Watching professional players move around and hit the ball on court – that is, exposing your squash mind to greatness – is key to training your mental fitness.
You can see loads of videos on YouTube of major squash tournament matches, from very recently all the way back to the 1980’s – simple as that.
Anything from seeing full matches, best rallies, compilation of dummy-spits, bad refereeing decisions, and more is available.
Living in a remote area as a youngster, I would have given anything to have had the same access to footage everyone has now.
Watching The Wimbledon Of Squash
In my teens when I was playing on the junior circuit in Australia, every year I’d stay up through the night to watch Wimbledon.
However, it was bittersweet.
Because I had played tennis for a couple of years starting when I was 11, the actual tennis did interest me but the whole time I was left wondering why the British Squash Open (or any squash for that matter) wasn’t shown on TV in the same way.
The British Open was never televised, or any squash really.
The only squash video I could access at any time was a Jahangir Khan VHS tape which my Dad bought. It showed him training on and off the court. I watched it I don’t know how many times.
And it definitely helped.
Without me being able to verbalize the process at the time, by watching Jahangir Khan do his thing, I was training my mental fitness:
I imagined myself replicating the way Jahangir Khan played certain shots, and the way he went about training infiltrated itself in my own on-court training.
I saw massive improvement as a result.
Now, though, not only do we have sites like YouTube where people upload copies of recorded matches already played, we have the gift of watching the highest level of squash in real time.
Watching Major Tournaments Live Has That Something Extra…
There’s something about watching a squash match in the British Open, the World Open or any other major tournament, while it is being played, where you don’t know the result.
If you’re a squash player & fan, there’s an extra feeling of butterflies in the stomach as you watch, similar to when you’re playing a match yourself.
And there’s value in that to help you imagine yourself playing a particular shot with precision, or moving around the court like a leaping gazelle, or employing match-tactics that let you control the center “T”.
Nick Matthew, former World #1 and 3-times British Open champion has described how he used to go and watch the British Open in person when he was younger.
It allowed him to imagine himself playing on the big stage. He was there physically and felt the energy of the environment. That feeling would have been with him whenever he was on the squash court training or competing.
And this led to him literally replicating what had been planted into his sub-conscious mind years ago as a youngster.
Training Mental Fitness Is Cheap As Chips
Now, whether you want to play on the big stage or if you just want to improve a particular part of your game, watching live matches between professional players is priceless.
Actually, at PSASquashTV.com it’s not priceless – but it is ridiculously cheap!
You can access the biggest tournaments played by the best players.
When I was playing as a teenager I had no access to professional matches – at best, I would hear about a result some time after it actually happened.
I still remember looking in the sports section of the Sydney Morning Herald newspaper, only once in a while finding any squash results.
And when I did, it was exactly that – strictly results, scores. There was never any article or description about how the matches went down.
Today, we can watch the big tournaments live with crystal clear footage, which effortlessly trains mental fitness.
In the next & last post in the series on Mental Fitness we’ll explore how to apply all of this onto the court and, more importantly, why most people fall short.
Have fun & play your own game!