The first ever squash college recruiting event took place at Fairmount Athletic Club at the end of August. The event brought together over 100 high school seniors and juniors, college coaches and parents. Coaches representing 11 college women’s teams and 10 college men’s teams watched the students play exhibition matches and held panel discussions about the college recruiting process.
Demer Holleran, a former college coach and owner of Fairmount, moderated both panels and the Presidents of the Women’s and Men’s College Squash Associations—Shona Kerr of Wesleyan and Bob Callahan of Princeton, respectively—gave introductions at the panels. Panelists included coaches from Bates, Cornell, George Washington, Penn, Princeton, Trinity, Wellesley and Wesleyan.
The coaches were quite candid during the panels. Two memorable comments included one from an Ivy coach saying to the seniors, “E-mail me as much as you like. Get in my face. If I don’t want you, I’m not going to email back!” And another from the coach of a lower-ranked team got a good laugh when she recounted that she hears from many kids following early decision disappointments: “Yes, I applied early to X but I never REALLY wanted to go there. Your college has always been my first choice…”
The students were treated to a 5-game exhibition during lunch by Princeton No. 1, Todd Harrity, and Fairmount pro, Lyall Patterson. In addition, Paul Frank, the Squash Director at Fairmount Athletic Club and former Performance Director of Scottish Squash, led a talk on Mental Toughness Training for Squash.
The event was extremely well received by the students, parents and coaches. The coaches benefitted from making contact with numerous students who are interested in their programs, the parents enjoyed the non-ranking competition and information on how to support their kids through the recruiting process and the students gained information on how to approach the recruiting process as well as each making contact with several coaches.
Fairmount Athletic Club looks forward to hosting this event again in late August 2011 and to being instrumental in helping junior squash players find a good college fit.