• Jesse Engelbrecht

Learning and growing away from the courts

It seemed appropriate to write a blog during this time of worldwide lockdown. As we have seen there are a multitude of home workouts that we can all access at our fingertips. There has been however a global trend of these becoming less and less viewed and practiced as there is only a limited amount of motivation that can be put towards these. There has not been as many other sources of inspiration and motivation that I would have liked to see so here is my little bit to add to this that may spark some interest and motivation from within you. I like to remind myself that this is an amazing opportunity for us all to learn and grow away from the squash courts.

I came across a quote recently that summed things up for me really well and something that I think is worth sharing.

“Don’t worry about searching for your meaning in life, rather do what energizes you”

I love the positivity in this quote as well as becoming immersed in something that makes you happy, gives you energy and can ideally translate to a purpose in life down the line. That’s how I read it anyway.

The following bits of this blog are my own experiences and things I have been doing during this lockdown and some of them may resonate with you. There is a combination of physical activity as well as a lot of mental stimulation I have been trying and finding some of it massively useful and energizing.

Habit forming

On personal experience this has been a really interesting period for me in attempting to form some positive, healthy and long-lasting habits that I can take into my daily life when normality resumes. This is how a typical day may look for me currently with some forms of variation in activity and the order:

AM

- Wake up around 7.30/8am and write in my journal. 3 things I am grateful for. 5 things how I am going to make today great. 1 positive affirmation

- Meditation (Sam Harris Waking Up app) 10mins

- Outdoor walk for about 45mins and usually listen to a chapter or two of an Audiobook or a Podcast

- Emails replies with a big smoothie and lots of fruit

- Usually listen to a TED talk or read an interesting article for around 15-20mins

- Chip away at the squash book I am writing for coaches and players

- Mess around on the guitar (very badly) and try and master the chords of a new song

PM

- Afternoon nap for around 30mins

- Video analysis (gathering clips of best practice in the pros for my personal reference)

- Blog writing/filming ideas/lesson planning

- Outdoor run for around 45mins-1hour

- Yoga for 30mins

- Evening meal preparation and time with family

- Read and bed around 9.30/10pm

Further reading ideas

Here is a list of books that I have read and also am reading currently and getting me to try and think about things in a different way. I feel I am able to take and borrow from each of these sources to help my coaching journey as well as overall view on life. Even as a player, having a coach’s mindset is a really powerful tool and is a skill I encourage in my players. Seeing things from ‘outside of the court’ allows players better to analyze and problem solve. Some of these books are sporting based but others are just really interesting and thought provoking

- Every Moment Matters – John O’Sullivan

- The Constraints-Led Approach – Ian Renshaw and colleagues

- Range – David Epstein

- The Sports Gene – David Epstein

- Make It Stick – Peter Brown

- The Barcelona Way – Damien Hughes

- Legacy – James Kerr

- Thinking Fast and Slow – Daniel Kahneman

- Mindset – Carol Dweck

- The Inner Game of Tennis – W. Timothy Gallwey

- Grit – Angela Duckworth

- Mediations – Marcus Aurelius

- Homo Deus – Yuval Noah Harari

- Why We Sleep – Matthew Walker

- Solve For Happy – Mo Gawdat

- The Source – Dr. Tara Swart

Podcast ideas

The world of podcast has exploded in the last few years. It is amazing to be able to have some of the leading experts in their fields giving away free advice and discussions for us to soak up. The amount of knowledge and learning at our fingertips is phenomenal and we should all make the effort to tap into those and learn from the best! Some of these are sport related and some are more lifestyle related and I try and take bits of all of these and bring them to work and life.

The Talent Equation

Don’t Tell Me The Score

Chasing Excellence

The Way of Champions

The Real Science of Sport

The Tim Ferris Show

Making Sense

Quotes I like to remind myself of

“Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication” - Leonardo da Vinci

“Comfort the troubled and trouble the comfortable” - German theologian

“Whether you think you can, or you think you can’t, you’re right” - Henry Ford

“I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work” - Thomas Edison

“Don’t cry because it’s over, smile because it happened” - Dr. Seuss

“No man ever steps in the same river twice, for it’s not the same river and he’s not the same man” – Heraclitus

“If you don’t like something change it. If you can’t change it, change your attitude” - Maya Angelou

Finally, it would be remiss of me to not include my go-to speech from Tim Minchin. This is so inspiriting and so insightful. I must listen to this about 5-6 times a year and always find slightly new meanings in it and the way I get to think about things. I hope you will all be able to extract what you need from this.

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