Squash catches ’em young!

There is innocence toddling in every inch of the ICL Squash Academy, now replete with the gentle bustle and bubbly chirps of 32 tots, who have enrolled for the summer camp.
Some might bloom, some might wither, but they have all made their first gentle strides into the world of squash.
For a whole lot of them, this is their first taste of squash. Neither as popular as cricket nor as glamorous as tennis, squash might not have swayed their fancy.
So the first shot of the course was to get them acquainted with the game. Chief coach Cyrus Poncha’s lecture on basic strokes in squash,which was followed by a video footage of the same, featuring SRFI consultant coach Major Maniam and World No. 1 player Nicol David. “Later, we demonstrated the shots on the court,” explained Poncha.
The nine-day U-13 course comprises five sessions a day, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. From fitness drills and shot-making to match play and injury prevention, the course encompasses all nuances of the game.
“We are keeping a close watch on the proceedings, for the best way to help shape better players is to spot and train them when they are young. It is easier to mould them,when they are only six or seven,” opined Prem Kumar, one of the assistant coaches. Patience is an oft-sought virtue, when you coach children.
“You can’t hurry up things, more so as many of them haven’t even heard of this game before. Coaching should be imparted in such a way that they should start liking and enjoying the game,” observed Prem.
Involved as they are with the sport, coaches are always on the hunt for fresh talents. “It’s hard to judge talent at this young age. But at times we have a gut feeling that he or she has the potential. There are a couple of children in this group,who I feel have the basic talent,” said Prem.

Indian Express


About Cyrus Poncha
I was born and lived in Bombay before moving to Chennai in 2001 to coach the Indian national squash team....what a journey its been!!

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