Using international best practice and based on extensive research into athlete development, Kiwi Squash is one of the many starting points on the Squash New Zealand Athlete Pathway. Designed specifically to meet the needs of young players, it uses modified games and activities that provide fun and success as they grow and develop. This provides them with a strong foundation for their squash futures that will help ensure they stay in the game and have the greatest chance to succeed.
Squash is a competitive sport by nature, yet before young players can enjoy the challenge of competition, they need to develop the necessary fundamental movement and squash skills. Global research suggests that at the junior stage, focus needs to be on fun and participation. As age and skill levels of players increase the amount of healthy competition can increase appropriately.
Movement and fun squash activities are the focus for the Small Nix 5-8 years stage. Young players need to develop the ABC’s of athleticism, agility, balance, coordination and speed to build a sound platform for learning and developing squash skills. If children do not learn these skills in their development they may not reach their full potential in the future. Many weaknesses of squash skills can be linked to ineffective or poorly developed movement skills.
Learning ball control skills and squash technique, strategies and tactics are key focuses in the Big Nix 9-12 years stage. These are often called the ‘skill hungry years’ with research showing it is a critical phase for motor development. At this stage children are often developmentally ready to acquire fundamental movement and sport-specific skills that are the cornerstone of all athletic development.
The Kiwi Squash Coaching Resources each provides 8 recommended session plans that includes activities and games that are ideal for school or club junior programmes. Progressions are included so activities can be repeated for additional sessions. Kiwi Squash is a flexible programme and can be used in any setting and for different programme lengths - from a four week programme to a full term or season. It can also be delivered at any time of the year.
Parents, teachers, coaches, students, and other volunteers can easily deliver Kiwi Squash. It is recommended that you attend a relevant coaching module as this will give you a better understanding of the information and resources you need to go out and deliver a fun experience.
To learn more about how you can get involved with Kiwi Squash click here.