From a passage this winter about squash partners, within a long-read about taking up serious squash in middle age. I know nothing about squash but a decent amount about teammates and a little about age.
To play your very best, to make a Houdini-like escape from impossible conditions, you need a partner who handcuffs you and stuffs you in a mail sack, then hurls it into the river. He should also keep his mouth mostly shut, except to say “Nice shot.” The box you’re both in is too small—twenty-one feet wide by thirty-two feet deep—and the necessary do-si-do-ing too close to admit anyone who blocks or bickers. When you find a solid partner, you settle into an oppositional symbiosis, where you improve by trying to crush each other.