Two in One by Ali Hassan and Why Egypt Outperforms in the Top 10 World Squash Players Rankings

Two in One by Ali Hassan and Why Egypt Outperforms in the Top 10 World Squash Players Rankings

Squash or English? English or squash? What should you choose? But what if not to choose, but to combine squash with English? Ali Hasan talked about his new project, why he decided to leave the previous squash academy, the importance of an integrated approach to training and the opportunities that squash opens up for juniors.

- You have trained in many countries, in particular in England, and Egypt (Sharm) has its own squash academy, which is the most successful in the country. What is the difference between children's squash academies in Ukraine and in Sharm?

- Firstly, it is the number of players. In Egypt, we have about 20 thousand courts and over a million players.

- It's a lot…

- Yes, this is a lot compared to the number of courts in Ukraine. Secondly, the Egyptian squash academies are focused on juniors, because juniors are future champions. There are about 20 children in our academies, in Sharm I had more than 100 children in a group on 4 courts. This is five times more than in Kiev. Training in Ukraine takes 2:00 a day, in Sharm after school 3-4 hours, and on weekends / holidays - 6:00. If you have many children in the academy, then you have a chance to get 10% of talented children, from which you can raise champions. If there are few children, then the same 10% remain, but the number of children decreases significantly. Here they are Nikita Khlus and Sasha Babiy.

- Is it more affordable in Sharm than in Ukraine or not?

- The cost of the courts is about the same, but the cost of the academy for parents is much cheaper. After all, personal training will cost about $ 70. If the coach sees the potential in the child, then he, through the parents, transfers the junior to personal training.

- What were the funny moments in training?

- When you see how children show their emotions. After all, children always tell the truth, they have not yet learned to lie. When they see a bad coach or a bad workout, they talk about it. Sometimes I hear it from them (laughs). After all, children do not yet know how to hide, to be cunning. They are sincere.

- Tell us a little about your students.

- I trained Nikita Khlus for one year. During this time, he won three national tournaments. He became the champion in the boys' category under 11 years old, won the Zenit Black Sea Open two times in a row, and took 3rd place in the tournament in Austria. From the 223rd place in the international ranking it has risen to the 22nd line. Nikita is a very talented player who works hard. After all, to climb 200 steps in a year is a big leap forward.

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Sasha Babiy is the champion of Ukraine in the category of girls under 11. She trains 6 days a week at 3:00. When we started training, two years ago, she was 84 in the European rankings, now she is 29. She has every chance of entering the 10 next year. Also, this is Artem Panchenko. He is the boys' under 13 champion. This year there will be an interesting competition between Nikita and Artem for the first place in the National Championship, because now they are playing in the same category. Much depends on the psychological preparation. Indeed, squash is not only about technique, there must be good physical, psychological and tactical preparation of the player for the game. Psychological preparation is important. Many good players lose matches to weaker players through their nerves.

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- You led a children's squash academy at Sport Life Poznyaki for a year, why did you decide to leave?

- I wanted to try another project. The squash academy on Poznyaki was a challenge for me when I came to Ukraine. I worked with talented children and we got great results - three national champions. I passed this challenge, now I need another one. It's worth moving on.

- And this challenge will be your new project.

- Yes.

- Tell us a little about him, what will it be? What to expect

IMG 4618- This project will be the first in Ukraine. Previously, no one combined learning English with squash training, tactical training. I have 25 years of coaching experience, Victoria has 10 years of experience in teaching English, such a tandem has good potential for the successful implementation of this project. In addition, Victoria also plays squash. This will be useful for juniors, because the combination of spoken English with training will give them the opportunity to enter American universities, where squash is a common element of physical education, it is in most American universities. There are many talented children in Ukraine, with sponsors and appropriate physical, psychological, tactical and technical training they can become European champions. And there and get a scholarship to study abroad.

Even if you do not take into account the possibility of European training, English, especially squash-English, knowledge of terminology will be useful in European tournaments. This is an opportunity to cooperate with the English or American Squash Federation. I have lived in England for 24 years and have many friends in the USA, so I can help European champions with their studies. Squash is a very social and cultural sport. This communication, relaxation, does not depend on the weather outside the window, new acquaintances and good physical shape.

- How did you get the idea to combine squash training with learning English?

- I had this idea for a long time, even when I just arrived in Ukraine. Many children do not know English, so at the squash academy - I taught them English, and they taught me Russian. Why not combine this within the academy? But there was no way to realize this, because the academy existed at that time, for more than 4 years, had its own rules without the ability to change at least something.

- Why is squash fitness extremely important in training?

- This is another difference between squash in Ukraine and in Egypt. Ukrainian squash is very focused on the technical part of the game. Therefore, it is difficult for many to play in tournaments. In order to raise your level of play you need squash fitness. Indeed, squash is one of the most physically demanding sports. Squash fitness is extremely important on the court, as is proper movement around the court and endurance. If you combine this, you can bring up European champions. In recent years, in training, I began to pay more attention to precisely these aspects, and I want to transfer to my squash academy.

- It's a good opportunity to stay slim.

- Yes. If you want to lose weight or improve your fitness, squash is for you. Moreover, unlike the gym, it is a fun and relatively psychologically easy way to lose those extra pounds.

- Why is it worth coming to the children's squash academy?

- Firstly, I have 25 years of coaching experience, in particular working with children, and many European champions, whom I have brought up, both in Ukraine and in Egypt and England. Secondly, we have a highly qualified English teacher - Victoria. Therefore, children will receive high quality squash and English. You can find many squash academies that only teach squash or English schools that only teach English, and we decided to combine that.

- That's a great idea! I wish you success!

- Thanks!

So, squash training will take 90 minutes and include physical and technical preparation, an English lesson, in which children will learn squash terminology and spoken English - 30 minutes. Children will practice English, both during training and in its English part.

See you in training!

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