Resurge yet to hit Rocky: coach
SQUASH is undergoing a national revival as young regional players learn new skills at this week's coaching clinic.
With nationals soon approaching, the talented youngsters are making the most out of the four-day junior clinic at Squash World with head coach of Squash Vision Academy Marc Forster.
Forster, who has been coaching for 27 years, said he has been running this clinic for more than seven consecutive years, conducting the clinic in Rockhampton with children from as far out as Emerald participating.
"I aim to nurture and mentor some of the local kids as they progress throughout the year.
"I get to come back and meet the new kids on the block and see how the older ones have progressed from year to year," Forster said.
"I have been coming here for years and have coached players that were 10 years old who are now in uni; I notice huge improvements every year.
"At this year's clinic I have one first-timer and have so far fixed his technique a little bit and basically told him what he is doing right."
Forster said it is long days training for about eight hours a day, finishing up at around 4.30pm.
"It is hard to be indoors all the time with this sort of heat all around, in America a lot of courts are air-conditioned now, but we don't have that luxury in Australia," he said.
The renowned coach said although the numbers in this clinic have decreased slightly compared to previous years, he was still confident the interest in the sport would resurface.
"At this year's clinic there is only nine but I think the way that Australian squash is going now, by next year there is going to be a real big resurge, which should bring our number up to around 20," Forster said.
"I believe squash hit rock bottom about 18 months ago, however it has turned and there are about 20 new centres being built at the moment around Australia which will see an upturn.
"I think once the new centres are built it will be a little bit brighter, a little bit cleaner, and a little bit more modern, which will draw kids back in."
Forster said squash was a huge sport in the 1980s but over the years has lost a considerable amount of interest.
"It's strange because it is an extremely powerful and fast game and is great for your health and fitness," he said.
His advice to those willing to pursue a career as a professional squash athlete is to "be consistent and persistent".
"If you love the game you need to get on the court and hit balls, you can't think 'I have hit enough balls now', you have to hit more than enough."