45 seconds to convince

Phillip Marlowe with some tips on what to say to players between games …

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Phillip Marlowe with some tips on what to say to players between games …

Author: Phillip Marlowe

Having started playing squash in my late teens, it was clear that I was never going to reach the heights of my dreams. I did, however, claim the Guinness World Squash Endurance Record of 122 Hours and 44 Minutes. After that Squash became my life. Phillip's full profile

4 thoughts on “45 seconds to convince”

  1. Hi Phillip,

    A good question – and I would also be very interested to hear what other colleagues say!

    One strategy we always try to employ on team squash nights – which in many ways doesn’t imply saying anything at all is to go down between games to show the player that we are there showing morale support.

    Depending on who we are playing will depend on who takes on the role of ‘coach’. Thus someone who has previously beaten that particular opponent might be the better person to try to inspire our team mate!

    As you say, to concentrate on one or maximum two specific items is probably all one can take in – and those points usually take the form of getting the serve back by hitting a good return length and/or noticing possible weaknesses in the opponent such as not being able to turn quickly, retrieve drops and/or from the back hand corner etc.

    In addition there are several players I prefer to listen to who play on my team and I prefer to listen to them (whatever they have to tell me – which, in my own case, is usually about hitting a better length on return of serve) than anyone else!

    Regards,

    Paul

  2. Paul,

    It’s true that “who” is there is as important as “what” they say and the point about simply providing encouragement is well made. Sometimes we just need a “kick up the bum” to keep us going.

    It’s true also that it’s nice to have somebody who has beaten the other player and their advice seems to take on a special meaning.

    While we are talking, how do you feel about the idea that squash allows coaches to talk with players between games, whereas tennis for example, doesn’t?

    I am actually of the opinion that there should be no interaction with anybody during matches.

    1. Hmmm … interesting about whether coaching between games should be allowed or not!

      It has helped me for sure … particularly the ‘kick up the backside – we’re all behind you – we need these points – no going for silly shots’ attitude is very helpful!!

      Whether that provides an unfair advantage when playing for our team – I personally don’t think so – as I see and am quite happy for other opponents being coached.

      However, that’s may be because I have been having coaching for the first time ever over the past couple of years and have my own game plans in my mind – and it’s about me preforming well as much as winning games these days!

      I have entered all the masters tournaments over the past couple of years and whilst some extra words of encouragement are helpful from friends who also enter the same tournaments in different age categories – on an individual level I don’t think it provides an unfair advantage either!

  3. The phrase “unfair advantage” is key here. It certainly provides an advantage over not getting coached in between games and it would only be unfair if one person was allowed and the other not – for example, you can only receive coaching if you lost the game.

    Squash is one of the few racket sports that allow it – think tennis (except Davis Cup) or badminton.

    Personally, I feel that it should disallowed, but only because I want to feel more like a gladiator and any success is purely down to me.

    That said, I’m not on a crusade to remove it, we have much more important things to talk about in squash.

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