The Inside Story – By Austrian Squash Champion Aqeel Rehman

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Preparation for second half of season:

The first half of the squash season is over, with many highlights to look back at. European Individual Championship in Nottingham, World Team’s Championship in Marseille, World Individual Championship in Manchester and many, many PSA Tournaments – to mention a few.

Finishing 10th at the European Individual Championship, runner-up at the Romanian Open and some great wins such as beating Pakistan’s number 1 at the World Team’s Championship were some really nice results for me.

The inside story - life on tour.Unfortunately I couldn’t qualify for the World Individual Championship at my ‘second home’ Manchester, but this is a part of the sport, having to accept bad times as well.

My next PSA tournament will take place in Mikkeli, Finland on the 1st February. This means that I can get some good training in to be in good shape for this $10.000 USD event.

As with all my training blocks, I start with physical and psychological tests at the Diagnostic and Training Centre of Red Bull in Salzburg. Regular fitness tests help to keep track of my training progress and make sure that I stay fit during season as well, when there is little time to train while playing tournaments, league matches and other competition. Access to this wonderful facility is definitely one of the perks of being a Red Bull sponsored player.

During these recent tests I was able to keep my fitness level and even improve in some areas compared to three months ago, so these were my best results ever! With this very positive information I worked out a training programme to peak on time in February.

(Many of the Worlds best sportsmen and women come through this Red Bull training and testing centre, and occasionally I get to compare my results to top athletes from other sports, like skiing and football – and yes you’ve guessed it – my results as a squash player offer the benchmark for the other athletes from the various sports. The fitness levels professional squash players possess is really phenomenal, but it’s simply what must be done in order to compete at an elite level in such a demanding sport.)

Strength sessions, ghosting sessions, practice matches and hitting sessions will be my daily routine, twice a day, five to six days a week. In my spare time I will try to be on the ski slopes as much as possible, as I only live a couple of minutes away from Austria’s biggest ski resorts!

The biggest events for myself in the first half of 2018 will be the Austrian Open on my own glass court in the EUROPARK shopping mall, the European Team Championship and of course aiming for my 12th Austrian National title.

To check out my progress and keep track of my results everyone can follow me on Facebook (Aqeel Rehman – legit), Instagram (aqeel.squash), or my homepage

Wish me luck, thanks for any support!