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2017 Annual Awards - Club and School Coach of the Year Part 3

We continue to look at the Club and School Coach of the Year in preparation for the 2017 Annual Awards that will take place on 25th November, 6.30pm at JetPark in Auckland.

The nominations for the Club and School Coach of the Year are

  • Nicol Bekker
  • John Brown
  • Adam Odering
  • Keri & Krystal Rhodes
  • Karen Roberts
  • Jarrod van Driel
  • Manu Yam

To be eligible for the Club and School Coach of the Year the coach must be working with junior or senior athletes in a club or school setting (this could include coaching individuals, junior programmes, beginner coaching, schools coaching and graded teams).

When deciding a judging panel considers the following:

  • Coach development - number of modules attended and other learning opportunities taken
  • Coach activity - number of hours coached and types of programmes / services offered
  • Athlete outcomes - evidence of improving players / teams performances to achieve results
  • Coach's impact - influence that the coach has had on participation / membership

The second finalist is Jarrod van Driel. Jarrod is a member of the Browns Bay Racquets Club and also coaches out of the Red Beach Squash Club and the Herne Bay Ponsonby Rackets Club.

Jarrod is a squash player, junior convener on the club’s committee and squash coach at the Browns Bay Racquets Club. He is always found at the club and coaches every day of the week. Jarrod is continually developing his coaching and involvement in squash. Jarrod runs many programmes at the Browns Bay Racquets Club, Red Beach Squash Club, and Herne Bay Ponsonby Rackets Club every term. He offers the largest range of squash programmes in Auckland, and possibly even the country. This includes weekly Junior Club Nights, Afterschool Programmes, Junior Interclub Coaching, Holiday Programmes, Performance Camps, Junior Fitness Evenings, an Academy Programme and many more. Each of his programmes are always popularly attended. His programmes and coaching has directly helped to increase the number of squash players at each squash club, as well as developing current member’s skills.

During the past year at the Browns Bay Racquets Club alone, from his beginner non-member programmes many of these players have later signed up for club memberships and have signed up for the regional junior interclub competition. Jarrod provides structured junior programmes for the Red Beach Squash Club and his numbers are continuing to grow, with nearly all of the players signing up as club members and most participating in competitive match play. The programme has proved to be very successful, and many of the players also compete in the College Sports Squash Competition. The Orewa Girls Team placed second in Auckland at the Secondary Schools Squash Tournament.

Jarrod has recently started coaching at the Herne Bay Ponsonby Rackets Club. The only programme ran at the club before Jarrod arrived was the Junior Club Night. Jarrod has now introduced an Afterschool Programme to bring new players into the club, a Junior Interclub Coaching Programme, Junior Fitness Programme, Academy Programme, and three Individual Coaching Options.

For the clubs that Jarrod coaches at he has developed a Junior Player Pathway. This pathway has four levels and lists the programmes, and other opportunities to junior players at each level. This provides the juniors a pathway which they can follow to reach the next level in their squash and become top squash players in Auckland and New Zealand. It allows them to set goals and targets to what they want to achieve in squash. This pathways has helped give players direction and something to aim for when developing their squash.

Many club members are involved in private coaching with Jarrod, and this coaching has benefited their improvement in squash. He coaches men, women, boys, and girls of all ages. Over the past year he has actively coached over 15 players in individual coaching programmes.

Earlier this year Jarrod launched a new Individual Coaching format offering weekly, quarterly, and annual packages. This range of packages helps to cater for the different wants people have from Individual Coaching. The packages allow for more services to be offered to the players in addition to their one hour on court sessions. Players can also reserve spaces for an entire quarter or year, do a custom coaching plan, set goals, progressions, targets, aims, focuses, tournament plans for the entire quarter or year, receive off court progress consultations, receive tournament progress analysis, and more.

On his website Jarrod has set up an Athletes page which provides juniors he coaches their own Profile Page listing their general details, level, achievements and fitness testing results. Athletic fitness testing results are done every term and allow the players to track their fitness improvements and provides them a challenge to improve their fitness to be better than the other juniors and be listed on the top 5 ranking list. Through their profile their parents and themselves can access their own personal Player Info base. This stores all of their fitness results, session schedules, calendars, squash resources, and more. The Athletes page also helps to make the juniors feel a part of a larger team rather than just individuals which helps to create friendships and groups which keeps them involved in squash.

