The World of Squash (WOS) Coaching Programme aims to produce champions by taking its athletes through graduated stages of athletic development. Success comes from training and performing well over the long term rather than winning in the short term. It takes years of extensive training to excel at sport and a long term commitment to training is required to produce elite athletes. The WOS Programme has been devised to provide an understandable and achievable pathway for athletes to follow according to Long Term Athlete Development (LTAD) model – from the beginner stage through to high performance.
The four stages of development:
- FUNdamentals – Ages 5-10
- Training to Train – Ages 10-13
- Training to Compete – Ages 14-17
- Training to Win – Ages 17/18+
Athletes work on an individual schedule within the holistic WOS Programme. When required, the athletes attend sessions with the Sport Science and Medical Unit at the Tuks High Performance Centre. These disciplines include Medical Practitioners, Physiotherapists, Bio-kineticists and Nutritionists. The athlete’s technical and tactical skills are further honed with the use of Dartfish Video Analysis, specialist coaches, the Visual Coaching Programme, squash ball machines and Footworkers.
Tournament management and selection, forms an important part of the WOS Programme. Overdoing competitions can result in shortcomings in physical, technical, tactical and mental abilities. Tournaments form an extension of the training programme, with the focus on skills consolidation. The individual athlete’s training programme gets adapted and reviewed after each tournament and weaker areas are systematically worked on.
The WOS Programme is presented at TuksSquash (Univ of Pretoria) and Menlopark Muurbal Akademie (MMA). Players are introduced to squash at all ages and sessions take place throughout the week for the different ability groups.
At the MMA, the WOS Programme is presented during school hours, exclusively for the learners at Die Hoërskool Menlopark. Players are encouraged to play squash at the highest possible level while also participating in team sports.
Both TuksSquash and MMA Programmes are based on the LTAD principles.
WOS Development Pathway
World of mini-SQUASH – introduces youngsters between the ages of 5 and 10 to the game of squash in a FUN filled and safe environment. Age appropriate games are used to develop the fundamental skills related to bat and ball activities. Equipment is adapted to the age of the players (i.e. mini rackets) A positive reward system (certificates, ribbons, medals) encourages the players to progress through the different levels of the programme. The emphasis of the mini squash programme is to build a love for the game.
Kick Start and Accellerate – these year round programmes emphasise basic squash development. Coaching is aimed at improving the skills level and although fitness and strength and conditioning sessions are held the emphasis is more on dual sided muscular development than actual fitness. Players are introduced to competitive play in a controlled environment.
FAST TRACK PROGRAMME
Junior coaching – this fast track programme builds the bridge between the junior programme and the junior elite programme. Coaching is aimed at honing the basic skills and the application of these skills in competitive play. Although competitive participation is managed and controlled, players are encouraged to participate in the Provincial tournament circuit
STEP UP PROGRAM
Players participating on this progam are not mainstream provincial players. This program is designed to get the players competing at a level to be selected, or if that is the choice, to enjoy social squash. Flocus is on developing skillz, as well as developing a competitive edge. this program often combines with the Fast Track program
JUNIOR ELITE PROGRAMME
The invited players on the Junior Elite Programme have all participated in an Inter Provincial Tournament and regularly compete in tournaments and leagues. They have all committed to squash as a 1st line sport. Sport science testing, skills testing and a periodized approach to training are all introduced at this level.
HIGH PERFORMANCE PROGRAMME
A minimum requirement for players to be promoted to this programme is participation on a junior National level. Advanced squash skills are introduced and implemented in matches at tournaments and league. Camps (which include educationals) are held throughout the year to consolidate improved skills and tactics. Biokineticists, physiotherapists, and nutritionists play a complementary role at this level and strength and conditioning, fitness and flexibility are areas of increased importance.
The Menlopark Muurbal Akademie (MMA) Programme started in 2000 when the school refurbished and upgraded the squash complex which consists of 4 glass-backed courts adjoining a fully equipped gymnasium. The objective of the MMA is to provide quality coaching and training for the learners of Die Hoërskool Menlopark. It has grown steadily every year, achieving the ultimate goal in South African Schools’ squash by winning the National Top Schools title in 2008. Other achievements include regular selection of MMA players into the South African National Age Group Teams to Namibia, UK and Malaysia. In 2008, the MMA’s No 1 player was selected as the Captain of the South African Junior Men’s Team to the World Championships in Switzerland.
Although the MMA is run independently of the school through the World of Squash Programme, it carries the full support of the teaching staff and Head Master. Classes and sessions are co-ordinated with the academic timetable of the athletes. The motto of “Where Champions Develop” is the cornerstone to the success of all the athletes who participate in the Programme, as reaching every child’s full potential is our objective.
To ensure that world class expertise is at the forefront of the Programme, specialist coaches are invited to present sessions to the various groups within the MMA. Any interested Menlopark learner is welcome to join the MMA, as sessions are ability based and cater for beginners as well as Provincial and National players.
The MMA is a satellite programme of TuksSquash, and the athletes benefit by the involvement of the Univ of Pretoria’s B Sport Science students as well as the support services of the Tuks High Performance Centre’s Physiotherapists, Bio-kineticists, Sport Psychologists and Nutritionists.
Menlopark Muurbal Akademie
Die Höerskool Menlopark
The Univ of Pretoria’s Squash Programme has been one of the strongest competitors in USSA Squash for many years, with the TuksSquash team being overall National winners for 7 years. Students wishing to pursue both an academic and sporting career have made the right choice by enrolling at the Univ of Pretoria. With the support of TuksSport, Tuks hpc and the WOS Programme, TuksSquash has seen a move away from a culture of just social squash to participation in International squash.
The various Programmes presented by TuksSquash are open to ANY interested player. The only requirement is to be a member of the Club. A mentoring programme gives top players the opportunity to give back to squash by playing with younger and newer players and this creates a welcoming atmosphere for all levels of play. Tournaments catering for all ages and levels are regular features on the TuksSquash calendar. Non-competitive players are accommodated in the internal programme making TuksSquash a friendly squash environment.
TuksSquash encompasses a Junior: Intro Programme (Beginner), Junior: Elite Programme (Intermediate), Junior: High Performance Programme (Advanced) as well as the Academy/Full-time Programme. All sessions include the fundamentals of training with a scientific support system (HPC) to achieve goals as set by the athlete.
A number of players have progressed to professional status and, when in South Africa, these WISPA and PSA circuit players are included in the Academy Programme. Local and international players join the TuksSquash Programme for individually tailored training sessions ranging from weekends to 3-months at a time. Accommodation and scientific support is offered by the Tuks hpc ensuring a professional environment for all athletes.
All members have access to the 7 courts situated on TuksSports Campus in Hatfield, Pretoria and arrangements can be made to use the state-of-the-art facilities of the Tuks hpc.
World of Squash is a registered service provider to the University of Pretoria.
University of Pretoria – Sports Campus
South Street Entrance
GPS Co-ordinates: S25° 45’ 21” E28º 13’ 51”
Link to map: http://www.ais.up.ac.za/images/campusmap.pdf