Wednesday, May 6, 2020

How Squash Is Going To Change And More

Another week of social distancing and waiting patiently for squash to get going again. I'm still managing to keep busy trying to prepare for next season and also doing some fun Serious Squash stuff. I thought for this week I would share what I've been up to and finish off by talking about how important it will be to ease back into squash and what exactly that might look like once we get the green light.

Earlier this week I ordered a small batch of Canadian themed Serious Squash tees. I ordered 3 colours and just 40 in total. I thought it was fitting to do a Canadian version since I'm now back in Canada.


The New Serious Squash Tees

Since I got back to London it's been quite cold. We've had lots of snow and I've only left the house about 4 times in the past 6 weeks. On Sunday we finally got a nice day, the sun was out and it was around 20 degrees. I wasn't sure what exactly I was going to do with my racquet, but I brought it and a squash ball with me. It resulted in the following collaboration of skill challenges and fun trick shots.

Sunday Fun Day With A Squash Racquet + Ball

What else have I been up to this past week? I filmed home workout #3 and it was a doozy. It was a lot tougher than I had anticipated. If you want a challenging squash specific workout you can find the video below. After the warmup the circuit consisted of lunging forwards and backwards 2x per leg and then 6 squats. I did these with weights and for 13 sets. I started each new set on the minute so its a 13 minute workout and the rest time was usually only about 20 seconds. This coming Friday I have another challenging circuit planned. If you want to join along live check out @LondonSquash on Instagram. You can also find the workouts posted at a later date on the Serious Squash Youtube channel. If you don't have any kettlebells at home I highly recommend picking some up! 

Squash Specific Home Workout #3

Next Monday is episode 52 of Squash Shots makes it 1 year of publishing weekly coaching videos on Patreon. I've learned a lot from filming them and I'm starting to get better at editing video and filming. Here is episode 51 which was on tracking hard movements. Hopefully we can get back into the squash courts soon so I can begin filming some new on court footage. 

Squash Shots Episode 51: Tracking Hard Movements

I've had quite a few meetings over the past week. I've had meetings about the Nash Cup (a pro tournament here in London), Squash Ontario junior committee and a few club board meetings. I'm not as busy as I will be when I actually start work again, but I do have lots on the go plus I'm trying to get in at least 5 workouts per week. Last week I started up a monthly newsletter at my club and the first edition was sent out on May 1st. There were surprisingly a lot of updates for a closed club. 

I have a feeling we are all underestimating how difficult it's going to be to get back into a hard match. Even if you are exercising at home and staying active a hard match is much more explosive and tougher on the body than anything we are currently doing. This means we will all be susceptible to injury when we first get back. This is why I believe it's super important to ease our way back into squash when are allowed to do so. This means that we should build our way up to matches by doing some simple set drills and eventually progressing to rotating drives and length games. Solo hitting and ghosting will be really effective too and of course we will benefit from actually warming up and cooling down properly. I also recommend spreading out our first few sessions. 

When I was younger I had a rule that for how long I had taken off squash (say 1 month) it would take 2x that amount of time to get back to where I was. Now that I'm getting older this rule could be even a little longer. Seeing that it's going to be at a minimum 2 months, more likely 3 or 4, give yourself at least double that amount of time to get back to where you last were. 

A number of years ago I went on a trip to Asia for 5 weeks and I remember when I came back and went on court my hand hurt. Five weeks was all it took for my calluses to almost completely disappear. Now I should be in better shape because I'm regularly using kettlebells which are helping me maintain my calluses. 

Lastly, I thought it would be interesting to discuss some of the ways squash will change. I'm on a subcommittee at my club on how to safely reopen and play squash again. I read an article on tennis and they had some ideas that I will transfer to our squash club. There are a number of areas which we will have to consider. One idea the tennis article discussed was having different sets of balls for each player so they never have to touch the same ball. In squash this is something we will have to do as well, but it will be more difficult because our ball has to stay warm and not every ball bounces the same. I believe this will be a protocol though. Another difficult area to overcome will be not touching the walls. I often wiped my hand on the sidewall as part of a focusing routine and to keep my hand dry. When we get back to competition we won't be allowed to do this (or we shouldn't be allowed). 

Another tough question is wow do you open and close the court doors? Will we have a glove in our pocket we put on? Will there be a way to use a foot pedal of some sort to open it? Will just 1 person her be able to open the door and it must be sanitized after each use? Will we be forced to wear masks, or what I hear they've been working on for hockey is a full face shield (see image below). Maybe this is something the iMask can adopt and extend further over ones face. I can't imagine playing squash with a paper mask or even a cloth mask covering my mouth. 

The Bauer Hockey Full Face Shield To Protect Against The Spread Of Covid-19

Another major area of concern is how close we are to our opponent in squash. In tennis it is easier to socially distance. In squash we often get close to them. This could mean that you are only allowed to play with a partner you are quarantined with or perhaps 2 people who have already had Covid-19. Maybe we will have to stick to crosscourt games and short versus deep so we can stay as far away from one another as possible. Maybe we will have to start off just with solo hitting? There's lots to consider here about how to safely reopen and get back on court. 

How group programs, leagues and tournaments are going to operate is whole other discussion and I certainly don't have all of the information yet. So let's wrap things up for this week. If you'd like to preorder a Serious Squash tee you can do so at SeriousSquashShop.com They are expected to be in stock within the next 3 weeks and I will be shipping them out shortly after. 

Other Serious Squash links:
Instagram @SeriousSquash

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