I was at an interesting seminar today, Applied Research in High Performance Sport. The presenter discussed the difficulties with the lack of funding for sport research scientists. And he was discussing main stream, Olympic events. So what does that mean for squash? Well unfortunately it isn't an easy solution. Because there is little to no money in scientific research in squash it means there is a lot of potential for it..but who is going to do it?
After the presentation I asked for the thoughts on innovating new technologies in a non-funded sport and the presenter had a couple of suggestions:
1) Try and find out what other countries are doing. For squash he suggested the U.K., and I'm sure Australia would be good too.
2) Look at the university level research by graduate students for squash specific research
3) Look what other sports are doing and have done. Even if the sport is different, it might have an idea or training method that can be applied to squash
What's the problem with all of these? I assume it's quite obvious..for any coach! Who is going to do this and keep up with it? As a coach are more of a service provider and don't have the time or resources to keep up with these areas. And another problem is, would other countries and coaches be willing to hand over their hard earned (and funded) research? Why would they? We didn't help them, and our athletes are competing against theirs for world rankings, sponsors and money. And as coaches we are also competing for athletes and jobs. So I don't see an easy, positive conclusion.
Maybe one day Squash Canada will have the resources. Although it doesn't sound like just being an Olympic event will bring enough financial resources anyways..but I'm sure it would help a lot! So for the sake of Canadian Squash, let's hope for 2020!!