Squash Coach Mike Johnson on the Psychology of Squash

I was lucky enough to work alongside Mike Johnson during Princeton Squash Camp’s Junior Elite weeks earlier this summer at the start of June.  Mike has a very simple approach to the game of squash, including the mental side.  As part of the camp’s Sunday evening program, I work with the lead coach of the camp to give a 45-minute workshop/lecture on the Psychological Aspects of Squash.  I have been doing this since 1987  (so about 5,500 junior camper-units – although there are some repeats in there:), and usually we help the campers analyze and compare their best and worst squash performances.

Mike has coached many of the world’s to players, including several #1’s and World Champions such as Sarah Fitzgerald, Rodney Martin and Rodney Eyles.  We were fortunate to be able to catch Mike on video presenting to the kids, the result of which is posted below.  We asked Mike two simple questions: 1) What are the top three psychological or mental attributes of world class squash players; and 2) What are the top three reasons that squash layers underperform – i.e., do not perform to the best of their ability in tournament play.  This is a great opportunity to learn from an experienced squash coach, and it is interviews like this which have displaced lab-like experiments in the mainstream sport psychology research literature.

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