The growth surges and changes in muscle shape that take place during teenage years provide the opportunity for junior players to develop a more mature squash game. Even without training, natural physical development brings about increases in strength, speed, and stamina. Increased strength allows the ball to be hit harder (so it gets hotter and bounces higher), increased speed means that less shots are winners, and increased stamina means that the ball keeps getting hit hard and keeps getting retrieved! And focused training can make these changes even more dramatic.
As a direct result of these physical developments the average length of rally increases with each rise in age group, and with this a deeper tactical understanding of patience, rally structure, attack / defence, volleying, and "T" position, must be developed in the player. A teenager that matures early will discover that hitting the ball hard feels good and gets results. It is very common to see these bigger children win purely because of their size and strength, but because they do not fully develop tactically or technically then they are often left behind later on when their smaller peers that learned to play with "skill" close some of the physical gap.
Coach Allen has spent the majority of his twenty years of professional coaching working with this age group. At squash clubs, on high school programs, in county / state / provincial squads, and even on national teams, and he's fully aware of the increasingly tough school schedule for children of this age. However with the right approach Coach Allen believe's that a focus on squash can be a welcome release for teenagers from some of the stresses that they are beginning to deal with. Furthermore he believe that some of life's most important lessons can be learned on the court. The principles of a good work ethic, trying your best at all times, losing with dignity, winning with grace, playing fairly and honestly, and learning to push oneself to the limit, are just a few of the good characteristics that can be installed through the sport of squash.
Mark Allen E-mail: Mallen@boarsheadresort.com Tel:434-972-7424