Solo Squash

Laura Massaro to beginners players: have fun, relax and learn from the results

By Carlos Eduardo Croes

The successful squash player Laura Jane Massaro, recently retired from the courts, very kindly granted an exclusive interview to Solo Squash, to talk about her beginnings in this sport and give some advice to beginners. In addition, she anticipate us an ambitious project in the near future.

How did you become a professional?
I never knew I wanted to be pro until I turned 18. I was a good junior and so when o finished my studies I decided to give it a year.
It went well and I never went back to class!

Was squash your first sport?
I played squash always but I also swam from a young age.
I played all sports at school too which I think helped my squash a lot.

Who was your role model?
My role model outside of squash was Sally Gunnell growing up. I love Serena Williams too. Squash wise, Cassie Jackman and Sarah Fitz-Gerald.

Who was your toughest opponent?
Nicol David. Just because she was so dominant for so much of my career and I struggled against her for so many years

What would you say to an 11-year-old boy who wants to win his first game in a tournament?
I would say have fun, relax and learn from the results.
In the lead up… watch squash, copy the pro’s and do solo work

How important is food for a player and how would a typical day of your diet be?
Food is very important. For energy, muscle building and recovery. It’s also important for weight control too which affects movement and recovery

Do you receive support for the sport in your country? What kind of support?
I received support from the National Squash Federation in England, England squash. I received funding and money towards travel and free coaching from National coaches

3 tips for a person who enters the court for the first time?
Use the right ball… not a double yellow dot.
Use the right grip.
Enjoy it.

I was very curious that you recommend not using the doble yellow ball. Here in Latin America is the one that we uses the most. Which one should we use and why?
Well in England we have balls that suit your level but I see people trying to play with the double yellow dot all the time. Which are supposed to be for pros and very good players.
The double yellow dot does not bounce much and needs to be hit hard to bounce more. Amateur players cannot do this so they need to play with a one dot ball so it naturally bounces more and then they can enjoy the game.

What will Laura Massaro do in the future?
I think mainly I will be coaching and hopefully writing a book very soon

On March 27, Laura Jane Massaro will be participating in the third annual training conference, at the Central University of Lancashire, at the Vernon Collins Theater in Australia.