Giselle's Weekly Slice

Hi everyone,

Another week has gone by - hope this email finds you and your loved ones well. We might be getting closer to getting back on court!

Squash Canada has come up with some guidelines for clubs in each province to follow. They will depend on each club and the local health authorities on how these guidelines are followed but here's the link if you haven't seen it yet.
This will give you a sense of how different things might be at the start when we get to go back on court.

Return to Play Recommendations

Brooke Herring:
Part II - Drexel Life


Today I have Part II with the lovely Brooke Herring where we will learn about her experience at Drexel University where she has been the past 2 years. 
Here is a link to her university bio if you want to see more and follow her University career 

Why did you choose Drexel and was it your first choice?
My top choice was actually University of Pennsylvania because of their team, squash facility, campus and because it’s an Ivy school. Drexel was my second choice and because my ACT score wasn’t quite high enough to get into it for that year and Drexel gave me a full ride scholarship that’s the school I went with. 
Was there anything that was different than what you were expecting? 
I didn’t expect the east coast American culture to be as different as it was! Since we’re neighboring countries I thought it would be a little more similar but it was quite a drastic change from the island.

What was it like being a part of a varsity team?
It was super cool to have 13 girls to train with! I was so used to training with boys that it was nice to see a change where I could train with only girls as well.
Had you experience anything like this before?
Nope. Being part of Team BC, SMUS and Japan’s National and Junior National team is quite different. I would say there’s more pressure.

Did you know you were going to be on the team before arriving?
Yes I did. I knew that I was the top recruit for my year.
Tell us about your team, coach (es), practices, etc
My team is mostly made up of international students. There’s been girls from 8 different countries not including the American players since I’ve been here! A few of who I became closest with are girls from Poland, India, and New Zealand. The boy’s team would have about just as many and from different countries as well such as Colombia, Sweden and Singapore just to name a few. This year my team got two new assistant coaches who are Mary Fung-A-Fat and Dylan Cunningham. They’re both absolutely amazing! If I’m being completely honest here, the head coach John White isn’t as amazing as the other two coaches but he can give some unique tips here and there.  

Was it as glamorous as it might sound for some?
Yes and no. It’s amazing to have so many culturally diverse squash players who are all around the same age, love the sport as much as I do and support one another during our squash matches. This is an unpopular and personal opinion but I enjoyed junior squash a lot more because I was playing more for myself and my own personal game without all the pressure I feel with such a large team.
What's the goal for practices, seasons, etc? 
The coaches go over the goal for the specific drill that we’re doing and what the main focus will be for each particular practice. Our goals changes throughout the season because we either achieve these goals or we stumble upon an issue that would be more beneficial to focus on and thus creating a new goal. A mistake we made this year was we made a goal at the start of the season to be placed 5th in the country by December and we achieved it but then for the new year we lost badly because we had not updated the goal and so our drive had decreased. We know better for next season though so  we’re ready.
What lessons did you learn from first year?
The most important skill I learned in first year is to make a set schedule and to stick to it. This is because with so much previously unknown freedom and free time it’s really easy to neglect studies and to want to hang out with your new friends instead. I struggled balancing studies, squash, a social life and a good sleep schedule in first year but I’ve definitely gotten a lot better in second year.
You have two siblings who may be following in your footsteps, do you have any advice for them or others who may be in a similar situation?
Advice #1 is start prepping for the SAT or ACT as early as possible! I wish I had known about it sooner than midway through grade 11 because I would have started in grade 10. The test just tests you on how well you know the questions the standardized test will ask you. The more you practice the better because it’s not really based on how smart of a person you actually are. Advice #2 is have a couple videos of you playing really good squash! Coaches will be swayed more into recruiting you based on how good of a player you are. They aren’t really concerned about rankings and so you can still get into really good squash schools even without a high ranking! Advice #3 is finish “the common app” questions and essays needed for the schools you are looking at during the grade 11 summer because they can be tedious and when done will leave you to focus on your school work in grade 12. Advice #4, if you have any questions about this process please please please reach out to myself, your school advisors, your coaches and anyone who had gone to the states for school. Advice #5, look up the coaches email addresses to as many of the squash university  rosters as you wish and contact them in grade 10, start of 11 is best. This is because often at the end of grade 11 year, they have already chosen their recruits but there are chances where sometimes they have no decided yet. Advice #6 is email as many as the top 20 universities to give yourself a better chance of getting the best offer. Advice #7 is even if you may personally think you’re not good at squash, to the eyes of some coaches you will be exactly what they want. I’m encouraging you to send them an email. Advice #8 is the American schools love Canadians so this increases our chances of getting accepted, scholarships, and recruited more than other countries.
Any Idea where they want to go? (siblings Jay and Katie)
I think J’s dream schools are UPenn, Columbia, and Rochester but I hope he takes a gap year so that he can get better offers. It’s too early to tell with Katie if she wants to play squash in the states haha
Was there any times where the result for your team came down to your match?
Yes! It’s happened a couple times more and it’s either one of the best feelings in the world or just a lost match that I learn from. My first one was against Cornell where the match score was tied 4-4 and then I won my team our first victory against Cornell in our program history! We did a little team celebration when it was over where everyone was in high spirits! Another time was our first win against UPenn in thrilling 5 setter and this was the first in Drexel programs history as well! This fall however I lost the deciding match in 5 when we played UPenn and yes the team wasn’t in a good mood but I wasn’t too sour about my match because I had played well. After that I won our first ever victory over Columbia University in a thrilling 5 setter as well!
Do you feel like you have changed as a person or as a squash player?
I don’t think I’ve changed that much as a person but I do believe I’ve gotten wiser as a squash player.
What is in store for you and your squash career?
I’m not sure yet! Depending how good I become a college will determine if I try the Pro Squash Tour or not.

