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A Take on Talent by James Willstrop
Ranked world number 2 Squash player

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People often talk about the best sportsmen and women in the world as talented or gifted in relation to their chosen skill. Those who use the word talent with regard to anyone often imply that they have come across their ability somewhat miraculously, rather than having achieved it through hard graft. In my opinion, talent is a word which can only ever be associated with those who have the character and determination to get up each day and work.

In January 2012, I reached the ultimate in my sport, holding the number one position on squash's official world ranking list. Some may attribute this success to a degree of innate talent that 'just has to be in the genes'. In reality, this could only be true to a small extent. It was instead the culmination of years of training, travelling, and coping with losses and setbacks; of constantly plotting how I could better myself; of years of discussions with coaches, physios, nutritionists, and trainers. 

One thing I am clear about, and I admit it's cliched, is that the path to success is continuously being paved. My development as a squash player took time and patience and it will continue to do so if I want more. After 20 years learning my trade and after many highs and lows, at 28 years old, things came together, but not by accident or because of genes.

The points I have made can be applied in the physiotherapy world. Some athletes have  more inclination to avoid injuries than others, but no one can possibly be spared them for life, especially if they take part in a demanding sport.

I have worked with my physio Alison ever since my professional squash career began. I am happy to say that my body has served me well during ferocious spells of back to back squash tournaments at world levels, in which I am constantly stressing the joints and muscles, playing a game full of unnatural movements. I don't get through these intense periods of sport because of luck or talent, but I have often managed to remain standing because of all the work I have done with Ali in the physio room.

I often come in to her practice in Leeds in between tournaments even if there is nothing wrong; it is important that we continuously work hard to make sure there remains nothing wrong, and so we go through exercises and movement patterns that I can do when away at tournaments, which will help to keep me in shape. The treatments help to correct any imbalances playing squash may bring about.

Put simply, staying injury free is down to smart planning, expertise and dedication. It is about hundreds of hours of work and application, and not just by the athlete. Even then, there are no guarantees. So for the sake of your career, whatever the level, don't neglect this part of the process, and reap the rewards in performance and the longevity of your sporting life.

'Shot and a Ghost' The new autobiography by James Willstrop

Shot and a ghostJames Willstop's excellent new book 'Shot and a Ghost' shows that James Willstrop has whit, charm and determination off the court as well as on. James has been a regular writer for the Leeds based paper, The Yorkshire Evening Post, writing colums on the life of a squash player. Now he has taken that one step further and with a lot of hard work he has produced a fantastic and wonderfully written book, you will not want to put it down.

Review by Alison Rose-
"James's book is a thoroughly enjoyable read-  I couldn't put it down. Written from the heart, it made me want to laugh, and cry, and  it gave great insight into the brutal world of elite level squash, as well as the events and people in his life that have made him who he is today. Well written,  I would recommend this to anyone."

You can purchase James's book directly from his website www.willstrop.co.uk
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Barrow and Couch Take Bronze at Visa World Cup
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Switch on for the 2012 Iaaf World Indoor Championships
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Last week held a special moment for British diving, as Sarah Barrow and Tonia Couch took the first ever British women's medal in an international diving event! They went from 8th to 3rd with a brilliant last dive in the 10m Synchro. Rebecca Gallentree and Alicia Blagg had solid perfomances too. They commented that they were much improved on last years World event, putting them in good stead for this summer!
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On Friday 9th March, the all important 2012 World Indoor Chapionships kick off in Istanbul. The UKA team including Jessica Ennis, Dwain Chambers, Mo Farah and Helen Clitheroe will be showing the world what they are made of in the run up to the Olympics.  Tv coverage of the competition will be on Chanel 4.
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Carnegie Sports Physiotherapy Clinic
Carnegie Sports Centre
Leeds Metropolitan University
Leeds
LS6 3QQ
Phone: 0113 275 0606
clinic@carnegiesportsphysiotherapyclinic.co.uk
www.carnegiesportsphysiotherapyclinic.co.uk



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