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Alison Waters – tehnica, forta fizica si mentala

Alison Waters, in exclusivitate pentru SquashMania.ro. Primul titlu la profesionisti si-l adjudeca in 2005, la Forbes Open, cand o invinge, in finala, pe Carla Khan

alison waters pe squashmania-ro
Englezoaica de bronz a squash-ului profesionist, atleta desavarsita de 31 de ani si 1,70 m, ramane un adversar de mare calibru pentru Nicol David si Raneem El Welily prin jocul ei cu o amprenta aparte.
S-a remarcat prin tehnica, forta fizica si mentala ocupandu-si locul in istoria acestui sport inca din copilarie, castigand primul ei turneu U12 la doar 9 ani si jumatate.

Alison ne impartaseste din experienta ei ca jucatoare de squash si nu numai. S-o urmarim impreuna.

SQM: Buna Alison! Iti multumim pentru interes, raspunzand catorva intrebari pentru SquashMania.ro. Spune-ne ce te-a facut sa alegi acest sport in detrimentul altor sporturi, mai populare?
A.W.:
Buna! Parintii mei si fratele meu jucau squash deci a fost mereu ceva ce faceam in familie. Am inceput sa joc cand aveam 5 ani si in majoritatea weekendurilor mergeam la toate turneele de juniori pana la 18 ani, cand am devenit profesionista.
Iubesc acest sport si tot timpul squash-ul pentru mine a fost peste celelalte sporturi.

SQM: Cat timp petreci la antrenamente? E greu sa te echilibrezi?
A.W.
: Depinde de sezon. In timpul pauzei competitionale, joc mai putin si lucrez mai mult pe partea fizica, pentru tonifiere si pentru a avea o forma buna la inceperea sezonului urmator.
Tind sa-mi stratific antrenamentele, in timpul turneelor, incercand  sa ma mentin in forma si sa fiu fresh pentru inceputul meciurilor. Pe perioada verii incep antrenamentele mai grele sau atunci cand am vreo pauza intre turnee.

SQM: Cum te-au sprijinit familia si prietenii de-a lungul carierei?
A.W:
Fara o baza morala este foarte greu. Eu am fost foarte norocoasa si am avut tot suportul prietenilor si familiei. Fara ei nu as fi fost unde sunt acum.
Am avut noroc si datorita sprijinului dat de echipa de squash a Angliei care m-a sustinut financiar in ceea ce priveste antrenorii, conditia fizica, masajele, fizioterapia etc. In principiu, cam tot ce ai nevoie pentru a putea a junge un jucator de top. Sunt norocoasa si recunoscatoare pentru asta, cunosc multi jucatori care nu pot spune acelasi lucru, din pacate.

alison waters in nationala de squash a angliei
SQM
: Cat de importante sunt nutritia, fitness-ul, fizio in cariera ta?
A.W.:
Foarte. Merg la masaj si fizio o data pe saptamana. Cred ca in urma cu ceva vreme nu realizam cat de important este. Cu trecerea anilor o sa observi ca este o cerere pe care o proceseaza creierul tau, pentru a avea grija de corp.
Recuperarea este o parte importanta in antrenamentul meu, de asemenea si folosirea tuburilor de spuma pentru masaj si pentru muschi, consum bauturi vitaminizate si am grija sa mananc sanatos.
Totodata incerc sa-mi planific toate antrenamentele dinainte pentru a nu face sesiuni fara un scop prestabilit.

SQM: Ce faci cand nu joci squash? Care este hobby-ul tau?
A.W.:
Sa mananc, daca asta poate fi numit un hobby atunci ar fi minunat! Chiar imi place sa ies sa mananc. Cand sunt acasa imi place sa stau cat mai mult timp cu prietenii si cu familia, fiind plecata mereu, incerc sa apreciez timpul acesta.
Imi place, de asemenea, sa urmaresc toate celelalte sporturi

SQM: Crezi in psihologia sportiva? Ai folosit-o vreodata?
A.W.:
Da, da. Avem un psiholog specializat in echipa Angliei, care este la dispozitia noastra. Am vazut ca atunci cand inaintezi in varsta, partea psihica devine unul dintre cei mai  importanti factori in sport.
E foarte usor sa te razgandesti sa fii negativist intr-un meci. Cel mai important este sa scapi de toate aceste ganduri si sa incerci sa fii pozitiv si sa crezi in tine. Lucrez la asta si incerc sa-l aplic si in viata de zi cu zi, in afara terenului de squash si stiu ca daca sunt fericita si pozitiva in viata personala, asa voi fi si in teren.

