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Squashletic's First Birthday 🥳 {2021 Recap}

This Saturday, January 15th, was Squashletic’s FIRST birthday!! 🥳

It’s crazy to think about how much Squashletic has grown in the last 12 months, both in numbers and also in terms of brand clarity. Sure, I’m still working on figuring out WHO the “ideal client” is (drop me a comment if that’s YOU, by the way!), but I feel like I am slowly learning more about where my niche lies in the squash world.


Not only do I want to help you become a stronger, fitter, more resilient squash player, but I also want to help you achieve this by creating content that I enjoy making. Because if there’s one thing I know to be true (both in training AND in biz), you’re more likely to stick to a process that you enjoy.


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Going into 2021...


I went into 2021 with goals for both my own squash performance and for business. I’m happy to report that I actually achieved some of the goals that I had set in January!


Upon reflection, I realized that the objectives that I did not achieve simply changed course. For instance, in early 2021 I was set on creating a Nutrition course for squash players. After running 2 online transformation-based group programs (that were successful!), I decided I wanted to refine my process before scaling it. These sorts of changes are the main reasons I didn’t “achieve” certain objectives, and to be honest, I’m okay with that. Later on I’ll share my biggest takeaways from 2021, but for now, please enjoy my 12 months of business, squash, and personal lessons in 12 minutes (or less!).

By the way, to make this more concise, I’ve written this post in bullet point format!

JANUARY:

  • Went home to Canada to visit family, and had to do 2 week quarantine. Used this time to buckle down and work on the launch of the 6-week Squashlete online group training & nutrition program.

  • Worked LONG days to put all the content together (first time is always hardest!), and welcomed more than 20 members- most of whom I knew personally.

  • Also welcomed ~5 new custom clients at the same time. Was ecstatic to have this influx of new business, but at the time I didn’t have my process streamlined, so I was a bit overwhelmed taking on so many new clients at the same time.

  • Created “Squashlete” Instagram account. Was messaged the next day via DM by someone in the UK telling me that they had recently incorporated a business under the name Squashlete, and did I want to collaborate with them? I did not want to collaborate, so I kindly declined, and then panicked to find a new name. Thanks to the help of Danielle Letourneau and Sam Cornett, the name “Squashletic” was born!

  • Conducted weekly classes for Squashlete program via Zoom in a freezing cold garage. Low production cost and definitely a learning curve, but it worked.

  • Purchased an online course on how to make an online course, with the intention of launching an online course about Nutrition for squash players in the coming months.

  • Met with a company (via a personal connection) to start helping them build a platform where I could host & scale Squashletic. Seemed like a win-win, since we would essentially be helping each other beta test. Current timeline: launching in the Spring.

FEBRUARY:

  • Returned to Stamford, and struggled to get back into the swing of things in my own training.

  • The 6 week Squsahlete program finished- with several clients having great success. Welcomed a few more custom clients from this group.

  • Continued to run Daily Squash Athlete (membership similar to Squashletic app, which I originally launched in the fall of 2020)

  • Began to experiment with new Instagram content to build my audience (reels, lives, etc).

MARCH:

  • Went to Cairo for the Black Ball Open! Went a few days early to train (you can read about my experience HERE)

  • After positive feedback from Squashlete, I decided to run another online group program: Squash Shape, which would run for 8 weeks. I originally wanted to create an online course to deliver for the Nutrition component, but I didn’t have enough time. Instead, I decided to use the same concepts and deliver them via PDF to test out the material on the Squash Shape participants. Learned that you often need to test and refine your product several times- especially when you are delivering it in a different format (ie. Online vs in person).

  • Continued to take on more custom clients. Felt like I wasn’t being very efficient with my online coaching as I didn’t have my systems or processes down. It was taking me a long time to roll out programs, mainly because most were due on the same Monday of each month, which made for very long weekends at the computer. Still, was very pleased I was able to bring in money without having to be on court coaching, and really enjoyed what I was doing and how I was able to help others!

APRIL:

  • Launched Squash Shape! Welcomed over 25 participants, and felt a lot smoother running an online group program the second time around.

  • Worked on Squashletic content & strategy behind the scenes, and continued to grow Instagram audience

MAY:

  • Ran my first ever webinar for Squash Canada. Once again, another interesting experience of thinking you know the content “down pat”, but when you need to consolidate it into a 60 minute online format, it presents different challenges!

  • Traveled to El Gouna, Egypt, to compete in the El Gonna International. Played average and felt lost on the court. I realized that my preparation for Black Ball was a lot better since I’d been able to train leading up to that tournament, whereas before El Gouna I was stuck in my room for 3 days prior to playing. I returned to the US feeling lost with my squash game. Realized I hadn’t been playing any “smaller” tournaments, so I had lost confidence in my game. Getting into the big Platinum events is great for your confidence, but losing every match isn’t.

JUNE:

  • Played Houston Open. First “smaller” tournament in a while. Was very nervous but played with good intent, unfortunately lost in the semis.

  • Went to Puerto Vallarta, Mexico for a vacation! Great time away from squash.

  • Ran a girls camp in Philly with Olivia Fiechter. Had about 10 girls and was a great success!

  • Body was feeling good, but knew in the back of my mind that my training wasn’t as purposeful as it needed to be. An eery feeling

  • Competed in a 20k Tournament in DC at Squash on Fire. This was the biggest low point of the year for me, squash-wise. Prior to the match I was googling “How to get Inspired”, which is a terrible sign! I felt like I was missing purpose and desire in my game. I didn’t want to be out there at all.

