Friday, May 25, 2012

The History of Eau Claire Squash cont'd

Part 3 – the leap up.
5 years ago they restructured interclub and removed the “A” level, and just went with numbers. On the Eau Claire Y’s top team they had lost 2 key players with Andy moving back to England and Jim sailing around the world. So Luke and I moved up to join Trevor, Dale and Guy at level 4(formerly level 3) interclub. This was an eye opening year, Dale and Guy were so good, in my mind, everyone at level 4 was so good. I couldn’t even imagine beating Dale or Guy. The ball always went where they wanted it to go. Even Trevor couldn’t beat them, but at this point Trevor and I were pretty close in our level of play.  So Dale organized everything at the Y and he had me helping him out. So I went and got my level 1 and 2 NCCP coaching certification. It was a couple weekend courses and that’s when I met a handful of juniors who were amazing at squash including 14 or 15 year old Danielle Letourneau, Cale Williams, Erin Roberts and Emma Yong, and I did my level 2 with Lisa Henderson from Red Deer, Matt Teel of Medicine Hat and Thea Wilson Scorgie from Edmonton. All of these players were ridiculously good at squash, at least much better than I was and I couldn’t even imagine how early they started playing squash. Both sessions were run by Kevin Doucet, who went through teaching the basics of squash. How could I teach this stuff, if I couldn’t do it myself?

Going forward, Trevor and I were on the same team now, and both playing tournaments, but we weren’t training together and we certainly weren’t friends. I also met Derek for the first time at the Talisman tourney.  Also, I met the kid that would eventually become a great friend and the really be the first person to help me really improve, Ian Laycock. Ian was attending Mt.Royal and taking geology courses, and John Cox a prof at Mt.Royal invited him to play in the geologists tourney. Ian barely broke a sweat and demolished Dave Safton in the final, and nobody in the tourney even understood how good this kid actually was. Ian agreed to do an exhibition match with Paul Oppenhiem at the Y in our year end tourney. And that year, I was taking lessons with Ian, Paul and Derek under the guidance of Kevin Doucet. Also attending lessons with us was Alex Paisley, Brendan Pruden and a bunch of other guys. I remember being so intimidated by how good everyone was, how hard they hit, how fast they moved and how young they were. I was the old guy at 27 years old. That interclub season would be Dale and Guy’s last, Dale going off to get married and Guy taking time off due to health conditions. But we went out on a high, winning the season and the playoffs.

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