If you can keep the ball in
when the opponent cannot,
If you can trust your drop shot
and play it reasonably above the tin.
If you can rally and not be tired by rallying,
or be deceptive, with a hold and flick,
or be aroused, but still accept no let calls against you
And don't play too fancy, nor argue vehemently.
If you can visualise - and not make visuals your mistress;
If you can plan - and express those plans despite distress;
If you can meet with prosperity and scarcity
And treat those two outcomes just the same;
If you can suffer to hear the facts you've spoken
Misinterpreted by fools making them seem wiser,
Or discover the efforts you put in, unfulfilled,
And refocus and restart your training again with an old racket.
If you can hunt for the crosscourt volley nick roller
And risk missing and leaving yourself open,
And miss, but recover and scramble to the next shot
And breathe calmly as you run rapidly;
If you can strive with cardiovascular capacity
Beyond self doubt about your tenacity,
And continue onwards and upwards with a defensive lob
To give time to recover the T for their next stroke.
If you can thank the officials and spectators graciously,
And be humble in victory, and generous in defeat,
If neither opponents nor administrators can hurt you,
If all stakeholders count on you, but none too much;
If you can fill the tie breaker in the fifth game
With the stuff of your life,
This squash court is yours forever more,
And - yes let's be a player of squash my friend!
by David Jarvis 20th May 2022.
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