Every activity, be it occupation, sport or hobby has two important elements. Firstly a body of knowledge, theory if you like and practices, the actions you need to do.
You can undertake any of the above but, let us assume you decided to be a doctor. You must study the theory and then undertake an internship to learn the practical aspects of the profession. I doubt many people would be keen to have a doctor without formal training.
Let’s take your choice of sport, in this case squash. You can hire a racquet, buy a ball and pay for a court. Then you can go on court and play with a friend who is equally inexperienced. You have fun and get a great workout. Of course you can’t hit the ball properly, get exhausted doing much unnecessary running and wonder why it is so hard.
Then you watch a couple of experienced players and marvel at the way they hit the ball and the relaxed way they move. They make it look so easy. What is the difference?
Obviously they have had instruction in the mechanics of the game, the way the rules operate and they have an understanding of the angles the ball moves through. In short, they have been coached.
What does coaching provide?
- instruction in how to hold the racquet
- guidance in the mechanics of the swing
- body positioning for strokeplay
- weight transference for power
- strategic understanding of how points are constructed.
The list goes on and on. Essentially coaching provides understanding of both the theory of the game and the practical aspects of playing.
It is impossible to master any knowledge or ability without learning and education. Coaching provides just that.
You may say “Why go to the expense?” It depends on what level of pleasure you want from the activity. It is a well known fact that the more expertise you acquire the greater your ability and, subsequently, the greater engagement and pleasure you receive.
You will always come across better players and lose matches but, if you really play well the pleasure of the contest is really fulfilling and each match, win or lose, becomes a learning experience.
The best investment you can make is in yourself and your ability. Give coaching a try if you haven’t yet. You will find it very worthwhile.
After all, aren’t games for enjoyment and enrichment of life?
Yours in squash excellence,
PS Please feel free to comment, agree or disagree. All response is welcome. When you communicate about any subject someone learns and knowledge is no burden to bear.