We have still have some great weeks of summer ahead but the start to squash season is now just six weeks away. Hopefully if you followed my last blog you started doing a few weights in July to build up your strength for the season. As I stressed in the prior blog, although strength is important it does not replace running, ghosting, and hitting lots of squash balls! In the end, the key to performance gains and injury resilience is playing lots of squash. If you spend too much time cross training you do not develop the specific muscles and movements required in squash. If you look at the pyramid below you will note the second building block to athletic resilience is load management.

Thanks to Adam Meakins for creating this visual. Most important at the bottom, least at the top.

Load management means to manage how much sport or exercise you are doing. If you are preparing for tournaments or hard five set matches you need to train at this level prior to performing. Strength is important but should not replace playing enough squash to meet the demands of your matches. So with this in mind how should you shift your training over the next 6 weeks to get you prepared for week one?

If you are training 4x per week and figure you will you continue to train at this frequency through the season you might consider this break down pre-season.

Week 1

1 game

1 practice / on court conditioning

2 strength sessions (see previous blog for examples)

Week 2

1 game

2 practice / on court conditioning

1 strength session

Week 3

2 games

1 practice

1 strength session

Week 4

2 games

1 practice

1 strength session

Week 5

3 games

1/2 Drill Session

1/2 Strength Session

Week 6 and beyond…

3 games

3/4 Drills Session

1/4 Strength – maintenance

Games: what has your coached asked you to focus on?

Practice: conditioning and skill skills. What are you working on: drops, ghosting, racket prep? Figure this out with your coach and get to work.

Strength and Strength Maintenance should include some or all of the following.

  1. Squat/deadlift
  2. Single leg exercise: step up or single leg deadlift
  3. Push
  4. Press
  5. Pull
  6. Rotation
  7. Hot spot training
  8. Plyometrics

Please refer to my prior post to review why this grouping of exercises are important.

As the season begins you may consider shifting all four sessions to squash type training and keep your strength by doing 1-3 exercises at the end of a session. This would something like this.

  1. On court drills 20 minutes
  2. Games 20 minutes
  3. 10 minutes strength: Deadlift, calf raise, shoulder press 2 sets 10 reps.


The Sun and Surf was a good point for me to shift my summer training. I shifted away from strength and speed sessions towards games and drills. As I prepare for the 2018 season I want to follow a plan like so that I go in the season not just fit but prepared to play matches. I am determined to improve my stroke and my technique but this bias often takes time away from playing matches! Figure out what is needed most in your game and create a plan for yourself. For most of us, this should mean a gradual shift away from technique and strength towards playing matches. Hopefully this blueprint is a good starting point and has you thinking about your game at a higher level. In the end have fun with it and see if you can start this season better than last!

Remember each of us needs a unique blend of games, conditioning, drills, and strength. Set goals and then work with a coach to finalize a plan that addresses deficits and enhances your strengths. We are running a pre-season bootcamp at the VRC and I am always happy to do one on one consulting for strength and injury reduction plans! Reach out.