Detailed Pre-Squash Match Routine for Tournament of Champions
I'm writing this less than 24 hours after my loss at TOC. The disappointment is still there. The poor night's sleep after a loss certainly makes it worse. But you know what? I'm actually still excited to get back out there and train today.
My body feels a bit tired, but fine (no niggles, not sore).
But most importantly, my head is in a good space.
If you were around here last week and saw my email after Carol Weymuller, you know just how much I value that.
It's always good to reflect on matches, which I will do when I compose a longer episode on last week vs this week (arguably going from the worst I've ever felt on court mentally, to the best), but today I want to send you something shorter- my pre match routine!
I get loads of questions surrounding pre match routine (what to eat, when to warm up, when to wake up), so I thought I'd break it down for you.
My Pre-match routine for a 1:30 pm match
Tip: when planning your pre-match day or routine, plan backwards from your match time. My match time was 1:30 pm.
6:50 am Wake up (alarm was set for 7:15 am)
7 am Coffee & 1/2 protein bar
8:10 am leave for practice hit
8:55-9:40 practice hit (basic drills, a couple condition games, and drops/feeding with Jaymie)
10:30 am Return home, eat breakfast (pre match meal), and shower. For pre-match meals I keep things healthy, light, and carb-based. Oatmeal cooked in almond milk, chia seeds, raspberries, less than 1 tbsp peanut butter.
11 am -12 pm Relax, read my book (Playing the Long Game, by Christine Sinclair), avoid being on my phone.
12:10 pm leave for the courts
12:45 pm arrive at the courts
12:45-1 pm get changed
1:00 pm start warmup slowly while seeing how prior match unfolds (this affects warmup progression). Did rehab and mobility. Nothing hard yet.
1:30 pm start to warm up on court, as the match before is just heading into a 5th game. (Keeping an eye on the scoreline helps you decide how early to start warmup. Sometimes if it's close, you may have to warm up 2-3 times if there's an unpredictable match which goes 4 or 5 games).
This warmup consists of ghosting and hitting. The ghosting starts out slow- just easing into it- and then gradually gets into quick explosive movements around the T and at the front of the court. Total duration of ghosting/hitting: 10-15 mins.
1:50 pm ish- MATCH TIME!
I hope this gives you a little insight into what a pre-match routine could look like. Everyone has their own rhythm and preferences of what/when they like to eat, how long of a warmup, etc. But the most important thing is that you HAVE a routine, so you're not leaving your preparation to chance, or wondering what you should be doing from one minute to the next. I know for a fact that Gohar has her pre-match routine planned such that she can fit in a 1-2 hour nap on match days! (Granted, her matches are always in the evening). But still- my point is, figure out what works for you, and then plan to make it happen.
Hope you're having a great week, and be sure to tune into SquashTV to watch Tournament of Champions! I'll be on the mic starting tomorrow evening, so let me know if you've got any specific post-match interview questions 🎙! Send them my way at firstname.lastname@example.org, or send me a DM on instagram at @squashletic.
PS. Check out this pre-match equipment checklist ! For you Squashletic members, it's part of the Tournament Prep training template from October 2022. There's a few other helpful articles in there as well, including pre-match mindset, and a post-match analysis worksheet (found on homepage).