Liz Irving Part TWO
"Simply the best coach in the world" - Nicol David
HOW DOES IT WORK ...
It depends how long the girls are here for. It depends on how we set
it up. If itís full time, you donít want to cram it all in,
youíve got time to go through your process, Iíve got a lot of other
things to work on, they need their matches, they need their drill,
their technical work, their physical work, their mental work, they
need their recoveryÖ
A lot of them are underestimating how much they need to work their
week around, and how much rest and recovery they need, thatís the
big one. Itís all about how you put the package together.
For the physical training, I have physical trainers at Squash
City I can utilise, they are very capable of identifying weak areas
in their bodies and how to address that. I can also develop programs
for the physical side on the court, but I also encourage them to
have a direct link to someone at home who can help and advise them
as well, just working with their coach, I can work with their coach.
If they come to me for three months, it doesnít mean they drop
everything at home!
We all work together, we communicate, I send a report. This is all
about helping the player to keep moving forward, following up on
some things that I find here that can help them, and as far as the
physical side goes, if theyíve got a trainer back in their home, and
if they want to come here with their own program, thatís absolutely
fine. I can oversee the program, I can make sure that if they are
missing something, or if they need to add something, I can get
consultants to look at it.
THEIR CHOICE, THEIR DECISION...
A very important element, but theyíve got to learn to make their own
decisions. Thatís something very important. You donít want them to
be so reliant on you that they canít function if you are not there.
And sometimes they make the wrong decision, which you see is the
wrong decision, but hey, theyíve got to learn from their mistakes,
like we all do.
Still, when I mean business, I mean business. When I set a task, I
want them to do it. So Iím not saying ďoh, itís up to you if you
want to do it or notĒ. This is the task I set, and thatís it.
how they want to work their life around that, if theyíre going to go
round things the wrong way, a way thatís going to affect their
squash, then, Iíll talk to them, and help, and advise them. But they
have basically to make their own choices, donít they.
You take on a mental role as well, Iím a coach mentorÖ Having been
there, done it for a long time, you know and understand things that
they may not be aware of. You can always advise them on every level
to hopefully make good decisions for themselves.
THE TEAM : Mental Coach, Physio,
by Nicol David
Iíve been working with Frank
for three years plus.
I can play squash and do my own stuff, but I donít really know how I
function really, I can analyse my game of squash but I canít analyse
myself. Talking with Frank allows me to break down elements, he
questions me, to help me understand.
This way, my mind is a bit clearer, and when I go on court I can be
fully focused. It doesnít mean that I can achieve that every time I
get on court, but it allows me to understand myself better, both
emotionally and professionally. Itís tough, itís up to you to accept
it or not. And that made such a big difference for me.
the way Iím approaching my training, using different techniques to
get through my focus, my preparation for tournaments.. itís a big
learning experience. The interesting part is now Iím really on a
self discovery path. Sometimes, we feel that we know things just by
thinking about it, but it has to be said. It has to be questioned.
Itís like doing training, itís
like doing exercises, we have to express ourselvesÖ You can actually
put yourself in a place where, ok, I know this is happening to me, I
am also getting older, what to expect as you are changing, you want
to expect different things for yourself, and also different kind of
pressure, and having Frank involved was for me a turning point.
Born: February 7, 1965
Place of Birth: Brisbane
Highest world ranking: 2 (1998)
Liz Irving won four consecutive womenís world team titles in the
1990s as part of one of the greatest Australian teams in any sport
in any period.
Irving, born in Brisbane on February 7, 1965, won nine titles on the
womenís professional tour during a distinguished career, beginning
with the Irish Open in 1991 and ending in Malaysia in 1997. That
figure would have been far greater if she hadnít had the
ďmisfortuneĒ of playing in the same era as the great Michelle
Martin, who she always seemed to come up against in major finals.
Irving finished runner-up to Martin at the 1993 World Open, the 1994
and 1995 British Opens and the Australian Opens of 1991, 1993 and
1994. But when she and Martin played alongside each other in the
Australian team they were almost unbeatable. In 1990, they finished
runners-up to England, and unbeaten for the next four editions when
they were joined by fellow Hall of Fame member Sarah Fitz-Gerald,
Robyn Lambourne (1992) and Carol Owens (1994 and 1998).
Irving won the mixed doubles titles at the inaugural World Doubles
Squash Championships in 1997 with Dan Jenson. Since retiring as a
player, Irving has settled in Amsterdam, where she coaches a number
of top international women players, including world number one Nicol
1992, 94, 96, 98 Womenís World Team Champion
1991 Irish Open
1995 Malaysian Open
1993 Australian Junior Champion