• “From Middle School to College Squash – the conversation”

    “From Middle School to College Squash – the conversation”

    As a coach I’m asked a lot of questions about all aspects of the sport, from technique to tactics, physical and psychological preparation – and frequently about players future potential.

    One of the most frequently occurring questions has always been:

    “How big a predictor of future success is a player’s performance in Middle School?”

    IMG_1019A look through this morning’s U17 rankings tells me the following:

    * All but three (3) of the current top 50 ranked GU17 had peak rankings in GU15 in the top 32

    * All but four (4) of the current  top 50 ranked BU17 had peak rankings in the BU15 in the top 32

    Drill down a little further and we find…

    * 40 of the top 50 ranked BU17 were ranked in the top 32 @U13

    * 42 of the top 50 ranked GU17 were ranked in the top 32 @U13

    What do I take from these facts?

    “It is never too early to invest in quality training that is appropriate for age and stage of development.”

    Four principles to take forward:IMG_4652

    1.Middle School Players are not “small High School or College players” and they have their own developmental needs;

    2.  Pre-adolescence is a fertile time of super adaption and absorption and is a great time to learn everything from sport through to music and languages;

    3. Improving performance involves deliberate practice and the accumulation of guided and purposeful repetitions 

    4. We have a window of opportunity in Middle School for physical conditioning to improve children’s overall athletic profile, performance and to prevent injury (pre-hab).

    In planning for this coming Winter Season, Scozzie is adding opportunities for Middle School players with their specific needs in mind!

    anika and jac

    * New squads at 5:00pm on weekdays in addition to our traditional 7:00pm squad;

    * Thursday will be a dedicated “Tournament Preparation Day” to take the players through rehearsal of the specifics of mental and physical preparation for matches, in addition to actual Matchplay with coaches watching and making observations;

    * Two squads per day on weekends – to provide flexibility for busy families;

    * Lesson slots every weekday from 3:00pm so we can make sure all our Middle Schoolers have the support they need

    To reiterate…

     “It is never too early to invest in quality training that is appropriate for age and stage of development.”

     Our next blog will deal with some specific recommendations for the Winter Phase and how we can best take advantage of the opportunities for our Middle School players in particular.

    phase 2