Jarrod supports three players around New Zealand as Double Dot Squash Ambassadors. Through this ambassadorship programme he supports them with their squash gear, squash events, tournaments and more. This support helps the players towards their squash goals and achieving great success in squash. Jarrod has also started a blog on his website which will provide coaching tips, news, squash activities, and more to squash players any where.

Late last year Jarrod established the Double Dot Squash Academy, and has continued to develop this programme over the past year. The aim of this academy was to provide a high performance programme to facilitate the improvement and growth of committed junior squash players at the clubs Jarrod coaches at. Over the past year the Academy has been run for six selected juniors, and will soon be increasing to involve more juniors. The Academy has proved to be very successful with all of the players achieving significant grading improvement, with one of the juniors improving from J2 Grade to C1 Grade in under a year. The forming of the Academy at our club in the past year has assisted in increasing the participation of all our juniors in local, regional and national tournaments, and junior and senior interclub events. The Academy has provided something for the lower graded players to aim for, and has helped to encourage them to put more effort into their squash as they aim to join the Academy.

The Academy has significantly grown the dedication and enjoyment of its participants. There is one or two 1 ¾ hour Academy coaching sessions held per week, as well as an one hour fitness and movement session. Players also attend most of the other Double Dot Squash programmes on offer, as well as doing solo session training in their own time every week. All participants are now playing squash nearly every day and join tournaments most weekends. Earlier this year the Academy travelled to Palmerston North to compete in the PSA International Classic Squash Tournament. From this trip the players learnt many new things about squash and it grew their enjoyment for the game as well as giving them the opportunity to see some of the world’s top players compete. The players also travelled with Jarrod to Cambridge earlier this year for the New Zealand Junior Open. This was the first time that many of them had attended this event, or any junior event of this level. The players also competed in their first age group tournament in Whangarei at the North Island Junior Age Groups.

Jarrod encourages players at our club to improve their refereeing skills to improve the overall standard of the game. The Browns Bay Racquets Club now has approximately 10 junior squash players holding the Squash New Zealand Club Referee Qualification, with hopefully more to gain the qualification by the end of the year. Jarrod has also been upskilling himself in refereeing completing the District Referee Theory Qualification and is part way through the practical section of the qualification working towards his District Referee Qualification.

Through Jarrod’s website, Facebook page, Youtube Channel, and Instagram page he keeps people updated with coaching programmes, regional, national and worldwide squash news, coaching tips, and other useful squash information. Jarrod utilises technology to improve his coaching services and business. The software he uses is successfully integrated into Jarrod’s website and allows squash players to easily see what coaching programmes he has available, and register online. This software allows Jarrod to better manage his coaching business and helps make it easy for players to register for squash programmes. Jarrod utilises knowledge he has gained from the Squash New Zealand “Women’s Squash” and “SquashFit” Programmes to enhance the coaching of these programmes. Jarrod also organises free squash exhibition and coaching events at our club and other clubs throughout New Zealand. Earlier this year he ran a free three event series at Browns Bay, Red Beach, and Herne Bay. He runs these events with top New Zealand squash players and coaches including Kashif Shuja and Sion Wiggin. These events give people the opportunity to meet and play squash with top squash players, which is a new and inspirational experience for a lot of them. Free coaching with the top players and coaches is provided for junior squash players who all learn something from the events. At the end of this month he will be running another exhibition event at Herne Bay which will be open to players from all Auckland squash clubs to attend.


Kashif Shuja - I came to know of Jarrod through squash over three years ago. In this time I have got to know him more and realised his passion and ability to coach squash and relate to young squash players. I have worked closely with him on various projects over this time - exhibitions, tournaments and travel away for Junior and PSA events. I feel I am in a good position to comment on Jarrod in his professional capacity as a Squash coach and personally as an all round good guy.

Jarrod brings lot of passion to Squash. He has developed an excellent junior programme at Browns Bay Squash Club and around the area. He has set up his coaching network on excellent values and regularly helps out Squash Auckland for coaching and camps. Jarrod thinks outside the square and travels with his juniors to various events around the country. He sees the importance of exposure, hard work but at the same time enjoyment for his Squash pupils. The atmosphere at his coaching sessions and travels is fun but focused at the same time - very good to see. His recently developed pathways programme is the best I've seen around and very impressive.

There is no doubt in my mind that Jarrod is an asset to Squash and will continue to promote and teach the sport in the best possible way. He is already seeing results with numbers and level of his players. I am sure we will continue to see this upward trend in the future as well. I wish him all the best!

Congratulations Jarrod on being a finalist in the Club and School Coach of the Year Award.

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