"For five days, Australia’s top 20 juniors were fortunate enough to have been chosen to be a part of the National Talent Squad Camp held at the Australian Institute of Sport in Canberra. The camp was managed by Squash Australia’s acting Performance Pathway Manager, Lisa Camilleri and the national junior team coaches Vicki Cardwell and Tim Cowell. Throughout the week, we were given a taste of the high class facilities provided by the AIS such as the recovery centre, the deliciously healthy food and the invaluable experience between the three coaches.
We were also taken through lectures that explored aspects integral to squash, one such lecture being psychology. We were taught how to identify and manage emotional risk factors that may hinder our performance, how to increase chances of performing at peak level and how to get the maximum out of a training session even on a bad day!
The nutrition lecture informed us of what a squash player’s body needs in preparation for a tough match or session and what to consume to recover from it. The recovery lecture included methods of aiding your body to recover faster and more efficiently, one method being hydrotherapy, which all players were taken through at the end of each day.
The players were tested on endurance via the yoyo test, agility, court sprints, skipping and a number of technical skills, while the on court routines and matchplay focussed on reading and executing game strategies and adjusting them to your opponent's weaknesses and strengths.
Unexpectedly, the last night saw a handful of us win tickets to Cirque du Soleil’s production Quidam at the AIS Arena!
Overall this camp was an invaluable experience from which all players went home better equipped to take on challenges we face on and off court and with renewed incentive to keep training hard!"
-Shehana Vithana (December 2015)