Following up on the initial Spring Regional Squads earlier in the year, US Squash reached an even greater number of players in the second iteration. One hundred and fifty players and twenty one coaches in seven regions across the U.S. came together to work towards improving the level of the U.S. National Teams at both the junior and senior level. A major part of the sessions is an emphasis on team training and creating a team dynamic, something which is stressed by the coaches throughout the day.
Head National Coach, Paul Assaiante led the NY squad, and commented afterwards, “Spectacular that in a year we have seven regional squads that are fully subscribed running across the country simultaneously. That is amazing! Squash at a junior level in the US is exploding and I think the Regional Squads will play a huge part in providing better opportunities for players to one day represent their country.”
Last week US Squash announced plans for the first 2014 Regional Team Championship, and this initial hosting of the 2013-2014 squads serve as a basis to form their Regional Squad in preparation for the Regional Team Championships, June 27th-29th 2014. The introduction of the Regional Team Championships created a buzz within each squad with players pitting themselves against their friends from other regions, predicting who would be playing who and discussing the possibility of becoming the champions of 2014.
The Regional Squad program invites the top four highest ranked players in each age group (U13-17) and gender to attend a squad training day in their Region with Team USA’s National and Regional Coaches. It is believed that by reaching a greater number of players at the regional level, and creating a support system that starts earlier and reaches wider, that Team USA will continue to make strides on the international stage both in individual and team events and at the junior and professional level.
US Squash has committed to supporting its elite players, specifically through the Elite Athlete Program that was announced in September, where U.S. players receive funding while playing on the professional tours.