Thought Experiment 1: Body Swap
Fitness is HUGELY important in squash but I believe that for the club player it is possible to spend too much time on it when other areas could bring more benefits.
Let’s do a thought experiment and see what happens.
Imagine two people: me, an aging coach who can’t play any more because his body is falling apart and a young professional squash player.
Now, through some sci-fi type machinery, I am going to move into YOUR body (which I sincerely hope is in better shape than mine!) and you are going to move into the young professional’s body.
We now play.
He is what I think will happen.
Let’s start with you in the new body. You will continue to make the same mistakes that you always have made because those mistakes are made by your mind and its habits not your body. Just because you won’t get tired as easily or can move faster doesn’t mean you will suddenly become invincible. Moving fast is only useful if you are moving in the right direction because anticipation plays a big role in movement and that comes from experience or talent.
At the end of the game or match you will be less tired but possibly more frustrated. You can get to the ball without being tired but has anything really changed?
Now let’s look at me.
I’m in your body. I have all the limitations that means. However, my “squash brain” is mine and my shot selection and “courtcraft” will probably be enough to beat the “other” you.
What I am trying to get across is the idea that making the right choices outweigh pure physical ability.
If you played smarter squash you could improve in a big jump quite quickly. Playing smarter squash IS related to your fitness but it should be the change of your game that drives the fitness NOT the fitness hoping to change you game.