13 US open day 8 2

Psychological Strategy – The Key to the Game

By Richard Millman As I have said before in this column, it is my belief that currently, we are still in the very early stages of development of this wonderful sport of ours. In my program, ‘The Millman Experience,’ I am wont to tell many and varied anecdotes in illustration of the points that I try to get across […]

drill 2

Two-Ball Feeds – A Wonderful World of Practices for Three Players

By Richard Millman If you are working on your game and you have a couple of friends who are just as enthusiastic, two-ball feed drills are a marvelous discipline to help move your game forward. As the name suggests two balls are used, one on the right side and one on the left. One player […]

Perhaps the most famous—or infamous—example of maintaining one’s focus on the simple and “boring” aspects of squash came in the 2006 Men’s World Open final. David Palmer, facing sure defeat against Gregory Gaultier in the fourth game when down seven match balls, relied on keeping the ball tight to the side wall and ultimately caused Gaultier to collapse. It was painful to watch Gaultier crumble, but mesmerizing to see Palmer grind it out.

Elementary, My Dear Watson: Fundamentals and How Simple isn’t Always Easy

By Richard Millman Sir Conan Doyle’s great detective Sherlock Holmes was wont to use his favorite throw away line: ‘Elementary, my dear Watson!’ on occasions when his sidekick finally understood how Holmes had solved the crime, or mystery, of the day. And yet Holmes’ reasoning wasn’t entirely obvious. So what did Holmes mean by ‘Elementary?’ […]


Breathing and Relaxing During Play

By Richard Millman Our wonderful game is filled with nuance and subtlety—enough to last a lifetime. As you work on developing your game, especially if you are fortunate enough to have access to an expert coach, you will often spend time working on the finer details and challenging techniques. Equally, you will be confronted by […]

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 […]

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 […]