Washington, DC — In early January, the George Washington University Men’s and Women’s Squash Teams headed to the Cayman Islands for their winter training trip.
At the beginning of the week the teams worked with Mark Chaloner, former world number seven and Great Britain number one. Mark put the teams right to the test with challenging drills and workouts and gave each player advice for improvements.
Sunday, January 6, 2013: The team arrived at the bus by 4 AM for a 6:30 flight. Spirits were unusually high for such an early wake up as everyone was pretty pleased to get out of the winter weather. After a short layover in Atlanta, we were off to Grand Cayman. Our flight touched down about 1PM and after a slight hitch with a player’s luggage we were off to the Sunshine Suites. The team enjoyed a few hours on the beach, which was conveniently located across the street from our resort. After dinner at some local restaurants, everyone got to be early to catch up on some sleep and prepare for a week of training
Monday, January 7, 2013: By 7:30AM the team was up for breakfast and ready for the morning training session. At the courts we met Mark Chaloner, formerly ranked #7 in the world. Mark created a variety of drills tailored to areas that the team needed the most work in. After a couple hours of training the majority of the team went back to 7 mile beach, until the afternoon training session. The men’s team did a strength and conditioning workout on the beach with assistant coach Jim Masland and Associate Athletic Director Andre Julian, while the women’s team went back to the courts with head coach Wendy Lawrence. In the evening, the men’s team had a team dinner to watch the BCS championship game between Alabama and Notre Dame.
Tuesday, January 8, 2013: The training session during the morning was arguably the most physically demanding on the trip. Mark Chaloner set up 7 courts with different timed court movement drills. After a couple hours of these drills, the teams took their sore legs to the ocean to relax and rest for the evening session. The women had conditioning training on the beach and then later that night they came to watch the men who had a match against local players and had a decisive victory.
Wednesday, January 9, 2013: To recuperate from a tough training session, both teams spent Wednesday morning playing conditioned games and focused on ball placement. Practice was followed by a daily trip to the beach with towel and lunch in hand. The men did another training session beachside in the afternoon while the women went to the courts to play local players in many hard-fought 5-match games.
Thursday, January 10, 2013: Both teams had tough challenge matches in the morning. Once the challenges were completed the teams took a boat charter to stingray city, where the tour guides showed us how to safely swim, pet, feed, and even kiss the stingrays (7 years of good luck to kiss a stingray)! Later the boat tour took us to two of the best snorkeling sites.
Friday, January 11, 2013: Again both teams had challenge matches in the morning session. In the evening the men had conditioning on the beach and then went to watch the women’s match against Wellesley, where they pulled out a strong 9-0 win. Browning Platt won the cheering award for his “Raise High” and “Go Colonials!” chants. Later that evening both teams had a joint dinner at a local restaurant to celebrate a week of hard training.
Saturday, January 12, 2013: We woke up for our last day on the island and worked with local kids in the morning. By 11 AM we left for the airport. Again we transferred through Atlanta and then back to BWI. Stepping out of the airport, the winter weather was a disappointing welcome, but both teams are anxious for their second half of the season.