Guest Post By Lisa Aitken
An Introduction to Lisa Aitken, England squash player
Hi, I’m Lisa Aitken and I live in Harrogate.
Coach: David Pearson/Danny Massaro
Racket Sponsor: Dunlop
Left/Right Handed: Left
Highest World Ranking: 36
How it all began
I first started playing squash at the age of 9. At the age of 10 I entered my first junior tournament in Aberdeen. Winning straight sets in the final I was spotted by Pat Nicol, the former Scottish national coach and father to Peter Nicol, a previous world no.1.
I had an outstanding junior career, making the final of every junior domestic tournament. I also won every Nationals title from the under 11 to the under 19 category, the only female to do so. I soon dispersed to the European junior circuit and I reached top 3 in my age group before becoming number 1 in the under 15 and 17 category.
I was the youngest female to ever be capped for Scotland, and in the same year given the Most Valuable Player award in the senior team.
I turned down the opportunity to go to University to turn professional and dedicate my life to my squash career. I gained more than 40 caps at senior level and was selected to represent Scotland in the 2010 Commonwealth Games in Delhi, where I reached two quarter final positions in the women’s doubles and the mixed doubles.
Since returning from Delhi I have competed full time on the professional tour and moved up 140 places in the World Rankings to a career high of 38 in the world in August 2013 at the age of 23.
A career changing decision
Recently I made a very big decision in my career. I made a switch to play for England a couple of months ago and ceased my career with Scottish Squash. I did this due to a number of reasons. The main reason was to better my squash and put myself in a position where I am involved with a world class set up involving technical coaches, strength and condition coaches, psychologists and so on. England, for as long as I can remember have run the best programme any country has seen, and therefore has produced the best players the circuit has seen. This was something I had to be part of, to better myself and to get the most out of my sporting life as I could.
Now flying under the English flag I can already feel myself progressing rapidly as an athlete and as a person. With the 2013/14 season just beginning I am excited to get stuck in and break into the top 20.
Ranking Target for May 2014: 28
Ranking Target for May 2015: 18
In 2015 I aim to get my first England cap. Due to my switch from Scotland to England I have an incubation period where I can’t play in a team event until 2015. With there being 5 English women in the top 20 it’s going to be a tough challenge, which I am ready for!
Within the next 12 months I aim to get my first world tour title. Having previously made a tour final I got a small taste of what could be.
Every athlete will say they aim to be the best they can be. This of course I agree with, but then I think what if the best I can be is 10 in the world? I don’t think I will be satisfied with that, I want to be THE best, if my limit is 10 in the world I will find a way to go beyond the limits!
I believe that if I train to the best of my ability day in day out, paying attention to detail and pushing myself to the limits, anything is possible.
Having been to a Commonwealth Games before that is another big goal. There is no better feeling than getting the chance to perform on the big stage. An event like the Commonwealth Games is the pinnacle of our sport. A Gold Medal in singles and doubles will be a massive target for me in 2018, Gold Coast Australia.
My Training Schedule:
I currently train twice a day, 6 days per week. This involves different types of training including:
- On court practice
- On court 1-1 sessions with my coach
- Strength & Conditioning
- Speed training
- Rehab/Prehab (yoga/pilates/stretching)
- Fitness training – gym based/on court
I compete on the Professional World Tour (WSA) and travel to on average 14 tournaments per year in every continent.
When I am at home training I travel between Harrogate, Chorley and Manchester for the squash side of things and for all gym related sessions (fitness/strength & conditioning etc) I train out of EDGE Gyms in Leeds.
EDGE Gyms1 has really allowed me to take my training to the next level in terms of equipment and coaches available. Their unique training methods has definitely given me the EDGE on my other rivals!
I started incorporating Lucy Bee Coconut Oil into my diet around 2 months ago. Where have I been?! This product is so versatile, my uses for Lucy Bee are endless…
- Morning Coffee
- Snack time smoothies
- As a cooking oil for ALL meals (meat/veg/eggs)
- Moisturiser (I have really noticed a difference in the softness of my skin)
Since using Lucy Bee Coconut Oil I have really noticed the benefits. My skin and hair are glowing and I feel radiant – it’s unreal how such a natural product can have such an effect.
A note from Lucy,
Thanks to Lisa for sharing this with us – Good Luck! Follow Lisa on twitter @LisaAitken1 X
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