As part of its fitness regimen, the team concentrates on playing competitive games during most of practice, with stairs as a warm-up and with star drills and an abdominal workout completing every session. Experience has shown that this routine, done with diligence, ensures that every player will be physically prepared for competition.
For mental toughness it is important to learn how to keep the correct frame of mind during critical points in a match. It is vital that all team members understand the importance of keeping their cool while under fire. To achieve this the program includes regular challenge matches and vigorous court drills. The more a player is kept under pressure, the tougher that player will be mentally when she needs it most.
In private meetings with the coach, an essential part of the program, player/coach strategies for improving court tactics and shot-making ability are discussed. Throughout the season the coach will break down a player’s game by distinguishing strengths from weaknesses and will chart an individualized course to better court strategy. Players are encouraged to formulate a long-term development plan that includes short-term goals along the way. Team discussions also play a major part in player development.
All of these strategies are combined with a heavy emphasis on proper stretching and nutrition. The goal is to maximize endurance in order to attain a higher performance level, both physically and mentally, while avoiding injury. It should be noted that a player is measured not by the number of wins she attains but by the level of improvement she demonstrates over the course of the season.
The Colby squash program is structured to challenge players throughout the season and to give a sense of accomplishment at the end. Undoubtedly the program has been a rewarding college experience for all student athletes who have participated in it.