Issue 4 – June 2013
In this newsletter, you can find out how the HKFC International PSA25 and the International 3’s tournaments unfolded at the Hong Kong Football Club, and learn from Mike Hall how a slow approach can benefit your squash – yes, slow!
Another great week of international squash at the Hong Kong Football Club
In Praise of Slow Squash by Mike Hall
In my mid-thirties I decided that there must be a better way to train for squash. I embarked on a journey to thankfully discover that a game I loved and wished to play for the rest of my life did not have to leave me a cripple later in life.
In the mid 1990’s a coaching client aged 72 suggested from nowhere that I should look into the eastern form of exercise known as Chi Kung (Energy Work).
To my surprise, this soft gentle form of exercise actually makes you stronger and more supple. Blood flows to the limbs and circulation improves. I discovered that gentle postures were great for troubled knees, as vital nutrients can be delivered to the cartilage without the excessive force of many traditional forms of exercise.
In addition, huge benefits were brought to the spine by consciously thinking about and working through a sequence of postures refined over centuries for their health benefits. I also found that I was now able to ‘rotate’ the lower vertebrae in my spine, which is of great benefit when having to twist and rotate in squash. Conventional exercise does not allow this to happen. Now in my 50’s, I actually feel much healthier than I did in my 30’s.
Members at my local club still believe that playing squash will help them to lose weight, when in fact the opposite is true. At the end of a hard game of squash the body is full of adrenaline and cortisol. If these ‘fiery’ hormones aren’t dealt with correctly the body will store them as FAT, which in time, results in a gradual loss of bone density.
Integrating Chi Kung into a balanced squash training programme switches off the ‘fight or flight’ nervous system and helps to ‘pour water on the fire’, allowing more calming, soothing hormones to enter the body after competitive performance. If only Jonah had known this eastern science and art of internal training during his competitive days, there would have been no need for him to place his knees in ice buckets in order to cool down after giving a squash clinic.
Mike Hall is currently the Professional Squash Coach at the Grange Club Edinburgh www.grangesquash.co.uk He has been teaching and practising the Taoist arts of Tai Chi and Chi Kung since 1998. His passion for introducing the Taoist arts to squash has resulted in his work being featured in New Scientist Magazine, BBC Radio 4 and in “In Praise of Slow” [Honere] a book which reached the top ten best sellers list in The USA and UK. He can be contacted @firstname.lastname@example.org