6 thoughts on “Does success actually breed success ?”

  1. Did you mean adrenaline here, as opposed to testosterone? Testosterone doesn’t rise during sport/exercise – if anything, it will likely drop during intense activity.

    1. Hi

      Thanks for your query Paul.

      The research I did for this particular part of my blog was reading the work of neuroscientist John Coates, a former Wall Streer Trader and now professor at Cambridge University.

      He talks about testorterone instead of adrenaline. I agree with you that adrenalin must actually also be involved, as adrenaline is involved in the mammal “fight or flight” behavior.

      So maybe I will have to do another, more science based blog looking in more detail at all the hormones involved.


  2. Hi Andy – interesting article!

    I would definitely agree with the points you made – particularly that success can lead to success – but is not guaranteed and is dependent on numerous factors.

    Unlike team sports such as football where lower division and in some cases non-league clubs can beat Premier league clubs, squash is an individual 1-1 sport. As such, whilst I would love to aspire to higher levels, realistically I can only expect to improve to a particular standard.

    What might be more interesting is to look at why that is, as I am always looking to improve my squash performances against players whether it’s in friendlies, for my club or at Masters tournaments.

    Perhaps in addition to the factors of success, confidence, testosterone and cortisol that you mentioned, age, agility, fitness, hand-eye coordination, styles, array of shots (not an exhaustive list!), will all have an effect on the potential to improve individual’s game. In other words any player wishing to play at the top level would need to have the capacity to improve to that level.

    Starting points are also important. Thus a very fit, 6 foot 20 year old person with good hand-eye coordination has a significantly better capacity to improve then an older person with less flexibility and agility!

    I also believe that the target age to start playing a sport is another important factor. Having worked in schools, Year 4 children (ie. aged between 8-9 years old) are the best age group to target. By Year 6 (ie. top juniors and 10-11 years old) they have already identified themselves as what I would describe as ‘sporty’ or ‘non-sporty’ and it’s too late! ‘Sporty’ children already have too many other sporty activities and ‘non-sporty’ for a variety of reasons will not play any way!

    Perhaps, then, looking at how to measure any improvements would be more helpful to me. Indeed looking at what you’ve said about success becomes very helpful!!

    Improvement or success in terms of beating players I haven’t previously beaten might be one way. However, breaking down success and looking at taking a game more than I have previously and/or more points than I had previously is one way. Another, more difficult way is to recognise when I am playing well.

    So even if I lose a match, playing well might include:

    * am I hitting the ball as hard as I want to; is the ball going where I want it to go

    * am I able to work my way back into rallies and play shots I want to

    * am I making the right shot decision when I have got myself into the position to play a shot that I have practiced etc etc

    …. could be a comparable measure of improvement as well as beating opponents.

    1. Wow!

      Thanks for your in depth comments Paul. Maybe I will do a follow up Blog looking into what you said, it would definitely be interesting. Keep checking my website for new blogs!

      Also, don’t rule out the fact that one day you might suddenly have a huge improvement spurt and find yourself beating Ramy in the World Open Final! You’re not that old……….

  3. Ha ha … me and Ramy … am loving the thought!!

    Would indeed be good to see a follow up from you! Your perspective on squash is a resource of thought for squash players in general and, particularly those of us in the North West!

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