Westchester County Adult League (May 22, 2017)

On Monday May 22, four Bronxville players travelled to WSA to try again to defeat us. The matches were long and fun but we prevailed once again.

In the #1 position Mike Weinbach took on Nick Burgin. The points were long and there was a lot of running. Both men had some great shots. But Mike wore him down and won 11-9, 11-9, 11-6. Then Bilal Shafiq played Bill Allen. This was a rematch from earlier in the season. It was a closer match this time but Bilal was still victorious, 8-11,11-1,11 -4, 10-12, 11-5. Bilal plays a very smart game. He holds his stroke long enough that it is tough to see where he is going to place his shot. He keeps his opponent on his heels. Third spot was David Mills against Paul Ranieri. The first game was close. But David held on 13 – 11. Then he gained his stride and won the next two games, 11-4 and 11-5. In the 4th spot was Tomas Bruun. He played Ranjit Bhatta. Tomas played well. He lost the first game 9-11 but then held on 11-6,11-8,11-4. Sasha Dichter came to play as well and he got a shot at Nick Burgin as well. He played two games and won both, 11-7 and 11-8. Afterwards, the men did a bit of a round robin and then ate pizza before heading home.

This has been a fun battle between the clubs this season. They have played each other 4 times. We are hoping to continue this friendly rivalry next year and hopefully we plan to include more clubs. It is enjoyable for both sides to be playing different people and in a competitive environment.

Westchester County Adult Squash League

WSA played its first interclub match on September 28 against Lifetime Fitness. Both teams were prepared with five players and although we played competitively and well, we lost 4-1. Fun was had by all with food, drinks and lots of laughs. We are currently second in the league and look forward to playing in other interclub matches against Pyramid, Westchester Country Club and Bronxville Field Club.

On Wednesday November 9th, the WSA Warriors took on Lifetime Fitness over in Harrison. It was the second time for a matchup between these two teams and our team was on the hunt for revenge. And revenge they got……. winning 3 matches to 2. The first time they met up with Lifetime, we lost 1-4.
Philip Spoerri, Sasha Dichter and Mike Weinbach all won definitively 3-0. It was a particularly sweet win by Philip since he lost to the same opponent the first time around. David Mills lost a tough one in 5 games. He lost the first two games, then figured out his opponent and won the next two only to fall in a close 5th game 11-8.
It appeared that everyone enjoyed themselves. We look forward to playing Westchester Country Club and Bronxville Field Club in the near future.

There have been three matches played so far in the Westchester County Adult Squash League. The first match was held at Westchester Squash Academy where Lifetime won 4 -1. The second was played at Lifetime where Westchester Squash Academy prevailed 3-2 and the third match was held on Monday, February 13 at the Bronxville Field Club where Westchester Squash Academy won a very close match 3/2. Bilal Shafiq won in the top spot, 3-1, Tomas Bruun had an epic battle in the 3rd spot and he won, 11-5,11-9,5-11,12-14,11-9 and Keith Hope won 3-1 in the 4th spot. Mike McManus lost in 3 but went on to play another match just for the fun of it. Michael Luskin also had a tough match but lost 14-16,8-11,11-3,11-7,7-11. Interestingly, both teams had the same total of points. After the games were done, they shared some food, drink and some good stories, particularly about Adham and his legacy at BFC.

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On Monday,April 17th,a second match was played against Bronxville Field Club at Westchester Squash.Our WSA team had a terrific win,3-0.The first match was Robert Fitts against Barry Kaplan.It was a long first game which went to Robert, 14 – 12. Then the next two were, 11-3, 11-8 to Robert. The second match was Tomas Bruun vs Paul Ranier.Tomas lost the first game 811,then got his rhythm and won the second game 11-9.The third game was a tough one but Tomas held his ground and won 16 -14. Tomas won the match 3-1 by winning the last game 11-9. It was a real battle. The match of the night was played between Bilal Shafiq against Nick Sheumack.Bilal had a comfortable 2-0 lead,each game relatively easy 11-5,11-6.Then Nick got his lob to a better height and started to anticipate Bilal’s shots and won the next two games 12 – 10 and 11-5.But in the last game,Bilal’s endurance and fitness became obvious and he won, 11-5. It was a great match to watch. It appeared everyone had fun.Most of the participants continued to play after their matches and shut the club down with great cheer and good sportsmanship. Congratulations to Westchester Squash Academy for winning the first season of the Westchester Squash Adult League. Hopefully we can continue to develop it next year with more players and more matches.

