Cambridge Coaching Workshop

28/01/17: Thirteen fives players took part in a one-day Fives workshop on Saturday at the three wonderful Cambridge University Eton Fives courts. James Powley, the Head of Fives and Squash at the centre, had set up the workshop following a similar one that was recruited by Nick Preston in November. Both workshops were run by Howard Wiseman.

Half the group were hardened players, whilst the remainder were very inexperienced with either no previous court time, or at most, just a few hours of Rugby Fives under their belt.

All mixed together and working as teams, everyone worked through a rapid succession of "challenges". After 5 minutes practice with the players in each court/team rapidly rotating, each bout of practice was subjected to the "Wiseman" 60 second test so that each team had the opportunity to outscore the others.

The results were staggering - the new recruits, with no bad habits in their system, rose to the occasion and were often amongst the highest performers.
Serving, cutting, "Greyhound" cut returns, and "Defend", "Attack" and "Retrieve" were all thoroughly worked through, including targets 1-4 with the volleying from "Attack". Howard then combined all targets and disciplines into a rapid-fire drill that all relied on the importance of "holding base".

The new players put all the modules together to play several superb games of Fives, while the advanced players were subjected to a range of consistency training drills that pitted their performance against each other both as individuals and also as pairs.

It was a most enjoyable session for all involved. It was so refreshing to see such a diverse group being brought together and to see them all enjoy training together and having such fun.

Very many thanks to James Powley for continuing to do such an outstanding job at the Cambridge University Sports Centre. An outstanding squash player and coach himself, his enormous enthusiasm for introducing new people (very often with no connection to the University) to Fives is just wonderful! James often introduces new players to Rugby Fives initially, and then also onto Eton Fives, all of which is great for both sports.