It is exactly 31 days before the start of classes, when Smith Squash Team returns to playing squash and working out every day to get ready for pursue their goal of being the best that they can be!
Most of the team have not had access to squash courts during the summer (except Meg, Alice, Jasmine, Kim & Rachel) so September is an important time for the team to get in as much play as possible before the start of the season, October 6th.
Most recreational (i.e., middle-aged players) play 4-5 times a week at lunchtime or right after work for about one hour, so this is the minimum a competitive player should be playing when they have access to squash courts. In addition, members of a team should be doing at least 30 minutes of cardio, and 30 minutes of strength training to get ready for the start of the season
What most student-athletes do not realize is that fitness is not something that you can simply turn on or off overnight – it takes about 4-6 weeks for meaningful physiological changes to occur. The intensity of coach-planned practices depends on the entry level fitness of the players – unfit players cannot tolerate intense practices without injury and skill breakdown – so the coach has to drop the level of productivity.
So if you have been playing and staying in shape you need to move to Program A – start to introduce aerobic intervals, sprints and agility training, and squash-specific strength (lunges, etc.).
If you have not been working out the above program will cause injury – sore knees, excessive fatigue (unable to complete workout), shin splints, etc. – so you need to start program B – 30 minutes of lower level cardio, and basic strength in order to avoid injury by the time school starts.
Here is our starting ladder (based on last year’s results and my 31-year coaching opinion:) for the upcoming season – I have asterisked the players who will be abroad for at least part of the year:
Obviously this ladder order will change based mostly on hard and intelligent work.
So the good news is we have 13 players back! The sobering news is that we lost numbers 1,2,3,6 & 7 so we have our work cut out for us to get out of the CSA basement! A definite priority is to recruit another seven or eight athletic women for the team – preferably first-years as our #1 and #2 will be graduating in May 2009!