Junior Squash Program
Each week the squash classes have a theme so that we may focus on specific aspects of the game. Depending on the level of the class and the time of the year (Fall, Winter or Spring), these themes vary, but the following is a sample of themes for a 12-week course. The overall theme for this Fall is “Consistency”: To be able to outplay your opponent in long rallies.
Wk 1: Racquet Up for early prep – hit the ball High & Deep
Medium-pace Drives and long Rallies.
Wk 2: Volleys – hit the ball to good lengths.
Why do we hit Volleys? The younger beginners will work on their serves and basic Rallies. Everyone will pick goals to work on for the Fall.
Wk 3: Straight Drives (“Rails”)
What types of Rails are there and why do we hit them?
Wk 4: Boasts (3 walls vs. 2 walls)
Mixing Boasts with Rails to work the diagonal corners of the court.
Wk 5: Cross-courts
Why do we hit them? (3:1 Rail:Cross-court)
WK 6: Straight Drops – (NOT the Cross-drop).
We hit Drives to get the chance to hit Drops.
WK 7: Serve & Return We will also work a lot on Volleys and good lengths.
Wk 8: Lobs (Cross and Straight)
How they can help us when we are in a jam.
Wk 9: Basic Strategy (Using combinations of shots)
Complementary shots and working the Diagonal.
Wk 10: Defensive Boasts
Digging the ball out of the back corners of the court to stay alive in the Rally.
Wk 11: Court Movement
Footwork and learning the patterns of a point. How do we move to hit the best shot possible?
Wk 12: Review
Simulated games and regular games. Review our goals for the Fall. How did we do?
Moms’ Morning Madness
My goal for the morning squash classes is to make sure that everyone has a good time, gets exercise and that what they learn reflects what the junior program is doing. Depending on the level of players in the class and how far along we are in the squash season, we will determine the theme for each squash class. A sample 6-week Morning Madness Squash Class covers the following:
Wk 1: Racquet Up Early
Hit the bottom of the ball to make it go high & deep. Make sure that beginners know the basic rules and how to move on court safely.
Wk 2: Straight Drives, Cross-Courts and Serves
Review hitting the ball high & deep to hold your position on the “T”, and learning about “lets”.
Wk 3: Drives & Boasts from mid-court
How to make your opponent run diagonally on court – the longest distance – while you control the “T”.
Wk 4: Drives & Straight Drops
You hit drives to move your opponent behind you so that you get opportunities to hit the ball to the front.
Wk 5: Volleys
Hit the Ball to good length. Why do we hit them? (Return of serve.)
Wk 6: Court Movement – footwork
To learn the “dance pattern”, so you can move efficiently and hit a more solid shot.
Junior Squash Camps
Squash camp each Spring/Summer has a specific theme, such as “Teamwork”. In this theme, the focus is on campers taking the responsibility to make camp better for each other. Class dynamic is very important. We help each other hit the ball better or share strategies. At the same time, the campers focus on daily goals for learning skills such as Lobs or Straight Drops, and personal weekly goals.
My own aim is to make camp fun and comfortable for players of all levels. The camp week begins with an emphasis on knowing each camper’s strengths and weaknesses on court and picking a goal to work on throughout the week. On the second day, each camp session holds a contest for most creative shot.
The camp concludes with a handicapped tournament in which we level the playing field by making it equally difficult for the top player and the most challenged player to win the prize (usually a squash racquet). There are prizes for the Most Improved Camper and for the camper who exemplifies the Best Sportsmanship. Everyone gets a goody bag and a T-shirt. But the ultimate reward is for each camper to learn about squash in a safe and fun environment and hopefully make some new friends.
Last year we held our first U.S. Squash-sanctioned junior tournament. The event filled up extremely quickly, and we had to turn away late applicants. Because this is a Bronze-level tournament, it’s perfect for those who are new to the scene – either playing in their first tournament or have played in a few, but are looking to boost their experience.
The tournament will be held Friday afternoon through Sunday afternoon. This year’s dates are January 24-26, 2014. All participants will receive a T-shirt, and all attendees will be served snacks and coffee. There will be prizes for 1st, 2nd and 3rd places.
Please fill out the JoshSQUASH Bronze Entry Form and snail-mail it to me no later than January 15 to hold a place for your squasher.