Choose to avoid injury ?

Phillip Marlowe looks at the choices we make in training and playing, and most importantly knowing when to stop …


In every moment of every day we face choices, says Phillip Marlowe.

Those choices help define us. The consequences of those choices can be the difference between success and failure. This article is about training and most importantly knowing when to stop training.

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

7 thoughts on “Choose to avoid injury ?”

  1. Train before exhaustion is for me crutial. Many times I have trained to much, which weaken may body. In that state you are more prone to infury and infection (flue or catch a cold).

  2. When I was younger (54 now) I could eat up hard sessions and still come back for more. The nutritional side of my sporting efforts was probably not the best as it wasn’t as well researched as it is nowadays. My body always talked to me and I, more often than not, listened. I did stretch and do mobility exercises …but coming back to the topic of age … when you’re young you can do more and you get away with more …now that squash has become so much more explosive and dynamic in it’s movement and speed, it seems that even younger bodies need to engage in all facets of the game ….with the experience of age one thing becomes apparent… sometimes less is more …and this applies to any age depending on how much you want or need to demand from your body. The subject of energy management is very interesting and looking at squash players either in a club environment or on tour, there does seem to be a correlation between physical and mental stress, whether self-inflicted or external and sporting performance. I think avoiding injury is a multi-faceted subject but in essence I agree with your statement that young players could benefit from one important lesson …listen to your body and maybe your mind as well (demeanour). I would be interested to hear a qualified statement as to how we can listen, apart from the normal more upfront messages like muscle tissue hardening or slight cramps etc…. Great subject …..

    1. Gary, I completely agree that injury prevention needs a multi-faceted approach. Your phrase “Less is more” should probably have been the title of my article!

      The point I am trying to make is that from all the different facts; nutrition, workload, technique etc, knowing when to not train is the most difficult to accurately define and teach.

      Listening to your body is key but understanding what it is telling you is so hard. Is it complaining because of the hard work or is it warning to ease up?

      If I stopped training every time my body spoke to me I’d be gossiping with it all day.

    1. That’s the whole point of my article! The question is how to interpret the signals your body sends you. It’s not a simple Black and White case.

      The key is to learn what each signal means. Knowing that undertraining is better than overtraining is ideal. But how can you honestly tell?

      Each time I have overtrained I thought I had slightly undertrained as I felt I could have done more.

  3. Good subject and article. I have pulled muscles when “training” if you can call my occasional attempts at running and weight-lifting training, because those muscles are so underdeveloped. I now say that if I get hurt it’s going to be on the squash court or tennis court.

  4. A sportsman or sportswoman in the game of squash should imho, seek out a sports therapist, osteopath, Dr of functional medicine, a nutitionist and a sports psychiatrist if they are wanting to get to the top of their game. As with the game of squash it demands all facets of fitness, and in depth knowledge of the body, no squash player will have this knowledge as they would be a genius lol.

    To run the body like a formula 1 motor car without having a decent team of professionals behind the player, will mean a lot of guess work by the player, which invariably means overtraining syndrome or undertraining sydrome.

    The F1 motor car after every test run and race needs, stripping down and re-building, the driver needs also rest and relaxation, re-conditioning of the mind and body, to take on the next race/game.

    This comes with years of practice from a young age through to adulthood, to learn about yourself, in the s.w.o.t principle and risk assessing yourself by experience and also by the team aiding and guiding the player’s career in the game.

    So to make what I’m saying easier, the player must gain good knowledge about his/herself and work with people to guide the development of their sporting career.

    Listening to the bodies early warning feedback information is ‘crucial’ to having longevity in the game, with minimal injuries over the years.

    As injury free for 20 to 30 years from junior to senior is impossible in the game of squash.

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