A good squash coach is like a manager in boxing – he or she tries to gradually increase the difficulty of opponents, so that his or her squash team is optimally challenged as they move through the season. Not many sport coaches realize that one of the most important principles of planning is that you should not plan detailed practices more than two weeks ahead of time so that you can make adjustments for injuries, fatigue, psychological state, etc.
With that in mind, Smith College Coach Tim Bacon (the only Level 4 Squash Coach with a Master’s in Coaching in North America – who also teaches bona fide academic courses as a member of Smith College Faculty) has developed a good relationship with nearby colleges so that his team can experience an ideal level of competition. This week he made an arrangement with the Wesleyan coach to sit out their top 4-5 players, bringing their bottom eight so that his team, made up mostly of players with one to three years experience – including four players totally new to the game.
The Smith Squash Team did not disappoint, so had very close matches with the Wesleyan players – winning two matches, winning four games in other matches, and at least a very close game (two points difference) in two others. Only Smith’s #9 and #10 did not get close as they played repeat matches with the Wesleyan #8 and #6 – so a little outclassed. The team’s new players also did a great job marking and reffing for the first time – perhaps due to Coach Bacon’s new pedagogy for teaching lets and strokes – you will have to catch that on his Science of Coaching Squash Blog in the upcoming weeks.
Here is video of Smith captain and # 4 Elizabeth Guyman and #3 Jasmine Wallas from the Bahamas – Smith is always looking for good international recruits to come to Smith and play squash!