Match #4: 2009 World Masters Games

What can I say? It all started with a nail biter I lost 10-12. I felt confident I could win this match. The next game went my way with an 11-8 win that wasn’t decisive, but it was a solid game. The next game was all over the place, he took it 9-11, once again only a few points separating us. At this point, I’m thinking it’s still going to plan even though I am down 2-1 in games. All the preparation, planning and routines are still going to pay dividends.

The fourth game was another good effort, yielding an 11-7 win for me.

So we’re back to another 5-set match, my third in a row following an opener that was a 4-setter… I had never been to this marathon territory before. As it turns out, I lost the last game 11-7 with a series of loose shots and strokes that were symptomatic of what I realised 10 to 15 minutes after the match.

Marathon matches makes muscles mushy.

The brain tried everything it knew to do, but the legs just weren’t in the game. Once again, it’s a subtle nuance that a competitive athlete knows only too well… I had never been to this point before in squash, but know the feeling from ice hockey that is a longer game than squash and requires a lot more endurance (The game is timed for 3 20-minute periods, but lasts over 2 hours, sometimes 3!).

I am sure I will see the symptoms of this in the video replay that I will analyse later, but I know because nothing else was really ‘wrong’ with what I did or didn’t do.

In the past, my game would break down and I would lose in 3. Now my game doesn’t break down, it just slips a little and that means the rallies and games are longer – a LOT longer!

In squash, it’s all about getting to the ball early to have the choice of shot and executing it well – when you get there even a fraction of a second late – the game shifts dramatically. When both opponents are equally tired it evens out, but in this match – my opponent was only playing his 3rd match and the first one was an ‘easy 3-setter’… That is a component of competition that many spectators don’t take into account – they just see the match on TV that is being played – not realising that the PREVIOUS match(es) do have an influence on today’s game…

This means a whole bunch of changes to my future training, but let’s not get ahead of ourselves…

Last year I was ranked +/-50 in the world. My goal/outcome/target for this year’s competition, only my second International championship (and only my fifth competion ever !) was to make the top 32 with next year’s goal to make the top 16.

As it stands now, I’m in the top 20 at position 17 or 18 depending on Thursday’s final match for the Bronze Medal…

That means that instead of playing in Division 1, I need to step up my training and start playing in the Open with the former professionals and coaches!

I have learned so many lessons that confirms that I can get way past the top 16 – maybe even reach the top 8 or 10…

I have my list of REASONS I didn’t win today’s match and why the other matches went to 5 sets… They will be ticked off as you’d expect…

Am I disappointed? Sure I wanted to win, but I didn’t know that the marathon effect was going to kick in – now that I know, I can and will plan for it next time. There are sure-fire strategies to deal with it… Those are well-guarded secrets that only my training partners and coach know!

But that was not my Next Best Step for this year.

That’s a hard concept to explain in sport and in business – for me this year, I had 3 or 4 things I needed to do (they’re secret because my competitors may be reading this public blog).

I did those things so that I would stop losing matches in 3 sets. To worry about 5-set matches when you win or lose in 3 is NOT your Next Best Step.

The other aspect is that you can’t do all the steps at once – UNLESS of course you’re a professional athlete. Since I am not a full-time professional athlete, choices have to be made.

The same is true in business – everyone wants a life(style) not just business or financial success at the cost of relationships, health and whatever you consider to be balance.

I am very happy with the choices I made in selecting and deploying my Next Best Steps – the outcome of a ‘top 20’ World ranking is quite honestly — Awesome!…

So the lesson for the day is simple – as you expand your circle of influence, new challenges will present themselves, introducing NEW Next Best Steps to take on your path to Unleashing Your Exponential Potential.

Just take your Next Best Step and let destiny guide you… Onward and upward!

Don’t forget to wish me luck on Thursday – I play for the Bronze Medal and I am going to be FRESH, and READY TO PLAY FULL ON!!!!

In case you’re interested – I am analysing each game/match assessing the winners, unforced errors, etc… That is the only way you can make quantum leaps forward like this. It doesn’t happen by luck or chance – it happens by revolutionising your thinking BY DESIGN rather than just evolving BY DEFAULT.

These are some of the tips, techniques and tools I teach in my program – The Mindset Of A Champion and what will be integrated into my Personal Mastery Program curriculum… If you’re keen to excel in sport or other competitive endeavour, I suggest you consider this program. As you can see from this blog – it’s a journey that starts with a single step.

That step is your DECISION to raise your bar to the next level – either to get yourself into the gym, pick up a new sport or take up a long forgotten one…

Whatever you do – TAKE YOUR NEXT BEST STEP NOW I guarantee you it’ll take you on an incredible journey of self discovery and awareness that will revel your true spirit and self.

4 Responses to “Match #4: 2009 World Masters Games”

  • Great Post, I felt as though I was almost there. I love the way you’ve tied your squash game into your Personal Mastery Program, as well as Mindset of a Champion. An enjoyable read – Good Luck Thursday and hope the pinky is OK. Gerard

  • Marc,
    I am incredibly proud of you little brother, I know other members of our “Platinum family” feel the same way. Your storytelling has taken us courtside for every important game of this tournament.

    Your inspiration has got me going to “conquer the island” and whilst swimming laps in my swim squad, I think of my families both immediate and Platinum and the extra spring in my step you have all given me.

    So, the other skills are my spinnaker work which re-commenced last Saturday after a fragmented season last summer and the reinvigorated “learn to surf” program which is under way with push-ups, chin-ups and lots of leg strenghtening work. Its early days.
    I am getting that mindset champion!

    Take the Bronze, it is yours!


  • Talk about a marathon match…. Enjoyed living the experience through this story and linking back into the personal mastery program…

    All the best in today’s final match (could be in progress now)….. for the Bronze? What fantastic steps you have taken with this tournament.

    I know the feeling of the legs going to jelly after having a punishing first attempt at the Melbourne Marathon on Sunday….. Got across the line although it took more than four hours which I had not planned….

    Gav A

  • Inspirational, Marc!

    Thanks for enlightening us all with just about everything you do!

    I wish you well and hope you have taken the Bronze. But remember, your inspiration is golden to the rest of us no matter what the result.


    Mike K

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