Thursday, November 22, 2018

Squash Decision-Making Training Research Paper

If you follow the Serious Squash posts closely you'll know I just published a children's book last week. Five years ago I wrote a much different type of document as part of my master's degree and if you are reading this and find it interesting you are also very serious about your squash. My final comprehensive project was a lot of work and took many months to edit. My masters degree was in the education field with a specialization in Coaching Studies.

It was quite difficult finding research on squash and I had to transfer some research from other racquet sports. I even emailed back and forth with Roger Flynn who is the only person I could find that has published any literature on decision-making for squash. The title of my project is a mouthful and then some; Advanced Decision-Making Training From the Amber Zone of the Squash Court: A Guide for Coaching Professional Squash Players (cover page below).

My paper is 98 paper in length. The chapters literature I review includes: the nature and demands of squash, motor learning, information processing, reaction time, anticipation, time pressure, postural cues, situational and strategic shot selection, decision-making and optimal practice structuring (as seen below). I also have a method section which includes a proposed shot notation analysis for an app that could provide real time feedback for players plus a section on decision-making drills and progressions. 

Considering how much work I put into my paper and how few research papers are out there on squash, and in particular in the decision-making area I've decided to make electronic copies available for purchase at

Beginning of the Introduction

Thursday, November 15, 2018

My 1st Children's Book, Song & Music Video - Mr. Rooster

Today is going to be a 1 off where squash does not come up and have anything to do with the post. Over the past year and a half I've started playing guitar and writing songs. I recently wrote a children's song called Mr. Rooster and I hired a company do an animated music video for it which I directed. I also had someone help me design a book based on the song. Here is a look at the books cover page.

The song is about a boy who is woken up early in the morning by Mr. Rooster and he goes around the farm as a detective to find out which animal was responsible for waking him up. He encounters many animals along his journey. This is a video and book for young kids/toddlers. So if you have 1 or know someone who does feel free to share the video and purchase a copy of the book.

Here's a link to the music video on Youtube:

The book is available for purchase on Amazon in print and kindle here:

I'll be back with plenty of more squash posts soon!

Sunday, November 4, 2018

Footwork: Playing Open Stance

When I was a child I was told to always hit off my front leg. I hated doing this from the front right as I wasn't very strong or comfortable hitting off my left leg moving forwards. Eventually with enough practice I got comfortable playing off of both legs from everywhere on the court. In the middle of a match you shouldn't be focusing on which foot you're playing off of, but in a controlled practice setting you should intentionally practice hitting off of both legs from either side of the court. Obviously there are certain shots and specific areas which will require more open stance shots.

The problem most people have playing open stance is the they are unable to maintain their balance and get any power on their shot. If you are under a lot of pressure moving backwards and playing off your back leg you have to focus on opening the racquet face and lifting the ball. If you try and drive the ball when you're weight is shifted solely on your back foot you will have trouble with your accuracy. On the other hand if you are in a strong posture you should still be able to drive the ball with a decent amount of pace off of your back leg.

I've seen than video clip of Greg Gaultier ghosting to all areas of the court on 1 leg and then again with the other leg. He knows at that level he must be entirely comfortable playing off either leg from anywhere on the court. I've been guilty of using my dominant leg too much and during the course of a hard match or tournament and an entire season it begins to break down and fatigue and it can lead to issues either chronic or acute injuries in your hips, knees and back.

In a lot of my lessons I start off by warming up the pupil with intentionally having them play drives off of both legs to ensure they slowly but surely get more comfortable playing off of either leg on both sides. Here's a rally from last week where I played every shot open stance. And the next time you watch a PSA match look how often they do this. It might surprise you.

If you want to improve your court movement check out The Advanced Secrets Of Solo Hitting (and Movement). It's available for just $5 and comes with a no questions asked money back guarantee. Also try and do some solo hitting off of both legs on each side so you become more comfortable with the transfer of energy/timing of these swings. If you want to check out the instructional film you can find it here:

Here's the trailer for the solo hitting and footwork combo Serious Squash film