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3 Ways to Avoid the Negative Self Talk on the Squash Court

October 26, 2011 | Comments: 0 | Views: 176

When dealing with any sort of negative self-talk the first issue is to recognize that there is some talk actually happening! I know that sounds crazy but so often people do not want to admit that there is anything that is deemed as negative going on at all. They do not, even in their own eyes want to appear to be bad and so denial is the first tool to use.

Secondly once admitted it cannot be cured straight away by squashing or pressing it down. These thoughts have to be give air time. I did not say you had to listen as you repeated each negative suggestion over and over again. I said they have to be given air time, a moment. No one has to buy in or believe. Simply put all I am asking you to do is acknowledge these thoughts and comments ONCE and then let them go. This of course is much easier said than done. The sentence thank you for sharing might be useful to you. I am not needing you to shout at your thoughts and tell them they have no rights, because for sure they will come back and bite you when you least expect it.

Thirdly once you have listened to all this unfriendly and critical chatter it is vital to let it go and not give it an ounce of credibility.

Squash is a funny game and physically the harder you try the worse it gets. On the mental front you need to be trying very hard to stay relaxed. When negative thoughts come into your head as they so often do, they tend to cause tension in your body through fear, anger doubt or another emotion. This tension is not conducive to a relaxed easy swing and accurate shot making. What is needed is a player who is focused, grounded in their senses and playing their opponent not themselves. When you are listening to negative self-talk you create a situation where you start to play yourself. When you are in your senses you now start to play your opponent, exploiting their weaknesses and hitting the ball into the spaces on the court to maximize your opponent's discomfort and pressurize them. You look for their patterns and try to always keep them guessing.

Should they like the rhythm of the game slow you make it quick, even if that is not your preference, doing anything to keep them off-balance. Your job is to play to your strengths and their weaknesses and you cannot do this if the voice in your head says to you constantly that you are not worthy!

That means you must practice flexibility, and have a number of games in your arsenal. Again you always practice and implement these tactics in matches that have no significance to you until switching becomes second nature.

Remember squash players are rebels and must always DO what their opponent wants them NOT to do. Anytime you do not you leave your opponent comfortable and potentially able to pressure you into a weak shot or too much energy expenditure.

As the only level 5 Squash coach in Canada and having played for, captained and been National Coach to both the British and Canadian National Women's Squash Teams. Barbara is a leading authority on the game of squash in general and the mental side in particular. She has vast experience both as a coach and a professional squash player, but what separates her from others is her ability to simplify both the technical, the tactical and the emotional parts of the game. As the Head Squash Professional at Mayfair Lakeshore she draws on her knowledge and world wide experience to guide athletes of all ages and motivation. She is a Master Learning for Squash Canada, Squash Ontario and the Coaches Association of Ontario helping to shape the coaches of the future from all sports not simply squash, with such courses as Managing Conflict and the Psychology of Performance. This expertise is shared on her website and in her articles. To contact Barbara or to access her publications go to http://racketdrills.com

Source: EzineArticles
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