Archive for September, 2009

Sport Science Report

Posted in Uncategorized on September 22, 2009 by siyoli

I have been for the tests: been poked, measured and evaluated by both a biokinetist and a nutritionist. The findings were not too favourable, but I guess I can’t say I didn’t see it coming after a few weeks break and many reasons to feast during the wedding season.

Basically:
1. the muscles need to get strong again – through gym work
2. speed needs to improve – through agility and speed-endurance training
3. the body fat percentage needs to drop between 5 to 8% – through a professional eating plan.

The dietary guidelines are to help me lose weight slowly, while ensuring adequate nutrition during the training sessions and recovery. The idea is not to starve me (thank goodness), but portions do look different when you actually measure what your body needs compared to actually what you’re capable of eating, especially when you don’t have an immediate time limit after a meal. You see, I’m one of those girls with a very healthy appetite, who truly believes that if she had ever been entered in an all-you-can-eat contest, I would have returned home with some podium position!

The good news is that I am encouraged to snack during the training, especially if a training session will last between 1-2 hours. This will also help reduce the urge to eat everything in sight as soon as I get back home from a session. I have always made healthy food choices in the past, but now the quantity seems to be the main focus.

Well, I look forward to seeing some results in next few weeks. More importantly, I look forward to seeing the difference in efficiency on the squash court due to the work in these particular areas.

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New Squash Season

Posted in Uncategorized on September 13, 2009 by siyoli

August was officially declared my rest month, where I literally put down the racket for a few weeks. September and October will see me gaining back some fitness and getting stronger by training in Cape Town with assistance from the Sport Science Institute of South Africa.

These next few periods are key for building in various areas:
1) laying solid foundations and building on my marriage
2) building the body and squash skills
3) building finances for the expensive globe trotting nature of the WISPA Tour

It is costly to fly out to events and lose in the qualifying rounds. Players who make it into the main draw of an event are guaranteed hotel accommodation for the remainder of the tournament. The rest must pay, or go home.
Also, as a qualifier making it into the main draw, you are most likely to be seeded against the top 8 players of the tournament. So there is really no easy way in. Therefore, you need to work to be good enough to beat these top players. When you do beat one of them in the first round, you have better be ready to take it to the final rounds!

I’m done with losing early. I would like to reach some semi-finals and finals of these WISPA tournaments. Wouldn’t you if you were in my shoes?

*** Next up: Sport Science Fitness & Nutrition Reports ***

Hello MRS WATERS!!!

Posted in Uncategorized on September 9, 2009 by siyoli

The wedding turned out to be such a wonderful and brilliant occasion, thoroughly enjoyed by many who came to celebrate with us. We feel so blessed that we remember all of it, partly due to the fact we had some amazing friends and family helping us. We were truly grateful, also overwhelmed by the response from people who travelled from all over South Africa and the UK to be with us on our special day. God really blessed us in the way he brought our two families together. I now understand why many people who have been married remember their wedding day as their best day of their lives. I do believe it was the best day of my life, to date. I also hope that there will be more surprisingly beautiful days in my life ahead, and that it doesn’t all stop there.

It was a beautiful day in Cape Town, sunny with clear skies, which is quite rare in the rainy august winter season. The ceremony was scheduled to begin a 12h00, but due to unforeseen circumstances, it only began at . . . no, not 12h15 . . .not 12h30 either . . . you’re getting there . . . ok, at 13h30!!! You gotta love it. Apparently my aunts and family guests kept the Cape Town and UK guests entertained by their fun displays of dancing and singing. The minutes ticked by without any fuss from people, except that Dave’s football team had a game that Saturday afternoon and had to leave as soon as I walked in down the aisle.

All in all, I eagerly said, “I do”; was kissed by my groom, signed away my surname, celebrated with family and friends, and now I’m a wife – better known as MRS WATERS.

Becoming a WIFE!

Posted in Uncategorized on September 7, 2009 by siyoli

On arrival to Cape Town from Taiwan on Tuesday 28th July, I had just under two weeks before our wedding day on the 8th August to my fianceé, David Waters. No, he is not a squash player – soccer, or dare I say football, is more of his passion.

