Nick Matthew is three-time British and three-time World squash champion, as well as being two-time Commonwealth champion and former world number one. In this discussion we explore Nick’s early rise into the sport, particularly the breakthroughs he made through grit and perseverance. We also delve into his insights from finding his ‘super strength’ with the help of Mark Bawden and how he could apply them against his opponents. From the discussion you will also get a sense of the importance of Nick’s support team and the gratitude he shows towards them, none more so than his wife Esme.

Show Notes

4:40 – Nick and Steve meet down at Hallamshire Squash Club in Sheffield and begin by discussing his squash academy and post-career squash training and competition levels. The conversation moves onto the preparation required to meet the demands of elite level squash.

10:29 – Nick wishes he was able to identify and develop ‘super strengths’ earlier on his career. In 2008, whilst overcoming injury and working with sport psychologist Mark Bawden, he was able to do this after plateauing in the top ten in the world.

14:45 – At the age of 19, Nick changed coaches and went back to basics, learning some fundamental technical skills despite being at the top of his game at a youth level on the national and international stage.

20:30 – Nick highlights the importance of not seeking the magic fix. He gives insight into the confidence he gleamed from the results he began to obtain, the process he was focusing on and the plateau’s and learning curves he faced that accelerated his learning and ranking.

28:51 – Nick expands on how he used his super strength, his physical abilities and work ethic, to his advantage on the court versus many different styles of play. He details the training regime required to deliver this intense physical style of play.

39:50 – Steve and Nick explore his breakthrough into the world top ten, focusing on some of the strategies he used to get there. Steve then asks Nick about some of the key challenges and rivalries he faced during this period.

51:38 – In 2010, Nick became world number one. He shares his experiences and insights with Steve from sustaining performance in this position, including overcoming knee surgery 5 weeks prior to winning Commonwealth gold. Nick shows immense gratitude for his wife and the support staff in the English system.

1:08:00 – Steve and Nick round off the conversation by gaining perspective on Nick’s career and discussing the current state of play in squash, the Olympics and future plans.

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steveingham

Dr Steve Ingham is one of the UK’s leading figures in sport and one of the world’s leading performance scientists. He is steeped in high performance and has been integral to the development of Britain into an Olympic superpower. He has provided support to over 1000 athletes, of which over 200 have achieved World or Olympic medal success, including some of the world’s greatest athletes such as Jessica Ennis-Hill, Sir Steve Redgrave and Sir Matthew Pinsent. Steve has coached Kelly Sotherton's running for heptathlon and to 4x400m Olympic medal winning success. Steve has worked at the English Sports Council British Olympic Association, English Institute of Sport, where Steve was the Director of Science and Technical Development, leading a team of 200 scientists in support of Team GB and Paralympics GB. Ingham holds a BSc, PhD and is a Fellow of the British Association of Sport and Exercise Sciences. Steve is author of the best selling ‘How to Support a Champion: The art of applying science to the elite athlete’, discussing and inspiring the importance of learning and adapting to reach our maximum potential. Steve established Supporting Champions with the ambition of helping ambitious people to find a better way of creating high-performance. Steve hosts the Supporting Champions Podcast on sharing his pursuit of understanding and exploration in performance.

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