Renowned English junior squash coach Chris Ryder, who has been currently coaching India’s squash team, has stated that India have some of the best junior squash players in the world. The talented coach also threw light on the “pressure sessions” and “movement practice” that he has been organizing.
Coming in early June to coach the National junior squad at the preparatory camp in Delhi as part of India’s “relationship” with England, where they “share information with each other, and try and improve both sets of juniors together”, Ryder has spent considerable time with the players now. His aim was to train the players for the sub-junior and junior Nationals to be held at ISA from Oct. 16-22.
However, it has been his coaching style that has caught eyeballs. He was seen dividing the junior players at the Indian Squash Academy (ISA) into two groups - young and old. “The old group trained for roughly two hours in the morning and evening. Similarly, the young group had two one-and-a-half hour sessions,” said Ryder, reported Sportstar.
“I think we had, say, three classroom sessions - we discussed goal setting, self analysis, and preparation for big events,” added Ryder, whose last day of coaching was Tuesday.
And what Ryder has seen in the last few months has been quite impressive with the coach delving deep into the different styles of play that could be found in Indian squash.
“I think India has become a more established squash nation, producing top junior players. There are some World class juniors here. And that’s been happening for a long time. So, it’s not like it is just a new thing. And when you get a more established nation, you get a real mix of styles. It’s not just one style and I think it’s the sign of a more sophisticated nation - in that, it’s not just a fit, intense style.
“I think when I came here I was expecting a more sort of dominance of physicality. There’s some high level of skill here. There’s a range of abilities of technique, movement, and understanding. It’s becoming kind of quite similar to as it is in England,” Ryder added.
The England junior National coach has also coached in “Canada, South Africa, and Ukraine”, apart from working with “some National senior and junior squads” and in “some private camps, more so in the United States”.
Among his different kind of coaching was the “pressure sessions” where the players were asked to dealt with quick balls coming at them. “Well, you’ve just got to learn to cope with pressure. So, you’ve got to learn to cope with stress - both physical and mental stress. For instance, we were doing the two ball-feeding where two balls will come at you, but not at the same time; you get one ball fed on the forehand and one on the backhand, but they’re very quick.”
The “movement practice”, on the other hand, focused more on the feet movement and balance of the players. “We call it (the practice) ghosting, where you’re moving around without a ball. And that’s quite hard. I was trying to make them work on the correct feet positions and balance,” Ryder added.