Tag Archive for 'Marc Dussault'

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The 7 Habits Of Highly Effective Squash Players

If you haven’t read the classic bestseller the 7 Habits Of Highly Effective People by Stephen Covey, well you simply must get it. As a squash player, it’s imperative that you use these same habits to improve your game.

The 7 Habits Of Highly Effective Squash Players

Number 1 – Be Proactive.

That’s almost self explanatory. It means you are taking the initiative. You are not just playing reactively, but are taking a proactive stance in your practice, training and competitions. If you wait for someone else to motivate you or ‘give you your next breakthrough’, don’t hold your breath. Champions make things happen. Continue reading ‘The 7 Habits Of Highly Effective Squash Players’

The Law Of Attraction

Today’s post is about the Law Of Attraction. As you know, I am training for the World Masters Squash Championships coming up in October and one of the things I need to do is play different players more often to get better ‘court sense’ and adaptability to different styles of play and players. Just when I thought I would have to join a squash club (I have a court in my building)…

I popped into my racquet shop to pick up my new batch of racquets (more on this strategy later), and guess what? I bumped into a former squash buddy who had stopped playing due to a soccer injury and he’s back playing squash. How cool is that?!?!

Then Bob, the owner of the racquet shop said he came across someone who just moved to Sydney from overseas and is looking for a partner!

I am playing him tonight for the first time – I’ll let you know how it goes.

The moral of today’s story is that when you ‘put it out there’, the Universe will respond. That’s something non-champions have trouble with – they never put themselves out there so this rarely happens for them.

How do you ‘put it out there’?


DECIDE, COMMIT and RESOLVE to lift your game. DO whatever it takes to make it happen and BELIEVE that when you are ready, the solution will appear. You know the adage “When the student is ready, the master will appear.”

This is the same thing – expect it works for ANYTHING you need – ANYTHING. Including a few new squash partners to have a hit with!

Concentration Of Focus

Most people who are not very good at a sport simply have not invested the necessary time to MASTER the basics. I spent an hour on the court tonight hitting ONLY deep backhand lobs. That was the ONLY stroke/drill that I did. I must have hit the ball +/- 1,000 times.

“Perfect Practice Makes Perfect”

Each stroke is another opportunity to focus on foot position, movement to and from the shot, racquet swing (arc) versus speed and impact points, placement of the ball (in front or in back of me), distance from the side wall and back wall…

After 1,000 attempts, you have to be ‘better’, more aware and in tune with what works and what doesn’t.

I noticed 3 things that I now know I can make into ‘automatic’ and ‘second nature’ reflexes…

  1. When I am out of position, aim for the top 1/3 of the front wall. Easier said than done BECAUSE you’re OUT of position!
  2. When in a good position, slice the ball so it creates a vortex to spin INTO the wall. Easier to do BECAUSE you’re IN position!
  3. When in the ‘strike zone’, AIM for the target in the back corner with a reverse spin that does not bounce off the back wall. (I’ll explain targets soon… Yes TARGETS in SQUASH – makes drills a lot more FUN!)

Why bother sharing this with you?

  • First, it helps me focus on what I am learning. The MORE you TEACH, the MORE you LEARN.
  • I am human just like you can I got ‘bored’ at around 40 minutes. I realised I needed to have a ‘target’ to aim for or a variation to create less monotony. I will resolve this for the next session.
  • By hearing my story, you can share my experience and figure what you should be doing or what you ARE doing that is equivalent and valuable. We’re in this quest together each in our own way!

T  ogether

E  veryone

A  chieves

M  ore

Try Punching Above Your Weight

There’s an expression in boxing that says when you reach beyond your comfort zone, you’re “punching above your weight” which means you pack a punch like someone who’s a lot heavier than you are. Today, I went toe-to-toe with some of my squash partners and the last man standing (with me) stood his ground.

We played for 2 hours, there were 3 of us, then 4.

When we were 4, we played doubles on a singles court which is a great way to improve your reflexes, reaction time and quick movement as well as court sense – PLUS deal with all the visual and physical distractions of the 4 players on the court AT THE SAME TIME. (More on that in a future post…)

The last man standing with me only played the last hour, but still.

I was running him around and he hit the wall at about the same time I did, but did NOT blink.

Continue reading ‘Try Punching Above Your Weight’

Deliberate Practice

If you’re serious about improving at your sport (mine’s squash) you need to start practicing and training deliberately. Deliberate practice is a concept that you’ll hear a lot more about in the next few weeks and months. Anders Ericsson, an expert in Expertise and Expert Performance is the world’s penultimate specialist in this field of research. You can find the reference to this book on my Linked In Profile, look at Marc Dussault’s Reading List on my profile page – it’s on the right-hand side of the page, below the fold, which means you’ll need to scroll down to see it.

