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  • Developing an Elite Athlete

    Courtesy of SportIQ

    When developing your players for maximum performance, what really pushes them to an elite level?

    The United States Olympic Committee (USOC) recently published a report based on a survey distributed to nearly 2,000 U.S. Olympic athletes. The survey intended to gauge what the USOC could do to improve the quality and effectiveness of programs focused on talent identification and development.

    What do the Olympics have to do with your team of players you don’t choose and whose motivation varies? This information can help coaches of any sport and any age group guide their teams to success.

    According to the USOC report, the top two reasons Olympic athletes gave for pursuing elite levels of performance were “intrinsic love of activity” (they liked being active) and love of the sport. What does that tell me as a coach? It’s my job to get my players to love being active and to love lacrosse.

    It’s my job to make it fun.

    Format your practices so that the mindset of the athletes becomes, “I want to go to practice,” as opposed to the all-too-often-heard, “I have to go to practice.” Get your players addicted to lacrosse. Implement drills with a fast pace, high touch counts and opportunities for frequent participation.

    Another factor contributing to the desire to achieve at the highest level, according to the USOC report, was multi-sport athleticism. College lacrosse coaches almost universally prefer athletes who play multiple sports in high school. The data collected by the USOC reinforces that preference. Most Olympians did not specialize in their sport until very late in their development. Even then, some continued to participate in other sports.

    It is downright painful to hear a 9-year-old say he or she solely plays lacrosse year-round, switching between teams based on the season. Research shows the best athletes in the world participated in at least two sports through high school. Ninety-seven percent of USOC respondents who followed that path credited multi-sport participation directly for their success.

    If you ask your players to commit to lacrosse full time, you are holding them back and limiting their upside.

    In his book, “Outliers,” Canadian journalist Malcolm Gladwell popularized the 10,000-hour rule that it takes 10,000 hours of practice to achieve mastery in a field. We might be tempted to interpret this to mean we must constantly practice one thing to become excellent at it. But would you want an athlete who 10,000 hours playing wall ball or one who divided 10,000 hours between basketball, hockey and lacrosse?

    We can teach kids to catch and throw. Some say we can’t teach them to be athletes. I refute that. If we encourage and expect multi-sport participation, we indirectly teach them to be athletes.

    The USOC surveyed more than 300 athletes who competed in one or more Olympics between 2000 and 2012 to identify the factors and circumstances surrounding their success.

    Intrinsic love of activity – 4.32
    Love of sport – 4.309
    Early success – 3.583
    Parental influence – 3.489
    Coaches recruitment – 3.400
    Peer recruitment – 2.805
    Sibling recruitment – 2.557
    PE teacher influence – 2.299

    Coaches that can infuse competition with athlete-centric success and fun will set up athletes for a great experience.

    Age U10 – 3.11
    Age 10-14 – 2.99
    Age 15-18 – 2.2
    Age 19-22 – 1.27
    Age 22-older – 1.31

    The findings indicate that Olympians were involved in an average of three sports per year until age 14, which belies the notion that early specialization is critical to long-term success. Multi-sport play appeared to be beneficial to these Olympians.

    Over to you. How would you identify the factors that influence your lacrosse player’s sport decision? Is it one or more of the eight above, or something else? Let us know in the comments section.

    TJ Buchanan is the coaching education content manager at US Lacrosse.

  • Squash Talk

    Denver, Colo. – Wednesday, December 24, 2014 - The 2014 Wadi Degla Women’s World Squash Championship match between #1 Nicol David and #3 Raneem El Welily came down to mere minutes and inches. With relentless spirit, David saved four match-balls to capture the 2014 title over home favorite El Welily. World No.3 El Welily was truly remarkable on the court winning the first and third game to give her an early 2/1 advantage but fell just short against David. Another Harrow highlight featured Omneya Abdel Kawy playing against Low Wee Wern in the quarterfinals. Kawy won 12/10, 11/3, 11/4 against Wern before meeting Nicol David in the semifinal. Omneya Abdel Kawy was up 2/1 after 3 games, but David finished the final two games to end the competitive match. Congratulations to Raneem and Nicol for playing a historic 66 minutes of squash! We would also like to congratulate all of our Harrow Pros on a superb squash weekend in Cairo.

    #USJO14 - This past weekend junior squash players from thirty-five countries met to compete in the 2014 U.S. Junior Open Championship. Roughly one thousand athletes took center stage on 43 courts to participate against the best. The U.S. Junior Open is a World Squash Federation Circuit tier two level tournament and features all age divisions. Congratulations to the following 2014 U.S. Junior Open Champions: Walid Hedia, Stefanoni, Abbas, Watanabe, Sedky, El Torkey, Yacout, Elmashad, Ilbrahim and Brownell!

