08 February 2011


Let's talk less technique this time and bit more psychology; anyway, squash is full of psychological aspects as the two players are basically closed within a 'small cube' in which they are constantly very near to each other physically and  also because of the very high degree of deception that one has to employ to win points. In the below sample, we have young Ramy Ashour playing furious 'mad max' Anthony Ricketts in early 2007. Ricketts is obviously frustrated with both Ashour's shot-making and retrieving. At certain moments, he expresses his frustration in some really strange manner, like for example that half kick-half flick in the air at 0:15. He is rude with the referee who misses the score and spreads some nasty look towards Ashour, without really looking into his eyes. And what does Ashour do at this point? Nonchalantly asks the referee if he's sure that the score is not the other one? I think this reply is just part of Ashour's natural genius; when someone tries to intimidate you orally or with any type of meta-communication on the court, the worst you can do is to try to counter it in a similar manner. It won't work as it was the other guy who started that 'game' and he will feel that he managed to pull you into his trap. The other wrong solution would be to express your disgust with any type of 'educational' comments - again, he would feel like he managed to derail your concentration and to get under your skin at some degree. A better solution could be just being quiet, make it look as if you wouldn't even perceive his behaviour. But this is risky as you very probably have some thoughts about what he is doing, and repressing them might be counter-productive. So the best solution seams to me the one that Ramy employed: humour and sarcasm; "you are upset, dude, no problem, I still enjoy the game, well I even enjoy that you waste your energy with upsetting yourself more and more, so if you like it, just go on...".