What are the Five Trainables – and why do we care?

Updated: Jul 27, 2021

BACKGROUND

Squash is a complex decision making sport.  One of the many reasons we love it so much is because it straddles the limits of what is athletically possible.  Our best young players are agile, balanced, co-ordinated and fast.  They demonstrate amazing ball control, deception and anticipation and supreme decision making under both physical and psychological pressure.  In brief… they do a lot!

In areas that are supremely complex, it is sometimes helpful to break them down into their constituent parts in order to improve overall performance.  One of our Tiger Pillars of Performance is the FIVE S.M.A.R.T. TRAINABLES of athletic development.  The five trainables are:

  1. Strategy

  2. Mental Skills

  3. Athleticism

  4. Real World Skills and

  5. Technical literacy

DEFINING THE S.M.A.R.T. TRAINABLES

Strategy in squash broadly refers to a systematic plan of stroke selection designed to achieve victory.  Defining strategy is easy, training strategic play is somewhat more difficult.  Much of the emphasis of the Tiger Playbook is in the creation of a series of appropriate tactics which can then be called upon when required and adhered to under pressure.  We train expert decision makers, squash is a complex decision making sport and as such, the ability to make those “correct” decisions often are the difference between winning and losing.

Mental Skills are crucial to the achievement of a player’s potential.  A carefully structured, integrated mental skills package is a cornerstone of the Tiger Methodology.  Our psychological skill package includes goal setting, emotional regulation, decision making and intensity control.

Athleticism is a fundamental part of squash.  Agility, balance, coordination and speed are all key components of elite sport and require a daily diet of work.  More importantly however is training to prevent injury, especially in juniors who are growing and developing.  We refer to our injury prevention training as “pre-hab”, which refers to prevention of injury, rather than having to rehabilitate athletes after they hurt themselves.  

Real World Skills is a term that we use to describe the collection of qualities required for our players to achieve their potential.  These mental skills include Organization, Respect, Communication, Social Skills, Nutrition and Leadership.

Technical literacy includes striking techniques for all four basic strokes in the sport, the drive, boast, drop and lob.  It also deals with movement competencies and ensuring footwork patterns satisfy our basic criteria, allowing a variety of strokes to be played from any situation, physically economical and efficient in ensuring players can recover off the ball.

WHY DO WE CARE?

We care because we want all our players to achieve their goals and potential in the sport.  Traditionally squash has not done a great job in teaching anything other than precision hitting and physical enhancement.  Our program is proud of being modern, progressive and committed to coaching our players to be all they can be in all areas and the results have proven the methodology successful.

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