By Michael T. Bello
Published Mar 16, 2017 at 7:00 AM ET; Updated Mar 15, 2017 at 9:58 PM ET

Hanover, NH — In December, the Dartmouth squash teams travelled to Boca Raton, FL, for a training trip. Below is a combined summary from the separate reports from the men’s and women’s teams.

Women’s Team Training Description: After training in Hanover, the men’s and women’s teams flew to Boca Raton, FL, to continue improving our squash and fitness. At the Lifetime Athletic Club, the women’s team split up on four courts for one squash training session a day. We started practice with a group warm up that consisted of bear crawls, scorpions, sit-ups, and push-ups. On court, we practiced by doing feeding drills, condition games, and challenge matches under the guidance of Hansi and Theo. We finished our training with mixed doubles, offense defense, and a one point tournament.

Other than our daily strenuous squash sessions, we were also able to take full advantage of the incredible facility at the Lifetime Fitness Club. From exercising in the two-floor fitness center to playing basketball in the gym, we all saw the benefits of our cross training on the squash court. We even had two morning pool workouts that were perfect for injury prevention. The club also boasts a variety of fitness classes, and we took spinning and pilates. The spinning class was a high intensity cardio workout, while the pilates class, though slower paced, was a challenging core workout. A wide range of cross training activity allowed for us to train vigorously while also having fun.

Women’s Team Summary of Try-N-Escape: After one hard day of practice, the team tested our wits at an Escape the Room activity. We were in a room called “Sara’s got a secret,” which was a creepy murder mystery themed room. Inside, we worked together to unlock different clues that would lead us out of the bedroom filled with scary twists along the way. We raced the men’s team, who were placed in an opposing Wild West themed room.  Although the boys escaped faster than us, we overcame many obstacles and fears in the room that was arguably more difficult than the room they were in. As a team we have been talking about doing an Escape the Room activity for a while and are glad we had the opportunity to come together and challenge our problem-solving skills.

Men’s Team Summary of the Everglade activities: During this training trip, there was plenty of time after practice to organize several activities for the team. The coaches did a great job of planning fun events that we all enjoyed. Because we were in Florida, we had to take advantage of our proximity to the Everglades National Park. During our day off, we took a bus in the morning which dropped us off directly at the Everglades. Once there, we separated into two groups and boarded two airboats. Our main goal was to spot alligators, but we were also on the lookout for other wildlife. During our one-hour trip, we were able to spot a couple of alligators, numerous birds, and pretty big iguanas. After the boat trip was over, we moved on to watch a show, in which a college student performed several tricks with an alligator. The most impressive thing he did was putting his head inside the alligator’s mouth. We ended that day by driving to the beach and hanging out as a team.

Women’s Team Summary of Dining: The team enjoyed coming together for team meals after a hard day of squash and fitness. The first dinner was at one of the team’s favorite places to eat at during training trips: The Cheesecake Factory. The men and women’s teams were able to bond over grossly portioned meals. Following our day off at the beach, we all gathered at the Cuban Cafe for some delicious authentic Cuban food; a rare find on the streets of Hanover. Finally, before our mixed doubles tournament and single-point tournament on Saturday afternoon, the team enjoyed a nice carbo load at Da Vinci’s, an Italian restaurant.

Men’s Team Conclusion: On behalf of the both teams, we would like to thank Friends of Dartmouth Squash for making this year’s training trip possible. It was an incredibly fun and productive experience that allowed us to improve our squash, while helping us build a better and stronger team dynamic. We are truly thankful for the continued support of our team, making our experience as athletes better every year.