SQM: Crezi ca un antrenor ajuta la imbunatatirea performantei unui jucator?
A.W.:
Da, in mod evident. Am avut noroc sa ma antrenez cu Paul Carter toata cariera, inca de la 12 ani si a fost minunat. Cred ca ai mai multa nevoie de antrenor cand esti mai tanar, atunci cand incepi sa te dezvolti ca jucator si sa-ti insusesti tehnica. Sunt in acel stadiu in care amanuntele si lucrurile marunte fac diferenta si intr-o sesiune de antrenament stiu exact ce am de facut si la ce sa lucrez mai mult. Cand esti la inceput, antrenorul conduce.
Este minunat sa ai pe cineva cu care sa poti vorbi despre adversari, meciuri in timpul unui turneu.

SQM: Care sunt jucatoarele internationale cu care iti place sa joci cel mai mult si ce ai invatat de la ele?
A.W.:
Din punctul meu de vedere, jucatoarele egiptene precum Nour El Tayeb, au adus o alta dimensiune a jocului la care trebuie sa se adapteze toata lumea.
Ele joaca foarte ofensiv si tehnic, destul de greu de jucat impotriva lor si este foarte bine pentru tine sa incerci sa tii pasul si sa inveti din ce in ce mai multe.

Nicol David, in mod evident, a condus jocurile in ultimii ani. Admir faptul ca poate juca sub presiune si in momente decisive, este atat de obisnuita sa castige incat e normal pentru ea acest lucru.
Cred ca asta este motivul pentru care este numarul 1 de atatia ani. A dus acest joc la un alt nivel, fizic vorbind, incat toata lumea a trebuit sa munceasca foarte mult sa o prinda din urma.

SQM: Cat de important este pentru tine sa castigi si cum reusesti sa treci peste o infrangere?
A.W.:
Sunt multe momente de suisuri si coborasuri intr-un sport de performanta. La sfarsitul zilei stim ca este cariera noastra in joc si ca din asta ne castigam existenta.
La inceput te gandesti mai mult la castig si la ranking, acum incerc sa ma gandesc mai putin la a castiga sau a pierde, joc mult mai bine atunci cand sunt relaxata si cand nu ma gandesc la scor, ca rezultatul vine de la sine atunci cand te concentrezi pe ce ai de facut.

SQM: Multumim inca o data, Alison. Ai un mesaj pentru cititorii SquashMania.ro si, in general, pentru jucatorii de squash din Romania?
A.W.:
Cel mai important lucru pe care pot sa vi-l spun este sa va bucurati de joc. Jucati cu zambetul pe buze pentru ca squash-ul este un sport greu care necesita multa implicare si devotament si mereu am crezut ca daca muncesti din greu, vei fi rasplatit.

Dragii nostri fani si cititori, va multumim ca ati urmarit si acest interviu, de data aceasta cu nr. 3 mondial, Alison Waters si speram ca reusim sa aducem in atentia voastra lucruri importante din viata lor squashistica si nu numai.

Sa urmarim acum un material video cu galacticele noastre. Pana data viitoare, urmariti alte interviuri de TOP 10 PSA si nu uitati sa: Fiti cu ochii pe minge!

ENGLISH VERSION

Waters… Alison Waters!
Professional squash’s english woman of bronze, such a perfect athlete of 31 years and 170 cm, still remains a high-caliber opponent for David and El Welily with her unique and amazing game.
It was noted  her technique, her physical and mental  strength, taking up the place in history of the sport since childhood, winning her first U12 tournament when she was just 9 and a half years.
The first professional title was in 2005, wining the Forbes Open fighting in the final against Carla Khan.

Today, exclusively for SquashMania.ro, Alison shares with us her experience as a squash player and more. Let’s read carefully!

SQM: Hello Alison! Thank you for the interest shown in answering a few questions for SquashMania.ro. First of all, tell us what made you pick up squash over another more popular sport?
A.W.: My parents and my brother all played squash so it was always something we played as a family. I started playing at the age of 5 and played all the junior tournaments most weekends before I went professional at the age of 18. I love the game and it was always squash over any other sport for me.

