Tuesday, February 10, 2009

To train or not to train...

That's the question. I have never been good at following direction or drills.

I arrived at the Defence Club today ready for a good work out on the squash courts. However, I was greeted by the sight of a great number of youngsters learning drills on the court. There are two courts at the club and the other court was also in use.

I had time to kill while I wait for a court to become available so I sat and watched the junior squash players at practice. Their coach was having trouble getting them all to go left when he said left and to go right when he called right. It was a bit funny because they were standing in single file facing the coach and when he called out left, some would jump to the left and others jump to the right. The coach then said "No, your left!" and the next time he yelled "Left!", the players who jumped left the first time jumped to the right and the guys who went to the right now hopped left.

That is a common occurrence in a coaching clinic. Some people in a hurry don't know left from right. Some people are confused and some are just blindly following along with the rest of their peers. I have been one of those people so I know.

Later, the trainer asked me to join them for practice. They train on Tuesdays and Thursdays. It doesn't clash with my badminton schedule so I was tempted to say yes. I held back because deep down, I hate training. I'm never comfortable doing repetitive drills. When I attended badminton training, I always managed to mess up one thing or another. If the drill calls for a drop, smash and lob in order, I'd foul up sometimes, smashing when I should be dropping or dropping when I should be lifting.

You will be correct in pointing out that the whole idea of doing drills is to correct those errors. That is true with those who respond well to instruction. Everyone makes mistakes but some people learn and I don't. I'm very bad at the "monkey see, monkey do" game. When a quick sturdy makes a mistake, they go "Hmm, that's not correct, lets fix it next time". When I make a mistake, my brain freezes. My mind drops everything else and fixate on the fact that I made a mistake. This is followed by an involuntary utterance of phrases like "Oops!", "Damn!" and "Oh shit!". In thinking about that mistake, I lose concentration and make more mistakes. It is like a series of dominoes falling one after another. At the end of a training session, what I retain most is the count of the number of times I failed.

All excuses aside, I do need some training to improve my game. I am seriously thinking of attending the training sessions but first I need to change my attitude towards making mistakes.

When the courts finally freed up, I played a few games of squash. Today was not a good day for me. On top of having to wait a long time for a free court, I lost my last double-yellow-dot ball. It flew out the open shutters at the back of the courts, never to be found again. I regret the loss because it was fairly new and each one costs 7 dollars. After that, my backup single-yellow-dot ball broke during play so that killed my fun.

Post Scriptum: I apologise for the disjointed discourse. I tried but couldn't come up with proper flowing paragraphs. You may think of it as my style. Interesting how my brain works isn't it? :D


  1. How much is the training? Consider learning it properly if you want to master the game. But if you have to train with very basic newbies and have to waste your time then don't.

  2. Cost is about 2-3 dollars for the lights and time. I'll see if I feel like training next week.