Over the weekend, I participated in the Equinox Irvine Squash tournament. It’s one of the two SoCal tournaments with the other being the San Diego Squash tournament. In the previous tournament entry, I washed out of the consolation round relatively quickly. At that time, I lost the first match putting me into the consolation, won the second match in the consolation bracket but lost the third match in the bracket. I had played horribly as well. My serves were not effective. None of my rails were effective. None of the shots were effective as well. And having come back from a vacation, I also was not relatively fit.
This time around, I won the first match, lost the second and lost the third. My serves were better overall, my shot selection was much better than last year and my fitness was improved but still not as good as I need to be to. In the two matches I lost, I made too many unforced errors giving the opponent free points. In one match and over the span of two games which I lost 11-8, 11-9, I made about 7 unforced errors. That’s 7 free points that I just gave to the opponent. For that match each of the games were very close and very competitive and it came down to the player who makes the least errors in all 5 games.
In another match, I made at least two critical mental lapses resulting in giving the opponent 2 free points. As the referee told me before I left, he honestly though that I lost the game as opposed to the opponent winning the game. Although I didn’t make as many errors in the match, I started to get tired and winded. My form started to break down during certain points of each game affecting both the placement and execution of the shot.
The biggest take away from this weekend might be that improving my fitness should lead to fewer mistakes due to fatigue.
This past weekend San Diego Squash hosted a Squash tournament.
The Men’s 3.5 was divided into two groups: a group of three and a group of four. I happened to be in the group of four that needed to play three Best-of-Five matches (two on Sat, one on Sun) with a potential fourth match depending on how well I do against the opponents. Fortunately I did pretty well and won against all three opponents. It should be noted that two of the opponents were junior’s. Their games were pretty straight forward and was easy to either overpower or deceive to win the match.
Unfortunately though, the game on Sun started at 11:15am and ended around 11:40am. And the Final game started at 12:30pm.
Going into the finals, there would be a number of different factors that would undoubtedly affect my performance…
- I was already tired from the 1st game and having less than 1 hour to recover was not enough time. I drank some chocolate milk for quicker recovery but that milk didn’t seem to do much.
- I tried to stay loose by continuing massaging my leg muscles. But the right leg effectively cramped up during the match limiting my mobility.
- I was also sick and/or recovering from some weird flu I got earlier in the week. I didn’t get the full blown flu symptoms but I got like 20% of the symptoms… a little cough, a little runny nose, a little fever, etc… Warming on Sat, I was out of breath just hitting. So I knew my fitness would be impaired. The lack of fitness is what probably did me in.
In the finals, I figured, I can probably go full speed for about 4 games. I had to take and put pressure on the opponent before my fitness broke down. Sadly, I couldn’t last long enough to finish the game. If I didn’t have to play that first game on Sun, I think I probably might have won. I would at least not have been tired to start with.
Overall, I think I did pretty well. I was a bit disappointed that I got sick which affected my fitness. My mobility was fine until the finals which I attribute to fatigue. My service game was pretty good. My drop game suffered in the finals as well probably also to fatigue. I know I made some bad decisions in the finals. The fatigue affected my form. I think I was over-hitting and over-exerting on my swing. My right upper arm muscle (deltoids?) are extremely tight and sore since Sat night. I usually experience this when I try to force a swing in order to smash the ball.
I have to figure out some way to quickly recover in the future. I guess not all chocolate milks are equal. I should have spent the time to go to Whole Foods to buy the Metro Cocoa Milk instead of the Horizon Chocolate Milk that I bought at Starbucks that morning.
Washington Post has this new article about Squash.
Read it here.