Balance is Better - What Does That Mean For Squash?8 Nov 2021
Balance is Better is an evidence-based philosophy to support quality sport experience for all young people, regardless of ability, needs and motivations. Ultimately, it is about young people staying involved in sport for life and realising their potential at the right time.
Balance is better has now become a broader conversation underpinning Sport NZ’s overall approach to youth, with two key considerations being developing talent and maximising participation.
Squash is a sport that has so much to offer young athletes and we are excited to work with our clubs and districts to create quality and fun experiences for a broader base of young people that are engaging and inspire lifelong love of the game. If we can achieve that, it will be great for everyone involved, from the grassroots through to high performance.
Three of Squash NZ’s goals are to enhance the experience of the participants, grow the game of squash, and developing people/talent. Adopting Balance is Better principles is an important step in achieving these goals.
What We Believe;
More Opportunities for More Players
We support young people to play and engage in local events and programmes, that are age and stage appropriate.
Squash Example - Dedicated End-to-End Pathway identifying the appropriate coaching and support for each stage of the pathway. More districts and clubs delivering quality opportunities for all levels of players
Long Term Player Development
We support tracking progress and skill development; we don’t support the focus on winning at all costs and elite sport attitudes and practices that are introduced too early.
Squash Example - Competition review and the changes at national age groups championships. Coach development framework that will equip coaches to support the long term development of their players over short term results
This means supporting coaches, parents, and caregivers to proactively monitor and managing the workload (intensity and volume) of motivated young people to mitigate the risks of overtraining and overloading.
Squash Example - A main reason for players to stop playing post juniors was too much pressure and burnout. What players like most about junior squash events is connecting with friends and the social environment
Check out Paul Coll’s story on the Balance is Better website here
Download a handy one-page Balance is Better reference document for you or your club here