Why Not Try It: Squash
This winter was my first time playing squash competitively. To be honest, I was incredibly nervous going in. Groton has an amazing squash program, coming in first place last year in Division III Nationals. I was also told this year that the thirds team was especially deep this season, so it would be hard for me to start. Despite this, I was determined to give it a shot.
Before coming to Groton, I had only played once or twice with friends, who were privileged enough to have access to squash courts. When it came time to pick a winter sport, I was torn between basketball, my main winter sport, and squash. I sat down with my dad, who knew that I loved both sports but was more talented at basketball. He told me that later in life, I’d always be able to play basketball, but because of how accessible squash is, I might only be able to play it like this a few times. He mentioned that on Long Island, where I live, the only places where I can play squash are country clubs. Since I am African American, I admitted that my chances of playing at such an establishment were small. So I decided to seize the opportunity and join Groton thirds squash.
This season has been full of ups and downs but overall has been great. Squash is such a fun sport, and everyone on the team is so supportive of one another. I started out very high on the ladder, being placed in the third spot out of around fourteen players. One day, I took a hard fall after some terrible challenge matches, sliding down to the ninth spot. Even though things weren’t looking the best, and I stopped getting placed in the starting lineup for a bit, I kept pushing through. I went into the courts on weekends to work on my rails and drop shots; I kept challenging myself by competing with players better than me and have even moved back up into the lineup.
One week left in the season. Three games, all away. I can’t wait to suit up in red, white, and black again with my team. I couldn’t be happier with how this season has been, and I am so glad I decided to try something new: I’m glad I decided to play squash.