On Monday May 15, 4 of our members travelled to Bronxville for their 3rd competition against the Field Club.  And for the 3rd time, WSA was victorious. Bilal Shafiq played in the #1 spot. It was a good match with long points and great shot making. Bilal prevailed 3-1. David Mills was up next. His short game was very precise that night and he won 3-1 as well. Tomas Bruun played #3. He took control of the match from the beginning and won 3-0. Then he played a 2nd match because Bronxville had an extra man and Tomas won again 3-1. Robert Fitts played in the #4 position. He had the longest match of the night. It went 5 games and the points went on and on and on. Robert lost 2-3 but fought a good battle. Bronxville is coming here on Monday May 22 at 7:30. Come to play or come to watch. It should be a good match.


A Sports Psychology Partnership

Westchester Squash Academy has partnered with Dr. Alex Diaz of Sports Mental Edge to offer three sessions to help with your squash game.

Sunday, January 8 at 5:15PM
Developing Focus to Win
Our first session will be an introduction of Sports Psychology. It will focus on understanding triggers that lead to loss of focus, introduction of “concentration lapse” experiences, use of self-talk to facilitate re-focusing and use of practical exercises.

Sunday, February 12 at 5:15PM
Establishing Pre-During-Post Match Routines
The second session of our partnership will follow up on self-talk exercises, create a mental pre-game routine, development of a strategic mental map to address different game situations and use of a chart to guide athletes to track their pre-during-post experiences.

Sunday, March 12 at 5:15PM
Incorporating Mindfulness into Your Squash Game
Our third and final session will follow up on strategies discussed the previous two weeks and introduce the topic of focus awareness, practice of breathing relaxation exercises and use of chart to track breathing and mindfulness exercises.

Each session will be one hour and is open to junior and adult players of all levels and ages. You can sign up at the club or by emailing info@westchestersquash.com. For more information about Dr. Diaz please visit http://www.dralexdiazconsulting.com.

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Congratulations to Emma Lee!

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Emma has shown great improvement this season and has represented herself well in the tournament scene. In October Emma participated in the GU11 Halloween Silver Tournament at Pyramid squash and won division.
In November Emma played in the GU11 Lifetime Athletic Silver tournament and won division as well.
Emma continues to do well on the courts and recently came in first place in the GU11 division of the 2017 New York Regional Jr Championship that was held at Lifetime Fitness. We are very proud of her accomplishments and look forward to seeing more of her success on the courts.
We expect to see more great things from Emma who continues to improve each time she steps on court!

