5 Basic Mental Skills of Successful Squash Players
What makes a squash player successful on the court? Sure, they need to be physically fit and have the skill set that will defeat opponents. They also need to be strong and prepared mentally, though. Successful squash players possess all five of the following mental skills.
It’s very easy to tense up throughout a squash match. After all, you’re typically the sole reason behind either a win or a loss, so there is a lot of pressure on you to perform. And unless that kind of pressure is what you need to reach your goals, it’s not a healthy way to go about things.
At the end of the day, don’t forget what squash is at its core – a game that’s supposed to be fun. You’ve done all the necessary preparations to be ready for the tournament or match that you’re participating in, so trust the process, relax, and have a little fun.
With that aforementioned pressure, some negative self-talk could also be in tow. It’s hard to realize sometimes, but there is a lot of power in your thoughts and words. How you talk to yourself during a match can have an incredibly large impact on how the results actually turn out.
Staying positive also allows you to remain in the moment more often – if you’re thinking about the 10 million different things that could go wrong at any given time, it’s very hard to stay present.
You’ve gotten yourself to relax and be nice to yourself with your own thoughts, so the next step is obviously to commit yourself to taking those actions.
Way too many times, we hear of people talking a big game and not actually following through on it. Use what you’ve already learned and the specific, measurable goals you’ve made for yourself to activate everything you have coming. Squash is a physical sport, but it’s also a very mental sport – whatever you want to achieve has to happen physically, but it must happen in the mind first.
Speaking of the devil, visualizing every stage of your success is a critical piece of success. Some of the best professional athletes in the world have mentioned how visualization aided them in reaching the levels they ultimately achieved.
Before any tournament or match, take a few minutes of your preparation to sit down, close your eyes and visualize every point you’ll be playing on the court. See yourself having success in any different kind of situation. That’ll build confidence once that situation actually presents itself in real life.
A lot of these skills are intertwined with one another. The relaxing, positive self-talk, activation, and visualization helps you stay in the moment to concentrate on the task at hand. Don’t worry about the point that just happened – you can’t do anything about it now. And don’t worry about the point that’ll happen in the future – you can’t do anything about it yet.
All you have is the point that you’re currently playing, and concentrating on it will help change whatever that future situation may be even more in your favor.
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