Next Stop: National Squash Championships

It’s been a while since I last blogged so I though I would give you an update from May 2013 last year when I embarked on an 8 week tour of Australia, playing 6 PSA World Tour Events. This tour was a truly amazing experience, and a real eye opener to the standard of the top players in the world – wow! I was pleased with how I performed during the tour, making the main draw in two of the events. I returned to England in mid-June and caught a train straight to North Wales for another PSA tournament – I was so tired. Despite my fatigue, I made my first PSA semi -final. On face value it would appear that I made the correct decision, (travelling to this event just after playing 6 tournaments in 8 weeks in Oz) however it was one tournament too far and I experience the first major set back of my career. On the first day of my summer training programme, I injured my back, and after two trips to the osteopath, I was looking at 4 months on the sideline. Little did I know at the time, this was one of the best things to ever happen to me. It showed me how much I value squash and the importance of resting and listening to how your body feels. Determined to return stronger I started my rehabilitation, which consisted of exercises/stretches set by my osteopath, swimming and Pilates. Yes, that’s right Pilates. Once I got past being the only male and the youngest by about 50 years in the class, it turned out to be one of the best forms of training I have been exposed to.

I would like to thanks my sponsors Nuffield Health and Fitness Cheam for supporting me throughout my rehabilitation, with their extensive Pilates classes. I finally returned to the court in the second week of October 2013 and I’ve playing some of the best squash I’ve ever played since my injury!

This brings us to today, January 2014. After a two week break during Christmas, I’m back into the swing of training and competing in regular league games and preparation for my next tournament: British National Championships in February. Keep a look out on twitter for updates on how I’m getting on: @nealbrooker!

I would like to thank my sponsors for their continued support, especially throughout my injury: Challenge Trophies, American Way, Nuffield Health and Fitness, CX-ProSport, IProSports and RAB String.

Neal Brooker

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