05 June 2010


 It's not right to run a squash blog and not to mention Thierry Lincou. So here we are now: Lincou is an amazing example how to acquire a global squash language (even touch and smoothness) through dedication, physical strength, concentration and discipline. Lincou has had to learn everything by himself as before him there were no real top squash players in France. I have seen playing in the flesh almost all of the top players, but none of them achieves the concentration level of Lincou. I can totally understand when Ramy Ashour says that by playing Lincou he feels like a rabbit next to a tiger. The first thing that is apparent are Lincou's eyes which are a mix of the predator's and the Zen Buddhist monk's. The second is his body language, it's smooth and steady at the same time. Look at the way he keeps his left arm and hand whilst hitting backhand with the right arm; the non-hitting arm is not just hanging there in vain, but like many other top players do (not all of them, for example Karim Darwish a lot less), he counter-balances with the non-hitting arm, and on the top of it, he bends his wrist and spreads his fingers extremely. The only other player to spread the fingers so noticeably is James Willstrop. I know this might only seem to be a detail, but it can be these kind of details that make the difference between the top20 and the top5 players. In Lincou's case, the spread fingers are part of a fully concentrated and disciplined body, which behaves always in the same way, so that even if he has to improvise on the court, he knows that the body is set-up in the right position to allow him to execute the right shot in all situations, because we all know that in squash you are not hitting with your arm, but with your whole body. You transfer the momentum of your legs and hip to your hitting arm, but at the same time the body has to act as balancing/braking tool too, and this is the point where the non-hitting arm plays an important role.