You have had the privilege of working with many talented coaches so you have seen many many drills and condition games. Did you learn any new ones you can share? 
This isn’t a specific drill but I’ve learned how crucial it is to practice with a one dot ball. I didn’t pick this up at Drexel but it’s highly effective when improving your fitness, consistency and control of your game.
Thanks for sharing Brooke!
I really enjoyed getting to know about your experience and hopefully others did too! Good luck in the following years and look forward to getting on court and seeing that squash wisdom ;) 

These are very valuable tips that hopefully juniors will appreciate and listen to more coming from someone they know and is closer to their age! 

Here are some Pictures I found from College Squash events- maybe you will spot someone you know!


Last week there there was a great link to a video on the grip. Hopefully you had a chance to watch it. I have been holding my racquet at home and I found a wooden squash racquet in my storage that I am now holding every so often. This will hopefully help me strengthen my forearm and keep some muscle memory! 

Here is a couple of clips of some people around the world missing squash and getting creative to get their fix! How are you getting yours?! 

Hopefully this inspires you to do the same! Maybe try it with a wooden racquet or a heavy racquet to give your forearm some extra work!

Hopefully with the correct grip!

More inspiration...

A day in the life (pre COVID-19) of Paul Coll. New Zealand's #1 squash player and #5 in the world. He is one of the fittest players on the tour and has been climbing the rankings quickly with his sheer determination and passion for being the best he can be. In the last tournament of the season (the Windy City Open) he was able to beat  world #1 (Mohamed El Shorbagy), world #3 (Karim Abdel Gawad) and finally lost in 5 to world #2 Ali Farag. He is a force to be reckoned with and rightfully nicknamed "Superman".

Definitely one to keep an eye on and use for inspiration! 
A day in the life of Paul Coll (aka Superman)

Shirts for Sale

I have Men's Sizes Small and XL shirts. The shirts shrink a bit after you wash them. Let me know if you are interested by emailing me!
They are a great material and it feels pretty cool to be sporting the Squash court on your chest! 
The numbers in the pictures indicate the number of shirts available. 

Thanks for the support to those who have bought a shirt!

Zoom workouts!

Thanks to those who joined me for a workout last wednesday!

I will send an email for people to sign up for next week again. It will be either wednesday or thursday at 5:30. Let me know if you are interested!

I will try out Skype next time so make sure you have an account! (it's free and no time limit)
You just need a mat or space where you could fit a mat. 

As you may or may not know, I am not charging anything for these sessions since I'm just trying to help out during these difficult times for everyone.

However, some of you have asked about donating toward my efforts. I really appreciate that and I will accept donations via e-transfer at 

Thank you! And I appreciate that very much. 

I understand that not everyone is in the same situation so I don't want you to feel obligated to donate. I get plenty of joy from your taking part in my sessions and knowing I'm helping out my community :) 
Let me know what you think of the tips and if you need any help with your game! 

Feel free to share anything you would like me to post about or share with the rest of the readers!

I would also be happy to promote your business if you like! We need to help each other out! 

Cheers and hope you continue to subscribe! 

Until next week!
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