If you analyse the temperaments of squash
players or ball game players in general, you may place them
into three classes:
1. Good losers
2. Moderate losers
3. Bad losers
The first is the ideal class we all want to belong to. The
second is not good enough.
Self control, or lack of it, is at the bottom of everyone's
mannerisms or temperament. To some people losing a game is
as easy as winning, but this is not the usual. In most people
the desire to win is natural. Disappointment in some, bad
temper in others, spoils their otherwise pleasant natures
when they lose.
My advice to all youngsters is this. Always play hard to
win - but if you do, don't be too pleased. Remember your opponent's
feelings; he tried hard, but unavailingly, to win. Realise
how you would feel in the same circumstances. Let him know
that you played as well as you could play. Remark approvingly
on the games he won, give him his due - both of you couldn't
If you lose, say and feel you were beaten by a better man.
If you have given of your best you have the satisfaction that
your opponent knew and appreciated it. Tell your opponent
that though he has won this time, you would like to tackle
him again - show keenness.
There are certain things which happen unexpectedly in a game
and are apt to upset us, and in consequence our play suffers:
- A doubtful decision by a marker or inadvertently by your
opponent - forget it.
- A racket, string or shoe string breaking - bad luck but
could you have foreseen it? If so, your own fault.
- A fall on the court, or a hit on the head or ear - dont
worry, just grin. You probably looked rather amusing from
the spectators' point of view.
- Spectators' remarks, or noises - they are there to see
you play squash, show them how it should be played.
- Last but most important of all, any action of your opponent
must be looked at from a generous point of view. You're
in court for his pleasure as well as your own and he is
more important than the spectators or yourself.
The crowd is generally willing to support the weaker player
or the loser, so be a credit to their sportsmanship. It's
so easy to win happily, learn to lose the same way.