squash
competitively. For me I don't even care about winning or losing. I am
fascinated by the challenge of each point and trying to outsmart by
opponent by better shot selection and fitness....
Here are examples of how to cycle your training:
Weekly cycle routine
Play three days and take one day of full rest. Here's how I would break up the three days:
Day 1 : 40 minutes of solo drills on court
Day 2 morning: 1 hour session with weaker opponent
Day 2 evening: 40 minute session with strong opponent
Day 3 : 40 minutes hour solo drill + 1 hour of conditioning game
Monthly cycle routine
Play three weeks hard and take one week off to play in a tournament
Yearly cycle routine
Train hard during the squash season and cool down in the off-season. Take a few weeks off from the game , but mantain your skills by
playing at least once a week. Cross-train with another sport like cycling.