Flashing units will increase your speed, footwork and reaction time
By TONY GRIFFIN – Squash Mad Coaching Correspondent
World No.6 Paul Coll is among a growing group of enthusiasts who are using the new ROXs training system.
When I was first introduced to the ROXs (pronounced rocks) a couple of months ago, their value for squash training was immediately clear. It was as if they are designed with shadowing, court sprints and squash agility in mind.
The system involves a number of flashing units that can be spread across a court floor to improve awareness, speed and footwork. The app measures your times for each activity.
When fellow New Zealander Paul Coll tried it for the first time, he was texting me with his reactions. Each response grew more and more enthusiastic as he challenged his own renowned speed and reaction times.
After his first short session, Paul sent me a message on WhatsApp saying: “Mate – I AM IN!!! – these are wicked!!! –made a preset (programme) already – Crushing it now.”
I got another text a few days later. “I really like the ROXs for training. Think it’s perfect.”
And he told me over the phone one day: “It’s just what I’ve been looking for in my ghosting, that random instant reaction movement. I had been improvising, putting numbers in each corner and an app on my phone that would randomly select one of the numbers. The ROXs are so much better – and they collect data!”
There are no short cuts with physical training but ROXs immediately changes the mentality and dynamics of the session. The level of alertness is doubled because you cannot start your next movement until you hear the sound or see the flashing light, thus giving the physical training added cognitive value which is very similar to match situations. With the ROXs you are connecting the body (physical) with the brain (psychological), which is our eternal challenge in squash.
When you hit on the ROXs touch-sensitive light, it stops flashing and the app starts up another ROXs.
The programmes randomly choose your destination by lighting up and making a sound. This random destination selection obliges an automatic motor-neuron reaction (body self organisation) which is an integral requirement of squash movement. You can also personalise the ROXs programme to suit your own needs.
You set the different programmes according to time or number of repetitions depending on your own training objectives, physical level and age. You can also programme the lights so that, for example, the red lights are touched by the feet, the green lights with your left hand and the blue lights with your racket handle.
Being able to condition the end of each movement with the use of different hands or feet obliges the player to develop multiple solutions so enhancing the body’s ability to “self organise” in an instant.
The app measures reaction time. It also collects and records different data about the sessions so you can easily follow your progress over time.
The children love it. For them it’s simply a fun game and, without realising it, they are improving their physical and cognitive skills.
Paul Coll enjoys a ROXs session on court
It also makes group coaching session more dynamic and rewarding. And, with club players, we have had the most hilarious and fun sessions.
State-of-the-art IoT technology is at the heart of ROXs. Multiple sensors detect and respond to tap, flip, toss, balance and shake movements. Lights, sounds and haptic clues stimulate senses. Reaction data, challenges, competitions and programs drive motivation to move.
ROXs are flexible for Fitness, performance, sport-specific, injury-prevention, rehab, cognitive training or just active play; all are powered by ROXs. They have more than 100 training variations available.
The system is simple to set up and app controlled (iOS/Android), with wireless charging and adjustable mounting straps. They new covers added ground stability and all-weather protection are arriving very soon. And everything tested according to the highest German standards.
You download to your phone or tablet an app that contains an ever-growing series of interactive exercises. The app connects to theROXs and away you go.
ROXs are completely new and what we have talked about here is really only the tip of the iceberg for how they will be able to help people evolve. With the balance and shake sensors the A-Champs team are developing a programme that will combine speed and reflexes with balance and stability. These are contrasting skills that are essential in squash.
Before ROXs existed in their present form, Dr Giuseppe Riva published in the magazine Cortex, (number 104 in 2018) the paper “The Neuroscience of body memory: From self through the space to others”.
On page 252 he wrote to the scientific community “Our challenge is to determine how we can use technology to correct a dysfunctional body matrix. Two examples are: (1) the use of technology to facilitate the integration of external and inner body signals; and (2) the use of technologies to induce a controlled mismatch between the predicted or dysfunctional content and the actual sensory input thereby improving the body representations.
“The emerging fields of interoceptive feedback, sonoception (the use of sound and vibration to modify inner-body signals and body illusion techniques) may offer practical tools for the above strategies.”
Do ROXs hold a key to change?
Here is a link to the A-Champs website and below are the Squash Mad codes that will allow you a special offer to buy your ROXs tax free.
Codes for Squash Mad:
“SquashMad3” for 3-piece set and “SquashMad6” for 6-piece set with charging case.
Pictures courtesy of Tony Griffin, Paul Coll and the Squash Mad archive