October 3, 2008
The more teaching and research I do the more I am convinced that printed books are going the way of the Dodo bird. More and more in my Introduction to Exercise & Sport Studies class at Smith College I am using YouTube videos, podcasts and links to websites as first exposure to sport science topics such as biomechanics, physiology and sport psychology. We then follow this up by directing students to more scholarly work using the SportDiscus database for which there is no charge at Smith College. We are lucky enough to be the only Liberal Arts College in the U.S.A. with both a Graduate Program in Exercise & Sport Studies (ESS) and a Minor at the undergraduate level. As an aside, we have graduated seven women with M.Sc.’s who have trained with me as assistant coaches in our varsity team program in the last 15 years. Read the rest of this entry »
August 30, 2008
In general, the principles of sport psychology apply to all sports. However, in the same way that a squash-specific physical training program (e.g., lunges, twisting core exercises, med ball side throws) will improve your athletes more than a general one (e.g., squats, bench press, biceps curl), a program designed specifically to meet the needs of squash is better than a general one.
Although there are a quite a few books on mental training for tennis, I know of none for squash. Having designed psychology programs for world champions in both tennis and squash I can say that there are important differences. Due to the lack of published resources for squash we need to rely on knowledge from three areas to guide our interventions.
Examples of subjective and professional practice experience can be found in squash books published by top players in the 1970’s and 1980’s heyday of squash.
Another example of using professional practice knowledge involves summarizing the opinions of knowledgeable coaches. I asked national squash coaches from around the world attending the 2007 WSF Coaching Conference in Calgary the question: “What is the most important thing you know about mental training for squash”. Their answers are contained in this document: wsf-coaches-answer-the-question-1. Read the rest of this entry »