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Contempory Issues In Sport: Elite Squash

2218 words - 9 pages

Needs analysis of Squash
Elite squash is now becoming more popular throughout the world due to the inclusion of the sport in the 2014 commonwealth games and the 2020 Olympics. The governing bodies of elite squash, world squash federation (WSF), and professional squash association (PSA) have raised the profile of the sport by staging 240 events every year worldwide across 5 different continents, through raising the profile squash is now being played by over 20 million people from 175 different countries.
Elite squash places many demands on players due to the hectic 11 month schedule of the season similar to that of tennis. With competitions most weeks with some in different ...view middle of the document...

Success in Elite squash is highly dependent on physical, technical, tactical and psychological factors (Wilkinson et al. 2012, Lees, Cabello and Torres 2009). By understanding these demands athletes can train accordingly in order to improve performance and peak for main competitions. An annual plan would allow organising these factors into a yearly program through the use of a multidisciplinary approach.
Needs analysis
By conducting a needs analysis and researching literature many factors can be found which affect squash performance most of the factors are as follows, physical, technical, tactical and psychological.
Squash is a high intensity intermittent sport with a mean heart rate of 77% of age predicted maximum heart rate. Elite squash requires supreme strength and power endurance consisting of multiple multidirectional accelerations and decelerations, bounds, jumps and lunges in each match (Girard et al 2008). Each match typically lasts a mean of 35 to 90 minutes consisting of rallies lasting approximately 6 to 20 seconds with 7 seconds rest in between. Elite squash players usually have a V̇O2 max of around 55 ± 5 ml•kgˉ1•minˉ1 for males and 45 ± 5 ml•kgˉ1•minˉ1 for females and body mass of 74 ± 4.3 kg and 59 ± 5.8 kg for males and females respectively (Micklewright and Papapdopoulou 2008, Wilkinson et al. 2012). Many authors claim that squash has a high aerobic component due to the length of time played been 50 to 70% of the total duration of a match, longer than any other racket sports (Micklewright and Papapdopoulou 2008, Girard et al 2008, Wilkinson et al. 2012). However this playing time consists of maximal accelerations in different directions with short periods of rest suggesting that squash has a high anaerobic component, due to blood lactate values of squash match play been above that of lactate turn point of 4mM (Kingsley et al. 2005, Chin et al. 1995). Bompa (1999) suggests that squash play derives 80-90% of energy from anaerobic energy system whilst 10 to 20% of energy is derived from the aerobic energy system. Physical factors have a huge importance on performance in elite squash due to the sport requiring high levels of fitness.
Squash has many technical demands which are needed to be executed efficiently in order to increase performance, elite squash players perform these technical demands to a higher standard than county and recreational players. Technical demands of squash are court movement, and shot executions (Yarrow and Harrison 2010). Good court movement allows the player to move around the court quickly and effectively to position themselves for a shot without wasting valuable energy and effort. Two types of court movement what coaches teach are traditional j shaped and dynamic movement, traditional j shaped court movement should be used most of the time as it allows to get body and limbs into position prior to executing a shot allowing a stable front foot. Dynamic movement must be used only when...

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