Richard Millman

Even the great Ramy Ashour uses self speak when he's on court. Sometimes it's at tense moments in a match to ensure his focus; other time it's after making an error; and still others he employs to simply calm himself

Mantras: The “Crown Jewels” of Self Speak

By Richard Millman Competitive squash is a kaleidoscope of variables—technical, physical, tactical and emotional. The complexities of dealing with these areas are a challenge for all of us who profess to be avid participants in our game. The glue that keeps mind body and soul together in this venture, provided that we have trained, practiced […]

While leaping into the air to attack a cross-court nick is exciting for the crowds, it is an all-or-nothing approach that runs contrary to the notion of keeping your "survival" at the top of list of priorities while playing squash. While it's true that an outright winner would be fantastic, the likelihood of that outcome is low and, should you fail to hit the winner, you will be handing control of the point to your opponent.

Survival: The Vital Principal of Squash

By Richard Millman Recently I hosted one of my intensive training weekends at Meadow Mill Athletic Club in Baltimore. In the course of the program, one of my students—an eminent lawyer who trains young lawyers—posed an interesting question to me. His question was prompted by my assertion that the most important priority of a human […]

Screen Shot 2014-12-10 at 11.36.23 AM

Squash Players The Ultimate Goal Keepers

By Richard Millman Our sport is a modern reflection of the very primeval attitudes and instincts that have allowed us to get this far in our history. Our two essential survival sensory systems—namely primary  focus  and peripheral awareness—constantly combine to allow us to maintain our relationship with the ball and a continual reconnaissance of our environment and […]

Every time we play the game, our primary focus is on the ball while simultaneously maintaining awareness of where we are on the court. One of the keys to success, is using that court awareness to position ourselves to "bisect the angles of possibility" such that we are equally ready for all possible shots played by our opponent. Simon Parke (right), former world No. 4, was the master at this which helped him become one of the greatest retrievers squash has ever known. Yes, he was lightening fast, but his main weapon for retrieving was just positioning himself in the best possible places given the proximity of the ball and his opponent's shot options.

Bisecting the Angles of Opportunity

By Richard Millman When it comes to strategic positioning on the court, the key factor is to develop your confidence at the same time as keeping your guard up. This much-misunderstood subject is very accessible once you understand the primary goals. First, you must maintain your relationship with the ball as your paramount concern. This […]

Nick Matthew James Willstrop May 2014

Movement and Shot Mechanics: Full Court Press!

By Richard Millman Continuing with the subject of movement on court, let’s turn our attention to the “Full Court Press.” This term, often used in basketball but used in practice in many sports, refers to the pressure applied by denying time to the opponent. In soccer this practice is also used to great affect against […]

Amr Shabana

Lessoncourt: Movement and Shot Mechanics

By Richard Millman The longer I study this game, the more I realize how subtle— and almost invisible to the eye—are the essential elements of control that are required to maximize one’s efficiency. The difference between a player striking the ball one hundredth of a second before they start their recovery movement and striking the ball one hundredth of […]

Controlling Your Temporal Gaze Part II

Controlling Your Temporal Gaze – Part II

By Richard Millman Picking up from last month, we will now address the critical differences between future, present and past on the squash court. First, mechanically speaking, when one moves continuously the legs are necessarily engaged and, as they are the most powerful of our limbs, they can cope with the stresses created by the generation of force much better […]

Controlling your temporal gaze

Controlling Your Temporal Gaze

By Richard Millman Are all of your efforts combining to keep you in the best place on the time line of the game—and of your life? Tempus Fugit, the old Latin maxim goes (literally: Time Flies) and as it does, so must we—or get left behind. Ask any elementary school kid whether they want to be ahead or […]

Building or the Straw that Broke the Camels Back

Building Pressure – Or the Straw That Broke the Camel’s Back

By Richard Millman Camels are strong animals. Over eons they have evolved into beasts of burden with amazing endurance. But even camels have a breaking point. Now imagine an improbable competition between a couple of camel merchants who decided to test two unfortunate camels’ capacity to withstand pressure and which one of them could break their camel’s back first. They agree to […]