In June, Blair students, Tys, Jacob, Clio, Aya, and I went to Williams College for the Squash And Beyond summer camp. The camp was run by the head squash coach at Williams, Zafi. About forty-four squash players attended this camp, along with three head coaches, one track coach, and three current player coaches. The player coaches consisted of Darius Campbell, former Blair student and currently number three at Bates, Mario Yanez, currently number one at Rochester, and Chris Gordon, current pro, and number forty-five in the world. The head coaches were Mr. Moore, our own Blair coach, Zafi Levy, the current head coach at Williams, and Adam.
These coaches helped us with many aspects of the game, including driving, strategy, and racket grip. On the first day of camp, the coaches put us into groups based on our squash skills. There were four groups, ranging from one, which was for the players at the most experienced level, to four, which was for the players at the more inexperienced level. Players were able to move up or down in groups based on how they performed in training.
Camp was designed with two sessions each day, one in the morning, and one in the afternoon, each lasting about three hours. There were four different stations during training. Three of the groups did squash skill drills and the last group did physical fitness. Each group had at least one head coach and one player coach, except for the fitness group. Every hour or so, the campers alternated stations.
In between sessions, the campers had lunch at a small restaurant called The Purple Pub and were then free to roam around Williamstown and explore. Every night Zafi organized a fun activity for the campers, ranging from competitions to social events. The first night, the campers were split up into four groups, and throughout the week activities were done in these groups. Our first activity was a volleyball tournament. The next day we all went kayaking in the Deerfield River, playing with super-soaker water guns and traversing five miles of river. The next night was Dodgeball night, and the following night was soccer. The final day of the camp, the campers all played squash matches against each other. The teams for the matches were the same teams that were assigned to us for the activities, and we were ranked based on our abilities. The team led by Mario came out victorious, each team member being awarded a Dunlop hat.
The Squash And Beyond camp at Williams was a great experience. We learned a lot about squash and how to get better on our own, all while having a lot of fun with new friends and old ones.
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(Copyright 2015 Adham Sobhy)