Madibaz squash star John Kuhn said his game continued to grow as he absorbed some new lessons in the World University Championships in England last month.
Played in Birmingham, Kuhn was part of the South African team which ended sixth overall, while he finished 20th in the individual event.
He said one of the big things he learnt was about conditioning the body to handle the challenge of the game at a high level.
“I learnt that I needed to be able to stay in shape to have a chance of performing at this kind of level for an extended period of time.
“Many of the players had world rankings, which taught me about being able to handle the pressure of tough competition.
“It was a delight to see the top-ranked players clash and to see how they handled themselves.”
The 20-year-old lefthander grew up in Bloemfontein, where he attended Grey College at a primary level before moving to St Andrew’s School. He showed his squash talent at an early age and represented South Africa at the World Junior Games.
After taking a gap year in 2017 he decided to study forestry and is now in his first year at the Nelson Mandela University campus in George.
Kuhn said another lesson came in adapting to the conditions as the Birmingham venue had courts made of artificial material, different to the brick walls used in South Africa.
“The courts were an extreme factor. It might sound insignificant but it made a huge difference and was something that had to be taken seriously.
“We luckily arrived a few days prior to the tournament which gave us some time to adjust to the conditions.”