Torquay squash club has been a pillar of the squash community in South Devon for over forty years and during the last three years, elitesquash lead coach Filip Madaric has moved into coach/manager role at the club. In this article, he gives us an insight into how he has responded to the challenging situation when sitting in an empty club with an uncertain future.
Who would have thought a full lockdown and no squash for at least 3 months would happen. Just silence within 4 walls as each day goes by. It's been 3 months since the last squash ball was hit and no real official date has been revealed on coming back.
Managing a club during normal times is a challenge in itself, add to that a lockdown scenario and you're in for a rollercoaster of a ride. I've thought about giving voice to my thoughts and sharing the view of what it's like to be a club manager during lockdown.
The first thing that became clear was your daily routine is no longer possible and finding a new path becomes your priority. These were the most hectic times I have had throughout my squash career and at the same time the most productive. I'm not the one to stay negative for long so decided to start building momentum up steadily. I focused on areas I knew will benefit myself and the club the most.
As most of my regular daily tasks were not on the list anymore, I put my energy into reflecting and evaluating the last few years of our club. How everything has shaped up to be, what decisions and investments we've made and how we communicated with our community.
I've gone through a number of conversations with the people I connected over the years within squash and tried to get their two cents on where everything is going. I realised pretty early on in my career that I love analysing both sides of the coin as it helps me make better decisions along the way, especially feedback from the unfavorable side. It keeps me sharp and ready for pretty much any potential hiccup down the road.
Having continuous chats with my mentors and friends, it became clear that I wanted to improve certain aspects of the club and that this lockdown is a blessing in disguise. I've since moved into improving a number of areas that will help transform the club into a much better and efficient business than it was in March.
My main objective is to create a strong community of squash players, suitable for all levels that can continuously grow together and evolve the sport to a new age.
I hope this situation will give all the clubs around a world a chance to improve their facilities, programs, and teams and give our communities an even better experience. And as Torquay squash and leisure club re-opens tomorrow I cant wait to provide the best possible experience under current and future circumstances.