SQM: How much time do you spend practicing squash and playing in games? Is it hard to balance?
A.W.: Depends where in the season I am. During the off season I will play less matches and work on the physical side more and getting a good solid fitness base to put me in a good position for the start of the season. I tend to taper my training in the lead up to tournaments so I’m fresh and raring to go. During busy parts of the season when we have lots of tournaments, training is more just about keeping sharp and fresh. The main training comes in the summer months or if you get any time throughout the season for a training block.


SQM: How have you gotten support from your friends and family throughout your playing career?
A.W.: Without a good support base behind you it’s difficult so I have been very lucky that I have a supporting family and friends base behind me. Without there support I wouldn’t be where I am now that’s for sure. I’ve also been very lucky to have the support of England squash throughout my whole career so i get funding, coaching, strength and conditioning sessions, massage, Physio. Everything you need if you are going to make it to the top. I’m very lucky to get this support and very grateful for it as I know a lot of players in other countries don’t get as much support as we do.

SQM: How important is sports medicine in your success e.g. nutrition, fitness, physio?
A.W.: Yes, very important. I tend  to have a massage and Physio once a week. I think when I was younger I didn’t see the importance of it apart from if I was injured. As you get older you realise how it’s such a physically demanding sport that you have to take care of your body. Recovery is a big part of my training as well with lots of foam rolling, recovery drinks and making sure I’m eating well. Also planning out my week well so I’m not just doing sessions for the sake of it nut making sure every session has a purpose.

SQM: What do you do when you don’t play squash? What is your favorite hobby?
A.W.: Eating!! If that can be called an hobby then that would be brilliant. Ha. I really enjoy eating out. When I’m home I tend to catch up with my friends and family as during the busy part of the season I’m not home that much. So I value the time at home and try and relax and recover my body as well. I love watching all other sports and try to go to watch sports when I can.

alison waters pe squashmania-ro 3
SQM: Do you believe in sports psychology? Have you ever used it?
A.W.: Yes I have used it. We have a sports psychologist within England squash who we can use. I have seen the more I have got older than the mental side can be the biggest factor in sport. It’s so easy to talk yourself out of a game and be negative in a match. The biggest thing is getting rid of these thoughts and being positive and believing in yourself. I work on this side of my game and i apply it to my life outside of squash as well. I know when I’m happy and positive in my private life then this has a good positive effect on my squash.

SQM: Do you think that a coach can help to improve a squash player’s performance?
A.W.: Yes definitely. I have been lucky enough to work with Paul Carter throughout my whole career from the age of 12 and he has been fantastic. I think you need coaching more at an early age where the technical development and learning really takes place. I’m at the stage now where it’s the small things that make a big difference and in a coaching session I will lead the session about what I want to work on. When you are younger the coach tends to lead. It’s nice to have someone you can talk to about opponents and game plans leading up to and during tournaments.

SQM: Who are the international squash players that you enjoy playing with and what have you learnt from them?
A.W.: I think the egyptian players such as raneem and Nour El Teyab have brought a new side to the game where everyone has had to adapt to. They play in such an attacking and skilful way that it’s hard to play against. It’s so good for the game and it’s great as if you want to keep up you have to keep learning and Improving.

Nicol David has obviously lead the game for many years now. I admire how she plays so well under pressure and in the big points, she is so used to winning that it is normal for her. This is why she has been world number one for so long. She took the game to a new level physically and everyone has had to work hard to catch up with her.SQM: How important is winning for you and how do you handle a match loss?
A.W.: There are lots of highs and lows playing any sport professionally. At the end of the day it’s our career and this is how we earn our living. I think when you are younger you do think more about winning and rankings. Now i try not to think about winning and losing. I perform better when I’m more relaxed and almost not thinking of the score. I believe that if I can perform to how I know I can then the result will take care of itself.

SQM: Thank you, again. If you have a message for the members of  the Squashmania community (and also for the readers of this site and for the Romanian squash players), what would that be?
A.W.: The biggest thing I would say is that most Importantly you enjoy playing. Play with a smile on your face. Squash is a tough sport and requires a lot of dedication and I have always believed that if you train hard then you will get rewarded.

Dear fans and readers, thank you for following this interview too, this time with the number 3 position worldwide, Alison Waters and hope that we managed to bring to your attention important things from their squash lives and beyond.

Until next time, remember: Keep your eyes on the ball!

credit photo: ussquash.com  | squash999.com  |  squashplayer.co.uk

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