Making the transition from the tail end of summer to Fall can be harsh. What a difference a month makes.
Each month I select a player from JoshSQUASH who showed me something that stood out on court. It can be a physical performance, such as a good tournament result, some kind of improvement, grasping a specific concept, or finally reaching a goal. This stand out quality may also manifest itself in a cerebral attribute, such as improving one’s work ethic, being a better teammate in squash class, showing a great attitude, or helping other players get better by sharing what they have learned.
Oliver Sahlman is the player of the month for September 2013 for his strong work ethic in class. He has been really receptive to new concepts, changing his grip, open to a new swing and has played hard against everyone. I saw a ton of improvement just within the first few weeks.
Once, he was one of the loudest kids in squash class, so far this season he has been focused and determined – making him more quiet and stealth around the court. Congrats Oliver – keep up the good work!
I love squash because the concepts are pretty simple to understand, but are often hard to execute, so playing squash becomes a lifelong pursuit that keeps us running from corner to corner of the court. Each year you meet more people along the way, gain new friendships and learn more about yourself through friendly competition.
My hope is that the kids in JoshSQUASH will continue to play the sport long after they leave my junior program. Squash was such a large part of my childhood and helped me gain confidence when I needed it. I met friends, traveled and eventually competed against players from many different places around the globe.
As a dyslexic student, I had to work extra hard to keep up with the pack. Squash was my vehicle to begin to level the playing field. And in fact, it helped me become one of the frontrunners. I found and was really surprised at first that if I practiced often and worked hard, I could actually improve my squash game. I started believing in myself. It is this effort and confidence I hope to instill in each of the kids in JoshSQUASH. You don’t have to win the big tournament to be a frontrunner. You just have to work hard.
It’s so fun to think about themes to work on in our squash classes each week. And to think about how one theme may complement another.
The first week of the Fall season has come and gone. We worked on our racquet prep and hitting the ball high and deep. We thought about hitting the ball at a middle pace that is not too hard but also not a soft lob. My goal for the juniors in JoshSQUASH is to feel more comfortable during long rallies. “Consistency” is the name of the game this Fall. We want to out-rally our opponents — to make it to the finish line, to run the marathon and be ready to hit some more.
The second week of JoshSQUASH was all about volleys hit to good lengths. We thought about how to better hold our court positions and make the other player keep running around the court. Volleying is a great way to speed up the tempo without having to hit the ball any harder – so pace is an important part of how we hit our shots.
In the third week of JoshSQUASH our focus is on the 2-wall boast hit from the middle of the court. Whereas from the back of the court the defensive boast is hit harder and for 3-walls, the 2-wall boast is hit with more spin to bite down on the ball for a faster and lower bounce – making the ball die before reaching the faraside wall.
JoshSQUASH Starts today!I am very excited about all of the possibilities for this year’s squash season (in spite of Squash not making it into the 2020 Olympic games). But with more than 70 juniors already signed up for the Fall JoshSQUASH Schedule and close to 20 moms signed up for the morning classes, this will be the largest group ever. This means that I will be able to create more opportunities for our juniors, by setting up fun squash mixers with other clubs and schools like the Heights Casino and Poly Prep for the younger kids, and solid local tournaments for those who wish to compete for national rankings.Some highlights for the 2013-2014 JoshSQUASH season will be JoshSQUASH Bronze (a US-sanctioned tournament), JoshSQUASH Championships (only for JoshSQUASH players), and the annual Awards Night. (Don’t forget to have your kids complete their Level Sheets for prizes!)My goal is to make squash a fun lifelong passion for your families. I will send out ta contact sheet for all the JoshSQUASHJuniors so that you can set up your own “squash playdates” with other kids. All JoshSQUASH juniors have the same court booking privileges as adult members. (More details on this to follow.)
The new www.JoshSQUASH.com website (soft launch date October 1st) will be a place to get answers to your questions, check the calendar for JoshSQUASH events and US Squash events from around the country. You will also be able to see pictures and videos, and to follow what your kids are learning weekly by reading my blog. Payment will be much easier in the future with the online credit card option. (Please note this will start in the Winter session – NOT the Fall.) So please use theJoshSQUASH website as a way to stay informed.
Thank you,Josh Easdon Director of JR Squash
Cobble Hill – NYSC