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Army Squash Academy

What is the Academy?

The Army Squash Academy is a comprehensive development programme for selected Army Squash players; it is based on the England Squash National Academy model, and enables Army players to take a more professional approach to improving their squash, but on a part time basis around their service. The Academy aims to identify and develop individual squash potential, which in turn will bring ongoing and sustained success to Army Squash.  The Academy runs on annual cycle starting in April each year, with applications being considered in January and February.  The Academy is now in it's second year, and is expanding to take on more players.  The format of the Academy has also changed slightly, with greater emphasis on individual coaching, and slightly less frequent group training.  However, the programme will still include comprehensive player profiling, tailored training programmes, four residential training camps per year, and support at key competitions as well as regular individual coaching. 

Who can join?

Anyone can apply to join the Academy, however, there are a few things you should know,  First, you must have the potential to represent the Army in one of the four teams (Mens, Ladies, U25 or Masters) in the future; realistically, that means you should be playing for your Corps team now.  If you are not yet at that level, then you should speak to your Corps Squash Secretary about how they can help you improve your squash.  If you haven't already, you can also attend the Army basic or advanced squash skills courses - your unit PTI will be able to advice you on how to apply for those courses.  Other than that, places will be allocated on the basis of potential (new players will be assessed before selections are made) and commitment; the second of theses is the most important as the programme represents a big investment for Army Squash, so we have to be sure that players are going to do the hard work necessary to make the most of it.  

Academy players must be prepared to commit to:

  • Attend the four residential training camps (a total of five weekdays and four Saturdays per year).

  • Attend monthly individual sessions with the Academy coach; typically these will take place either in NW London or Manchester. 

  • Maintain an appropriate level of squash specific fitness; this will be assessed at the first training camp.   

  • Adherence to a mutually agreed training plan; as a baseline players will be expected to complete a minimum of three hours a week of squash-specific training. 

  • Play regular, competitive, civilian squash.  

  • Maintain a regular training record that can be reviewed by the Army Squash Coach and Academy Director.  

  • Represent the Army Team if selected, and compete in the Wiltshire League if posted locally.  

What will the residential training camps be like? 

The residential training camps will usually take place at Aldershot Garrison Sports Centre.  Accommodation will be provided, and travel is authorised at public expense, but players have to pay for their own food, and occasionally host opponents after fixtures.  The first session will run over three days, and include detailed assessments of technical and tactical ability, squash fitness and goal setting.  It will also include a competitive fixture, match analysis and every player will have a first individual session with the Academy Coach.  The remaining session will take place over two days, and include individual and group sessions (technical, tactical and physical) and a fixture; players will also review their goals and progress.

The residential camps for the 2019 season have already been set for the following dates:

25-27th April 2019 (Thu-Sat)

12-13th July 2019 (Fri-Sat)

27-28th September 2019 (Fri-Sat)

13-14th December 2019 (Fri-Sat)

Who is the Army Squash Academy Coach?

The Academy is coached by Paul Carter; he has been working with Army Squash for just over 18 months.  He also coaches the England Squash Academy, and travels with the England Teams to all major events, including the Commonwealth Games.  He is one of the most experienced coaches in the country; as well as coaching players he also coaches coaches - so all Academy players can go back to their units and pass on what they have learnt!  He is supported by the Academy Director, Captain Rosie Hamilton, and Deputy Director, SSgt Dean Boys.  

I have questions...

If you have any questions, email armysquashacademy@gmail.com, and Rosie or Dean will do their best to help. 

How do I apply?

Firstly, go and discuss this with your chain of command or line manager - they need to know you are applying and be willing to support you.  One you have done that, you can download the application form below.  Applications must be submitted by 28th February 2019, and players will be notified of selection no later than the end of March..  We look forward to hearing from you!