Talent Development Academy

Squash & Racquetball Victoria aims to support junior squash players at all stages of their development in the sport. Whether that be their first time engaging with development coaching or supporting senior players with competing at national and international events.



2019 Athlete Information & Applications

Applications for 2019 have now officially closed, however please contact program lead Darcy St John to discuss other training opportunities which exist for 2019, or future opportunities for 2020.

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Welcome to the Talent Development Academy!

  • The TDA promotes the growth of junior squash players through a squad-based training environment.
  • Within the program we deliver a breadth of coaching and complimentary training experiences to establish well-rounded and capable athletes.
  • The Academy uses a tier-based model, which supports players at various stages of their development to reach individual aspirations and performance goals.


More Info

 Objectives of TDA

  • Provide development pathways to support athletes in reaching their potential
  • Create regular opportunities for athletes to rehearse skills and gain feedback from experienced members of the community
  • Enable athletes to develop skills which establish themselves as high performing individuals in life after junior squash
  • Act as a central point to connect the competitive squash community

The pathway for high performing junior athletes is characterised by numerous milestones over time. The scope of junior high performance in Victorian squash can span from foundational skill development to seeking selection for national junior teams. Throughout this progression, players require different training, support and opportunities to reach their goals. As such, the Victorian high-performance pathway is provisioned to deliver on the unique needs of our diverse playing groups.

The Academy structure is based on a 3 facet model which was designed to address the unique requirements of Victorian juniors, and provides a framework to deliver regular valuable training to players at all stages.

The TDA management team for 2019:

Darcy St John (registered psychologist, former VIS squash scholarship holder and state junior)Sam Ejtemai (former VIS squash scholarship holder, top national junior and world #7 junior) and Garry Pedersen (accredited Club Development Coach). Other coaches, sports professionals and elite players will be invited to participate in specific sessions during the program.




Representative Opportunities

Squash & Racquetball Victoria Academy  

·  PSA World Tour

·  Australian Squash Tour

National Team

State Senior Team*

Talent Development Academy (TDA)

·  Australian Junior Squash Tour

·  State Pennant

·  Junior Age Tournaments

·  Graded Tournaments

National Junior Team

National Junior Squad

State Junior Team

Regional Academies (currently not active)

Futures Squad (FS)

Regional Development Programs


·  Graded Tournaments

·  Squash & Racquetball Victoria Junior Pennant

·  Squash & Racquetball Victoria Secondary School Squash Competition

 State Junior Squad

 Club, school teams

Club / Venue

·  Squash & Racquetball Victoria Junior Pennant

·  Junior In-House

Club Team

Focused Talent Squads

The TDA supports player progression through 3 talent squads, each representing the key stages of junior athlete development - foundational, developing-elite and junior professional. Each squad incorporates a set of training activities and performance expectations most relevant to the athlete's stage of development in the sport.


Juniors part of the foundation squad are focused on building out the core elements of the game, such as technique, movement and basic decision making. These may be players who have started at a club level and are looking to continue progressing their skills to regional or state level competitions or they may be young players hoping to begin progressing their state ranking.

Developing Elite

Athletes who progress to this squad have established themselves as skilled junior players and are beginning to focus on refining their performances through increasingly complex game strategies and cross-functional training to improve athletic capability. Squad members will typically be intensely pursuing state and national team selections, and are engaged in a consistent weekly training regime

Junior Professional

For junior athletes who aspire to continue playing Squash at the highest level beyond junior competitions the junior professional squad supports athletes to make this transition. Those who progress to this squad have established themselves as a national level player and are consistently finishing in the top placings of Victorian and Australian level events. Athletes part of the junior professional squad are provided resources to build out the full complement of professional capability around tournament preparation, consistency and structured training regimes

More Details

Each squad has specific selection criteria surrounding core training expectations, athletic ability and performance. By acknowledging the different stages of development among the group, program managers are able to set training and performance expectations accordingly. For more information around the selection criteria for each of the squads, please see the player information guide.

Regional Chapters

A chapter represents a geographical hub which a TDA athlete belongs to and is the most frequent point of contact for practice-based training.

Each chapter is overseen by a lead coach, who is responsible for supporting goal-directed training, providing feedback and building the overall talent profile of the chapter.

Chapters aim to provide state-level training opportunities at frequent intervals at greater proximity to players. Chapter based training occurs on a cadence of approximately once per fortnight and will be undertaken at the direction of the chapter coach with other players within the chapter.

Diversified Delivery Channels

Chapter based training makes up the majority of TDA training, taking place each fortnight, however, the TDA training year also incorporates additional experiences to help create opportunities for player connection, complimentary training and exposure to different ideas.

Squad training sessions are held three times per year and are an opportunity for the entire TDA playing group to come together and receive targeted high-performance training and experiences with their peers. Those who are part of the developing elite and junior professional squads will also attend 2 high-performance training camps each year. These are two-day events which will be dedicated to intensive and extended opportunities for training, group connectedness and setting/reviewing development goals.

Pathways to Team Selection

The TDA has a focus on preparing athletes to reach their competition potential at Victorian junior tournaments, as well as national level events such as the Australian Junior Open, Australian Junior Champions and Australian Junior Teams Championships. Being a member of TDA is a requirement for state team selection at the Australian Junior Teams Championships. More information on Victorian State Team selection can be found here.