In February, U.S. Squash announced the re-launch of the Regional Squads, an initiative intended to extend the reach of the National Teams program.
Drawing from the broadest base of talent, the squads aim to increase access to the National Team experience regionally, and develop an elite player continuum from juniors, to college players, to professionals and adults.
A selection of 133 junior players ranked in the top-50 in boys’ and girls’ U13, U15, U17, and U19 age divisions participated in the program, which began in April on the West Coast and involved sessions in the New England, Pennsylvania, New York, Mid-Atlantic, and Connecticut regions.
“I think the main thing about the training sessions is an emphasis on team and the team dynamic,” said Paul Assaiante, National Head Coach. “Generally, the most contact time that the players have with one another is competition, and it is refreshing to see them take on a training role versus a competitive role, and see the players supporting each other.
“The regional squads have also been a great tool for the coaches as well as the players.
“U.S. Squash is working to standardize its approach to elite level coaching and this initiative has been a great way for them to collaborate new ideas.
“It helps that the coaches have the opportunity to work together and actually come up with new schemes, initiatives, and drills to benefit the players, while also fostering a love for the game.
“Our national and regional coaches now have the ability to work more closely with the highest ranked players in each region, and this in turn will help to provide realistic opportunities to represent the USA.”
The next round of Regional Squad training sessions will begin November 15 with registration from early September.
For 2013-2014 season, U.S. Squash plans to hold four Regional Squads culminating in an Inter-Regional Championship in June 2014.