The first week of the two would include final fittings of the wedding dress, lots of wedding admin and moving out of the flat I stayed in, to be able to live with my husband when we’re married! Exciting stuff!!!

The Sunday before the wedding, we travelled to East London, my home city, where Dave’s family and travelling relatives would be officially welcomed by my family – African style!! It was a truly enjoyable occasion with great appreciation for the effort people made to be present. The Waters family did however have to get used to my some of my aunts and family friends singing and dancing for them 🙂

There was another celebration held in our family home in the rural areas, my fathers home. So we all travelled on the Tuesday. Once again we were welcomed by family and village community friends who were very eager to meet the new editions to our already large family.

Wednesday, Dave and I travelled back to Cape Town. Thursday, the rest of the family travelled down and therefore had the wedding rehearsal in the eve. Friday, more people arrived in Cape Town, final beauty appointments (to look good on my big day), lots of practice of walking in my high-heeled wedding shoes, and left a romantic package and note for the groom.

On court with a legend: SARAH FITZ-GERALD

Posted in Uncategorized on September 5, 2009 by siyoli

After my early exit out of the World Games competition, a few of the other athletes, who had also received the “Thank you for coming” certificate, stayed the week to prepare for the next tournament, the Malaysian Open in the following week. I took the opportunity to join in. We played games in a rotation scheme, where you play one game to 11 and then swop courts to play someone else – very fast and very furious!

Four Australian players were there: Kasey Brown (World No.11), Donna Urquhart (No.31), Lisa Camilleri (No.38) and Amelia Pittock (No.47). Over a period of four days, i managed to clinch some games from each, accept Kasey Brown…but I do feel i was close though the one time:)

On the final day I stepped on court with the Australian squash legend, Sarah Fitz-Gerald – the greatest player of the 90’s. That woman is still as quick and powerful as she was in her reigning days. She applies pressure by hitting the ball excessively hard (and accurately – note to self), as well as taking the ball early. I put in m best display of running, and tried to keep up with her hard pace and attacking game.

Her comments at the end of our game were positive and encouraging. She mentioned that when I was 5-2 down, I stepped up a level by matching her pace, and maintaned pressure to get to 5-5. She went on to beat me 11-8 and ended by saying,
” These results you are bringing are not of the player I just saw on this court.”

I was humbled, totally surprised to receive such feedback. I managed to smile and give an appreciative nod, amidst my gasps for air.

My match against the World No.5

Posted in Uncategorized on September 1, 2009 by siyoli

The current world no.5 is Alison Waters, and I was drawn to play her in the first round of the World Games in Taiwan. A pretty tough start if you ask me!

The score (I’ve been avoiding this): 3-0 : 11/6 11/5 11/0

Hmmm…I guess your eyes have caught the roundness of the last digit. Let’s forget about that one and focus on the first two games…for now:)

Before you read any further, I would like to add that my opponent made it to the semi-finals where she was beaten 3-2 by the No.2 seed of the tournament and World No.4, Natalie Grinham. Alison happened to win one of those games 11/0 too. That did make me feel a little bit better about being destroyed in the last game. When she is on fire, she is blazing hot!

The first two games were both long and high paced in their respective first halves. To start, i ran my little legs off picking up many of her shots and staying in the rallies. The score was neck and neck until 6-6. Then she pulled out some cracking winners, which saw me out of play, and dropped down on the pressure application plan.

The second game was fairly similar, but one thing I realised was how much work was really needed to win one point. It can be quite daunting when, in between games, my team mates were saying, ” You’re playing quite well, moving well, and applying the right pressure, ” and all i’m thinking is, “Why is the score in her favour then?”

In the 3rd game she showed me why she is the current World No.5 in the way she carried herself and the professionalism she showed by controlling the court, and finishing off the points. I, on the other hand, lost my head a bit, tried to rush the points, and now the results speak for themselves.

Lesson learnt: maintainance of a high work rate and intensity is important.

Now back to the training field.

** Next on Catch-Up: On-court with a Squash Legend, Sarah Fitzgerald **