JULY:

  • World Champs in Chicago. Another disappointing performance, which isn’t surprising given how I felt in DC just a couple weeks prior. Was up against a tough opponent, but felt incredibly off the pace. Even more evident I didn’t feel I was understanding what I needed to be doing on court or how to do it.

  • Was given a tentative launch date of September for the Squashletic Training Membership after having been pushed back for several months. In anticipation of this launch, I filmed a TON of exercises for the library. Good thing I decided to get a phone with lots of storage!

  • My 3-year visa with Chelsea Piers ended, and signed with Harrow for a new 5 year visa (thank you, Harrow!). Now a “free” agent, and no longer tied to a club, I am able to solely focus on my online training work with Squashletic, while continuing to compete on the world tour! It’s taken several years to get to this point, but I finally feel like I am in a good place with my work/training/life balance. Now, if only I could get back on track with my own squash…

AUGUST:

  • Off to the UK to compete in the Manchester Open and British Open. Accompanied by Jaymie who was also able to go back and see his family for the first time in 2 years! Incredibly grateful to be competing in these events, but still apprehensive about my own game. Started to integrate sessions with Rod as well as Paul (also, Paul was going to have to leave the US because of a visa issue, so we stopped working together for a bit).

  • Better performances (mentally) in the Manchester and British compared to Worlds and DC, but still not quite there. Not surprising.

  • After British, I decided to take 2 weeks off of Squash completely, and stayed in the UK until early September. Being in a different environment helped loads with my mindset. I needed some time away from the US Squash scene!


SEPTEMBER:

  • I returned to the US in early September, knowing full well I needed to do something about my training. In the summer, several people had asked me how old I was and if I was “done” with the tour. This is very annoying for a professional player to hear, even if the people saying these comments don’t mean anything by it. These external opinions start to creep into your head and plant seeds of doubt. Another reason why I needed to get back on track- don’t give anyone a reason to say “how much longer are you going to give it?”.

  • Started to work with Rod, and there was a good crew of pros over to train with (Chris Binnie, Jasmine Hutton, Nouran Gohar). With this environment & coaching, I started to feel I was able to gain more clarity and traction.

  • Put in some hard sessions and although was difficult to break down old habits, I started to see and feel continued progress.

  • Created more videos in preparation for Squashletic launch (pushed back now to November, given slow development on the tech side).

OCTOBER:

  • Competed in US Open, and finally had a very good performance, although came up short in 5. For the first time in ages, felt like I was in the zone competing, and had a positive outlook for my squash journey.

  • Continued to get some good training in back in Greenwich area. Felt strong, but started to feel I was burning the candle a bit too much and not recovering well.

  • Hip started to hurt. Took a few lighter days but was still nagging me. Went to Canada for Nationals, and my hip was hurting but didn’t limit me until my quarter final match against Sam, which I won in 5. I remember taking a REALLY big lunge in the 4th game which aggravated my hip hugely. Struggled to back up the next day in the semis, and also struggled to perform in Pennsylvania the next week. Discouraged by the pain, but hopeful it would subside after a week or so.

  • On the positive side, thanks to a couple reels that went viral, I noticed a big increase in followers on Instagram. Something positive!

NOVEMBER:

  • Desperately trying to rehab the hip. Saw a few health professionals, and did my own research via “Google University”. Constant pain decreased bit, but wasn’t regaining function or mobility.

  • On the plus side, I had time to focus on Squashletic, which was meant to launch, but the platform wasn’t ready. So, I took matters into my own hands and searched for a different platform. I was determined to get this membership up and running before the end of the year! I stumbled across a new platform and decided to go with it.

  • Took 10 days off of exercise complete to try and let the hip heal, while also cramming to put together the content for the launch of Squashletic.

  • Celebrated both Jaymie’s bday and my bday. Despite my hip injury, I felt like I was in a good place overall, and on a good path.


DECEMBER:

  • Took a leap of faith and launched the Squashletic app on the new platform and welcomed over 40 members in the first initial launch.

  • Hip still struggling. Sought more help from health professionals. No one could give me a clear answer on what it was. Discouraged, but at least I didn’t have the pressure of tournaments coming up. Just needed to be ready for ToC in January (I have the wildcard), but fortunately it was postponed.

  • Went home to Canada mid-December, to find my grandmother in the hospital. She sadly passed away on December 23rd, so combined with Covid restrictions, an injury which was limiting my movement, it was a holiday season unlike any other. It was a difficult holiday period, but I feel fortunate to have been surrounded by family during that time.

  • Took some time away from social media over the holidays and really enjoyed it, but at the same time, was glad to get back into it when I returned to Stamford.


WHAT’S NEXT IN 2022?

Here are a few things I want to achieve- some of them measurable, others not.

  • Grow Squashletic brand, reach, influence, and authority.

  • (next goal to hit is 100 members).

  • Maintain top 50 ranking, and push towards 40.

  • Improve hip mobility.

  • Improve written & speaking skills (blogging, podcast), and become more comfortable on recorded video (Youtube, Instagram)

  • Create new targeted programs for Squashletic (will also be available to non members for purchase!)

  • Launch a Girls mentorship program ;)

If you made it this far, thank you for reading. Personally, I like gaining insight into the real "behind-the-scenes" of other business owners or athletes, so I thought this might be a different but interesting post to publish. It was also an interesting exercise for me to go through, as it helped me realize how much has changed and improved in the past 12 months.


PS. If you enjoyed this, I think you'll enjoy the following post as well ;).


PPS. Take this 3 minute quiz I made to figure out what's holding back YOUR squash game!



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