Like Father, Like Son

In the beginning of November Adham travelled to Cairo to accept an award on behalf of his father A. A. Abou Taleb. The Egyptian Squash Association honored him for his achievements in world competitions. The award was presented at the end of the Egyptian Open at the Wadi Degla Club.
Abdelfattah AbouTaleb, better known as "A.A. AbouTaleb", or simply "AbouTaleb", was a squash player from Egypt and won the British Open three times during the 1960s. AbouTaleb’s story starts from humble beginnings. He started out by sweeping the courts at Cairo's National Sporting Club, where his brother was the tennis professional. In the beginning, he had to make do with discarded broken rackets and burst balls.
AbouTaleb reached the final of the British Open for the first time in 1963, when he lost to Pakistan's Mo Khan in a five-set final 9-4, 5-9, 3-9, 10-8, 9-6. The British Open was in effect, the world championship of the sport at the time. AbouTaleb then went on to win the British Open title for the next three consecutive years. In 1964, he beat Mike Oddy of Scotland in the final 9-3, 9-7, 9-0. AbouTaleb's win that year marked the end of 13 years of Pakistani domination of the British Open men's title. The following year, AbouTaleb beat his fellow Egyptian player Ibrahim Amin in the final 9-0, 0-9, 9-1, 9-6. His third and final British Open title came in 1966, when he defeated Pakistan's Aftab Jawaid in the final 9-6, 5-9, 9-3, 9-1.
If you want to see an old video of AbouTaleb winning the British Open in 1964, go to YouTube and enter A.A. Abou Taleb and you can see a snippet of the match. It looks a lot different than today’s game. In many ways, it was a lot harder to play the game back then. Notice how small the head of the racquet is. That is a very small sweet spot! You could not win through sheer power alone; a lot of finesse was required.  Perhaps we should ALL practice a with those wooden racquets to improve our games!
It is wonderful that players of the past are recognized for their contribution towards today. Thank you to Adham’s father for blazing a path for squash players all over the world. It was honor for Adham to accept the award on behalf of his father.

Picture 1: Adham with Joey Barrington, commentator for Squash TV. Adham's father, AbouTaleb, played with Joey's father, Jonah Barrington.
Picture 2: Adham with Nicole David who is an eight-time World Champion

The Abou Cup Has Started!

It was a perfect start to the first annual Abou Cup when The Vikings played Above the Tin on Wednesday, October 19th. Each team fielded four players and the matches started with David Mills and Philip Spoerri. In their first game David defeated Philip 11-2. Philip came back winning the next three games 11-5, 11-6 and 11-6 demonstrating some great squash skills on the court and getting team Above the Tin off to a good start. The second match played was Keith Hope and Mark Moore where the Vikings made a comeback. In a four game match Keith and Mark battled it out 11-2, 11-2, 7-11 and 11-4 and evened the score between the teams. In the third match, Matthew Ratner defeated Donald McLauchlan 11-6, 11-5, 11-3 bringing The Vikings to a lead. In the fourth and final match, with everyone gathered around to see how this match would end, Karim Samy beat Dennis Jones 14-12, 11-4, 11-6. Overall, The Vikings won with a 3-1 victory. It was a great night filled with good squash, lots of laughs and tons of support from every team member. The next Abou Cup match will be on Saturday, November 5th when The Heartbreakers and The Vikings take to the courts at 2:00PM at WSA. 

Summer Camp 2016 Kicks Off at WSA

Our nine-week summer camp is off to a great start! Beginning June 27, juniors of all levels headed to the courts for a morning of skills sessions, practice, physical fitness, drills, supervised match play, and fun. Hitting pros Dennis Jones (pictured below) and Hadley Barr have been assisting Adham with the camp since June. 

Hadley Barr is a rising junior at Bronxville High School. A U.S. Squash Scholar-Athlete, she has been playing tournament squash since age 12 and has trained with Adham Abou Taleb for much of that time. She is now ranked nationally in the GU17 division and has been on the Bronxville Varsity Squash Team for the past two years. She has attended training camps at Harvard, Williams, and the College Showcase at the International Squash Academy. 

Dennis is a 17-year-old rising junior at Avon Old Farms School in Avon Ct.  He lives in Rye and began playing squash when he was 9 at the Westchester Country Club.  He has been ranked in the top 10 in the country in the U11, U13 and U15 divisions and was ranked in the top 20 in the U17 division. He has played for the New York and New England junior squads.  As a freshman he played number 4 for the Avon team which finished 3rd in the US and as a sophomore he played number 2 for the team which finished 4th in the US.  Dennis also enjoys lacrosse and golf. 

Space is available in the upcoming weeks for our summer camp which concludes on August 26. Please contact the club at 914-698-0095 or info@westchestersquash.com if you are interested in participating. For more information, visit the squash section of our website.