Let’s get back to deliberate practice… Simply put, it means having a SPECIFIC outcome and focus WHILE you practice. Having a deliberate intent and focus is essential for on-going improvement that I call the 1 percent improvement doctrine.

For today, just make a list of what you’re focusing on.

For your information, right now I am focusing on NOT making any unforced errors. That means I only go for the kill shot winner WHEN it is in my strike zone and I can feel I have a 90+% chance of hitting the perfect winner. If the ball is not in my ‘kill zone’, I place it strategically to keep my opponent running, off balance and force HIM to make the ERROR.

That is my deliberate practice outcome.

HOW I am doing that right now is explained in my previous post.

You can now start to see how a champion goes about practicing and training.

Share with me your lessons, victories and defeats by posting comments on this blog. I am interested even if it’s another sport!

Play to force your opponent to make an unforced error

If you’re an avid squash player, you know that one of the best ways to improve is to play with multiple players on the court at once. 4 or 5 players is manageable, 6 or more there is too much time lost waiting to get into the rotation.

I’ll talk about this multi-player strategy in a future post.

Today’s concept is about forcing your opponent to make an unforced error. To gauge your progress, only count a point if your opponent has made an unforced error. If you hit a ‘winner’ you keep the serve but don’t get a point. You’ll soon see that forcing your opponent to make an unforced error has a lot LESS RISK associated with it as a strategy.

When you can go for the kill shot, KILL IT and start the next rally. That’s what you would do in a real game.

If you play with multiple players on the court, the person WHO MAKES the unforced error gets a point and the FIRST one to 15 LOSES.

See how you go with this unique twist. I have been doing this with my partners and we have ALL improved. The shot maker still makes the KILLS when the ball is loose, but otherwise forces a few more shots to be played in the rally until a loose ball pops up.

The retriever gets to all the balls but instead of tinning, pushes the opponent to the back of the court and ‘gets back in the rally’ until he gets a loose ball or his opponent cracks and makes a mistake.

The technician focuses on technique and stamina, making sure he only KILLS the ‘perfect shot’ reducing hitting the tin and playing a high percentage game – like the pros… Wear the guy down and then go for the kill. Of course you have to be FIT to do that… This forces the rallies to be a LOT longer, 10, 20 or 30 shots are not uncommon!

This reinforces DISCIPLINE and your focus is ON NOT LOSING THE POINT rather than trying to WIN THE POINT.

All champions know this DISCIPLINE is the key to having the Mindset Of A Champion.

Have fun with this and let me know what YOU LEARN from it!

Serious Athletes BEWARE!

In the March issue of Men’s Health Magazine, I came across this interesting statistic of injuries for every 1,000 hours of training. This is something to be aware of. The stats don’t lie. SOMEONE is going to get hurt – it’s inevitable… Of course the exponential mindset is SOMEONE will get hurt – hopefully SOMEONE ELSE!

A famous joke illustrates this philosophy:

Two guys are in the forest and come across a bear. One of them says “#$#%$ we have to out-run the bear!” The other, with an exponential mindset says “No, I just have to out-run you!”

Sport Injury Statistics For Every 1,000 Hours Played

Sport Injury Statistics For Every 1,000 Hours Played

I’ve done a little math for you. 1,000 hours is more or less 1 hour, 3 times a week = every 6 years.

How often do you play your sport?

How often do you play your sport?

I post this not to scare you, just as something to keep in mind.

Play well, play safe!

Mindset Of A Champion Blog Launched!

Yes it’s here – my Mindset of a Champion Blog!

This blog is a personal indulgence in a discussion about a sport I am fanatically involved with – squash.

If you are as passionate about squash as I am, you’re going to love this blog.

If you are a competitive athlete of any other sport, you’re still going to want to keep an eye on this blog.

If you’re not into squash or competitive sports – this blog’s flat out not for you.

I have several other blogs you might be interested in – they’re listed below.

This blog is all about

The Mindset Of A Champion – How To Think, Perform And Win Like A Champion.

You’d better buckle up – it’s gonna be a fun ride!

Want to get a jump start on the process? You can get your hands on my Squash Lessons For Marketing by clicking on the hyperlink

Otherwise hang tight and come back in a few days!

Onward and upward
Marc (a.k.a Squash addict)


My other blogs..

My Personal Mastery Blog has tips and techniques for personal success.

My Business Mastery Blog is a collection of exponential business building strategies.

My Internet Mastery Blog is a compendium of exponential Internet marketing ideas.

I also contribute to AustralianBlogs’ Blog which has everything you need to know to blog like a pro.

Last, but not least I have another blog, Get Better Grades Blog helps students get better grades.