Pleasure to make your acquaintance!
I’m Mick Holmes, aka “Shmick Mick,” and welcome to my squash fitness blog.
If you don’t find what you’re looking for and/or you have a question, drop me a line here or you can email me directly:
Mick <at> SquashFitnessTips <dot> com
I’ll get back to you as soon as possible (usually within 24-48 hours).
I had my first handful of hits of squash at the age of 7 with my Dad. Then when I was 10 he built the local squash courts in the small country town where we lived – Scone, New South Wales, Australia.
Although the squash scene in the area was not strong, for the next 3 years I spent most afternoons at the squash courts after school practicing on my own or with anyone willing to have a hit.
I didn’t play in the competition until my third year, the end of which I had become part of the top half-dozen players in the club.
By the fourth year, at age 14, I became Club Champion when I beat my Dad in the final!
Then when I defeated the Australian #2 for my age group in a minor junior tournament, I was compelled to spend the next handful of years playing on the junior circuit, including in state teams and national tournaments.
Apart from a weekend here or there where I’d travel large distances to train with one person or a group of players, the majority of my squash learning curve was due to self-training and working things out for myself.
In this way, I realized 2 fundamental truths about improving at squash:
- Solo practice is what separates the good from the great squash players
- Training co-operatively with someone kicks butt over training competitively
Similarly, for squash fitness:
- You have to be motivated to do it on your own simply because that’s how it is in a match [Yes, fitness training together with others can push you, however, it should be in addition to your solo-training].
- You have to be attentive to how much your body can handle – cooperate with and listen to it so you can identify any weaknesses more clearly
This is where your squash fitness power will come from.
The key factor is a gentle combination of active relaxation for squash training recovery with functional strength movements & exercises that, for the most part, focus on spine extension.
I know this too well because I had a back problem that made it difficult to walk for about 7 months when I was 13…
Long Story, Short: I had a back problem for a long time even though I was super-fit.
I’ve spent time fixing it. Now I’m back, recovered; stronger & fitter than ever.
Out of desperation, I have been compelled to look for ways to get better. But I was and still am only interested in what actually works – what is practical and economical.
Specifically, in two ways:
1. To stay functionally strong
for the long-term
well into old-age
2. To move around the squash
court with strength, balance,
speed & endurance
If your body has a weakness in any particular spot – and it probably does – you will never be operating close to 100% because the body is one connected unit (not to state the obvious!).
What is not so obvious is that most problems originate from the spine, whether that means:
1. How the spine relates to the freedom of your hips
AND / OR
2. How the spine affects the neutral position of your head
In the words of ‘Iron’ Mike Tyson:
“I broke my back… (how do you mean?)… My back is broken… (You mean a vertebra?)… Spinal.“
There are varying degrees of ‘broken back syndrome,’ which is *maybe* what Mike Tyson was referring to in the ridiculously comical video above – but maybe not 🙂
The extreme covers the mean.
After 15 years of delving deep into this I can show you the process of how ‘broken back syndrome’ develops and persists — and how it affects something like squash fitness…
While you might not be feeling the extreme effects of a ‘broken back’, I guarantee your squash fitness is suffering from the same process: The build-up of chronic tension.
Your body has some degree of chronic tension,
affecting everything you do.
For example, the way you sit,
the way you walk,
the way you have sex,
the way you sleep,
how your mind works,
your ability to deal with
the way you react or
respond to your own
emotions and the
way you connect
with other people.
Chronic tension feeds off itself.
For this moment, it affects the
freedom you experience
on the squash court:
Both your fitness and technique.
It might just be as simple as having low energy where you don’t feel like you can do anything about getting fitter - as if driving with the handbrake on.
And it’s even worse if you’ve tried to maybe get fit before and either:
1. Your weren’t quite sure
what to do
2. You were given too many options and suffered
from information overload
Now that you’re here I can tell you it has become strikingly obvious to me:
Chronic tension and/or any unaddressed
injury/weakness in the body
compromises your balance, breathing,
body awareness and ability to play
to your full potential on court
(not to mention your full enjoyment &
satisfaction of the game).
And it’s what stops a player from persisting with his/her squash fitness with any meaningful results.Chronic tension – what 99% of people suffer from to some degree – is a process. It’s not a result. This means it can be reversed or rectified.
I’ve spent the last 15 years experimenting with different exercises and refining my approach.
Now at age 35, instead of feeling like I can’t do anything because of a weak or ‘broken back’ (like I used to), I feel like everything I do strengthens my spine and the rest of my body.
And it will only get better.
So I’m able to focus on getting & staying really fit — and it’s even fun!
Folly —> lack of good sense; foolishness [“an act of sheer folly”]
I see people who think they are squash-fit – or look fit – but aren’t either (even ‘experts’)
I see people who have muscle imbalances on court that restrict their movement & their ability to play shots with freedom
I see people wasting time on sub-par squash fitness exercises that, in the end, ‘miss the mark’
Of course, if you’ve been doing nothing then by just doing something you will probably feel some difference. But I see people who could explode their squash fitness like never before…
…just by investing a little bit of focused time & energy.
You could start to beat many players who, at the moment, have it over you.
I want to show as many squash
players as possible how they can
their squash fitness…
…in just 15 minutes a day.
Any time. Any place.
And you can do it by training the same squash fitness workout I follow myself.
You will feel the difference.
Other people will notice.
And they will even be fooled into thinking,
maybe to the point of commenting:
“You’re so naturally fit!”
I hope to hear your success story soon
Have fun & play your own game!
P.S. I no longer offer the Squash Core Foundation program by itself.
You can now get it for FREE though with the Proven 7-Week Squash Fitness Bootcamp program.