This is our third year hosting The T Winter Silver Junior Tournament, a US Squash tournament open to junior players from the region and United States. If your junior squash player is interested in signing up, click here to go to the US Squash website and register. The early registration deadline is January 20, 2017.
Apart from physical conditioning there is an aspect of sport that is almost completely overlooked – the mind. When an athlete is physically conditioned he may perform well but he is performing well with little awareness. An athlete that is mentally conditioned performs with much more awareness, hence I value this aspect of sport so much. Just like an athlete needs physical conditioning for better performance, mental conditioning helps athletes stay in the present moment, and rise up to challenges ahead of them.
When a player is on court for a match there are so many thoughts going through their head. There are also very real emotions such as stress, anxiety, aggression, happiness, excitement etc. Negative thinking can impact sport performance drastically, and causes athletes to play below their potential. Positive thinking too can, at times, be detrimental, as the mind takes the athlete in a futuristic scenario which doesn’t yet exist, away from the present moment.
When an athlete is mentally conditioned, he or she can choose their thoughts consciously and identify trends and patterns in the mind. They learn to intuitively sense and watch negative thoughts entering their head, and learn to discard them away as they realize negative thinking is clearly blocking them from their desired goal. What does negative thinking really do? It happens unconsciously, but we can choose. So why not choose your thoughts?!! Choose thoughts that will help you reach your goal and discard the rest!
Mental conditioning teaches us through experience that thoughts are not just thoughts, they are so real! Today science is catching up with ancient traditions in Hinduism, Buddhism, and the original teachings of Christianity and coming up with the same conclusion. Neuroplasticity realizes the plastic/flexible nature of the brain and proves the brain can constantly reshape its very own nature in a relatively short period of time.
With mental conditioning for a sustained period of time, athletes can easily overcome their ‘worst mental habits’ and use their mind to succeed both on and off the court.
So how is the mind conditioned? – Through meditation, visualization, affirmations, identifying our thoughts, studying our very own mind – how fascinating!! It’s essentially studying our self – now what can be more important than you?
I come to the T Squash Academy from the East Coast, where squash has already developed to a great extent. At Chelsea Piers, I worked and trained some of the best junior athletes in the country under the guidance of former world number 1 Natalie Grainger. The facility at Chelsea Piers is unarguably the best squash facility in the United States with 11 glass back courts. Being part of the team there and running events was a fantastic experience that is hard to describe.
The squash culture in the East Coast is very much about squash physical conditioning which is highly essential in becoming a top athlete in the game. Players start squash at a young age in a thriving & competitive environment and dream of playing squash for a good college from a very young age. There is a harmony in the desires of the athletes and delivery of the squash programs offered by some of the best players in the sport.
The T Squash Academy offers something extremely unique. It focuses on intangible values that are essentially bigger than sport itself which can clearly be observed when we look at the core values of the academy – kindness, respect, and grit. The T uses Squash as a vessel to display soulful virtues. Respecting your opponent, being an honest person, being compassionate to others when they lose, learning from losses are taught to athletes at the T from a young age. The T aims at developing human beings first, athletes second. Its mission is clear, distinguishing it from all other Squash programs in the country.
It’s not winning that matters, it’s how you play the game!
Is your junior squash player wanting to improve skills and have fun during winter break? Does your child want to learn how to play squash in a fun and friendly environment? Join our T coaches for our Winter Squash Camps. Open to children of all ages and abilities. Members and non-members are welcome. Bring a friend!
Dec. 19-20 from 9:00 AM – 3:00 PM
Dec. 28–30 from 9:00 AM – 3:00 PM
To register, email Coach Jon or call 513-889-9791