Summer training has seen a large volume of training take place meaning I have barely been able to do anything but crash out on the sofa after training so apologies for not writing a blog sooner. All this sofa time does have its advantages though such as watching endless good films ands TV series which include; Luther, Modern Family and Inglorious Basterds.
During the summer I have found myself training at Sportcity most days which will be familiar to some of you but to those of you who don't know it its the home of the England’s National Squash Centre. This is where I work with the English Institute of Sport (EIS) to improve my physical capabilities on court. This training varies from speed work to heavy weight training aiming to improve all areas of my on court ability. As well as working with the EIS I am able to hit with players at the centre and there are frequent squads at the venue, especially during the summer as everyone is around and trying to get fit and ready for the up and coming season.
Five weeks in and I had my first taste of competitive match play in the Berkhamsted Closed Satellite tournament last weekend. This is one in a series of tournaments around England aiming to provide young pros the chance of getting valuable ranking points without travelling thousands of miles to get them.
The tournament featured a draw of sixteen with several talented players, first up for myself was a local player called Josh Ryan, I managed to come through it 3.0 fairly comfortably but it was good test as I haven't played too many matches recently. Later on that day I was playing James Simpson a good player and always awkward to play as he is extremely tall. I went in with the game plan of trying to stretch out the court as much as possible to hopefully tire him out and force him into errors. I managed to win the match 3.1 winning the first two 11/6 before losing the third after getting a bad start, however, I managed to come out strong in the fourth and wrap things up.
The next day I played Arthur Gaskin in the semi finals a player formally ranked 80 in the world, sadly I went down in five but there were signs of the work I have been doing starting to pay off. Having two game balls in the first seemed to be a crucial point as I went on to lose the first before winning the next two. After the third game I struggled and lost the last two games fairly quickly, all credit must go to my opponent who dug in well to win and then just a few hours later went on to win another marathon in the final. Overall the weekend provided a nice taste of being back in competition but there is still a lot more work to be done and I am really looking forward to hitting the ground running this season and hopefully picking up some good results.
After my last blog I received a question from one of my readers asking , 'Where can I watch high level squash' the simple answer is psasquashtv which broadcasts all the main PSA tournaments from around the world live and in replays. It also enables you to watch all the matches from the last two years main events as well as some archive matches featuring some of the all time greats of squash, all for a very reasonable price which can be played per year, tournament or even match. So get watching.
Also if you want more regular updates for how my training is going and what I have coming up you can follow me on Twitter @nathanlake3.//