I couldn’t think of a more appropriate topic to write about than one involving preparation considering the festive time of year. Anyone who has first-hand experience cooking that all important Christmas dinner, knows all too well, the importance of preparation. I’m still learning the fine culinary art. I suppose it’s something I may perfect one day, however, when it comes to preparing myself for that all important squash match or tournament, I know exactly what is required.
Notice in the last sentence of the previous paragraph, I used the words ‘preparing myself’. The word ‘myself’ is very important. We are all unique so some of us may require a different approach. I can only talk about what works for me.
Ok let’s think about what we are trying to achieve. When the squash match begins, our goal is to be in the best possible shape; physically and mentally. That means being strong, fresh and highly motivated when battle commences. Let me explain practically how I would prepare physically for a tournament commencing on a Friday evening.
For me, it’s all about the three days prior to the event – the Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday; each day having very different requirements but each day just as important.
Tuesday – I would play a reasonably tough ‘friendly’ game, one that stretched me physically. I’d want it to be hard and simulate what I may experience on the Friday but without the adrenalin and real cast-iron will to win. I wouldn’t want to drain those resources. I’d leave those in my reserves so I could call upon them when it really counted at the end of the week.
Wednesday – I would have a total rest day. This would be my recuperation day. I would try to stay off my feet as much as possible, eat good food and fully hydrate myself. This would be my ‘hardest’ day of the three because I would be chomping at the bit to get back on court, hit a few balls and maybe have another game with someone – not good because I would need to recover.
Thursday – I would get back on court. Solo practice to sharpen my attacking shots followed by one game – not a match! I would use this to ‘oil the engine’, get a slight leg burn and rehearse a few things, however, I’d be very mindful about the following day’s pending match and not push hard at all.
Friday (Judgement Day) – Short solo practice. Again, I’d focus on my attacking shots. This would increase my confidence and enable me to capitalise on the attacking opportunities that would inevitably present themselves in the rapidly approaching match.
So there you have it – a simple three day plan to peak physically for an important match. Enjoy the turkey and add an extra new year’s resolution to your list – prepare better so you don’t play like one!