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Returning to competition

Updated: Jul 27, 2021

The pandemic obviously caused great disruption to the social, economic and political fabric of the country. Educationally many young people have had their scholastic experience interrupted, all the way from our elementary students right through the range to college freshmen. For all of us, we have missed squash, the training, the camaraderie, the release from our day to day stresses and the competition. While I’m sure we all acknowledge there have been many more significant upheavals in the US in the past year, we can still lament what we missed and look forward to getting back into the sport we love.

After over a year without the US Squash tournament circuit, there are a variety of factors to keep in the forefront of our mind in order for a return to winning squash. By way of a framework for creating programming, Squash Tigers methodology has three pillars: * Long Term Player Development (LTPD) * Annual Periodization * The Five Trainables All these three paradigms need some attention when programming training and become even more relevant after a period of tumult. They form the basis for much of modern coaching in a variety of sports and make sure that we give our players the best possible opportunity to achieve their potential and their goals in the sport.

Briefly explained, Long Term Player Development or LTPD speaks to the intelligent programming of a player’s training based upon their age and stage of development – simply put, 10 year olds shouldn’t do the same training that 16 year olds do. Annual Periodization refers to paying appropriate attention to the time of year and the competitive or training priorities – we don’t train the same in summer as the week before Nationals. The Five Trainables are all about the various physical and mental competencies required to be developed in order for a squash player to achieve their potential in the sport. Traditionally all of these pillars support progress in a normative and chronological fashion over time, however as we are all aware, it’s been a disrupted year! Finally now we have a chance to get back “on the path” and begin to develop ourselves in the sport again.

So now we deal with the way forward! The most important principle for progress is testing, or the establishment of a base line. Where are we now and what are our strengths and weaknesses? From this assessment we may then set goals and establish a plan! Every domain, including business, academia or sport, benefits from assessment, goal setting then a plan. The final step is to get to working hard – and that’s what squash players are famous for!

Our next blogs will start to break down the Squash Tigers Pillars and give an insight into how we get the playbook set!

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