Earlier this season US Squash introduced a new Regional Squad training program that sees twenty-four players from each region take part in three squad training events over the course of the season. The Regional Squad concept has been extremely successful in bringing the region’s best players together to train as a team, create a successful team dynamic and learn from U.S. National and Regional Coaches, with each squad weekend taking on a different ‘theme’.
“During first regional squad all national coaches agreed that the focus would be on ‘varying the pace’, which is an area often forgotten, ” said Junior Men’s Head National Coach Adam Hamill. “The coaches wanted to show the benefits of ‘lifting’ the ball, using height and width in addition to the ever-popular low and hard-hitting game. Ultimately, bringing together the best players in the region is hugely beneficial for all involved, and it gives the national coaches exposure to potential national team players for the future.
“The second regional squad was designed to build on the first, with accuracy and consistency being a priority, ” continued Hamill. “Attention to detail and purpose of shot was highlighted throughout the session. All participants focused on a variety of specific targets for various shots, and players responded particularly well when a competitive aspect was introduced.”
In addition to the training squads, US Squash is also excited to host the Regional Team Championships at Yale University, June 27-29, with all eligible players having received their invitations to participate last week. The Regional Team Championships will feature teams from seven different regions to crown the 2014 Regional Team Champions. Each region will participate in both an age-group and an overall competition which should see a number of intriguing matchups across all regions.
US Squash continues to be encouraged by the support these National Team programs are receiving, and the prospect of adding a team competition to an already successful team training environment is a positive step. “Having the best players in each region training as a team will ultimately help improve the level of squash throughout the U.S., ” commented U.S. Junior Women’s Head National Coach Scott Devoy. “Creating a pathway and an appreciation for representing your country at the highest level is an important step to developing the future of the game.”
There will be a great deal of National Team activity taking place this summer with our Junior Men’s and Junior Women’s Teams taking part in the Junior World Championships in Windhoek, Namibia, August 10-21. We also have the tenth anniversary of the Battle of the Border (Ontario American Challenge) at White Oaks Resort in Niagra-on-the-Lake, Ontario, August 7-10, as well as our Senior National Team traveling to Mexico for the Pan American Olympic Festival, September 6-12, in preparation for the 2015 Pan American Games in Toronto.
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Regional Squads Schedule for May
New England Region—Milton Academy, May 18
Connecticut Region—Brunswick School, May 11
New York Region—StreetSquash, May 11
Pennsylvania Region—Episcopal Academy, May 11
West Coast Region—Stanford University, May 3-4
Mid-Atlantic Region—Meadow Mill Athletic Club, May 10
Great Lakes Region—Cleveland Racquet Club, May 3-4