    Urban Squash Toronto - “They say it takes a village to raise a child. Well, it takes an entire community that bands together to create long lasting change,” said Shivani Ruparell, Program Director of Urban Squash Toronto. Harrow Sports has been a proud partner of Urban Squash Toronto since its inception. Urban Squash Toronto helps motivated and talented students reach their full academic, athletic and personal potential. The program provides squash training, academic tutoring, mentoring, community service, cultural trips and much more. Check out this awesome video from @UrbanSquash_TO featuring @harrowsports http://bit.ly/16NxJo9

    Warm Wishes for a Wonderful Holiday Season! #TeamHarrow #UnleashYourGame

  • Squash Talk

    Denver, Colo. – Thursday, December 18, 2014 - The women’s squash elite traveled from Canada to Cairo last week to compete in the Wadi Degla Women’s World Squash Championship. Round two featured a 64-minute Harrow battle between Low Wee Wern and Joshana Chinappa. Chinappa took the early advantage but Wern, World #7, ultimately regained the upper hand to record her 3-2 victory. Also in round two, Omneya Abdel Kawy beat Nouran Gohar in straight games to solidify her slot in the quarterfinals. The quarterfinal matches are set to begin today. Low Wee Wern will play against Omneya Abdel Kawy and Raneem El Welily will square off against Nour El Tayeb. Good luck to Team Harrow!

    #PSAWORLDTOUR - Andrew Wagih Shoukry captured his second PSA World Tour Title in two weeks when he upset Kristian Frost Olesen in the final of the PSA Valencia Open. This marks Shoukry's seventh PSA World Tour Title and extends his current unbeaten streak to eight matches.

    AUSTRALIAN NATIONALS - The Australian Nationals were in full swing this past weekend at the Mulgrave Country Club for the first time since 2009. Rachael Grinham beat Lisa Camilleri 3-0 in the finals to capture the 2014 Title. Congrats to Rachael and Lisa for an impressive tournament!

    WORLD’S BEST ON BOARD - The squash elite have claimed their spots in the 2015 JP Morgan Tournament of Champions.  The Tournament of Champions has been an important part of the PSA circuit since 1993 and takes place in Grand Central’s gorgeous Vanderbilt Hall. The 2015 Championship features Harrow Pro’s Karim Abdel Gawad, Chris Simpson, Raneem El Welily, Low Wee Wern, Annie Au, Omneya Abdel Kawy and Rachael Grinham. We look forward to an exciting event and watching Team Harrow compete throughout the week!

    HARROW HOLIDAY -  We’ve got a great idea to help your shopping list! The Vortex is our most technologically advanced and tested court shoe. The eye-catching design, soft breathable mesh and upper rubber makes the Vortex the ultimate holiday gift. #TeamHarrow #UnleashYourGame

  • Squash Talk

    Denver, Colo. - Wednesday, December 10, 2014 - The start of December was one to remember. The 2014 SHOP.CA Women’s World Team Squash Championship drew athletes, coaches and squash
    fanatics from 20 countries to share more than just a competition but also the sport. Every athlete kept fans fixated on the court with heart-pounding action all week long.

    England defeated first-time finalists Malaysia 2/1 to win the 2014 World Championship title for the seventh time this past weekend. Team Malaysia upended the favorite, Egypt 2/0 in the semifinal round. Raneem El Welily fell to Nicol David in one of the most competitive match ups of the week and Low Wee Wern upset Nour El Sherbini for the deciding point to solidify Malaysia’s slot in the final. Amanda Sobhy and Team USA beat France 2/0 to capture 5th place and their best finish in the World Team Championship. Lastly, we would like to highlight Omneya Abdel Kawy who played in her eighth World Championship!

    Harrow Sports proudly outfitted Team Canada, Malaysia, India, USA, Wales and was the official apparel provider and racquet sponsor of the WWT Tournament. Harrow also supported the new line of string during the tournament. If you didn’t get a chance to test the new line of string, please contact Dave Rosen or Manek Mathur for samples.

    Team Harrow would like to welcome Laurens Jan Anjema and Donna Urquhart back to the court after months of being sidelined with injuries.  We are thrilled to see the Harrow racquets in hand and moving!

    Share your squash updates, apparel and equipment by tagging @harrowsports to be featured on the Official Harrow Sports Instragram and Twitter accounts.#TeamHarrow #UnleashYourGame

  • Harrow Sports Partners with The SHOP.CA Women’s World Team Squash Championship

    Harrow Sports is pleased to announce a sponsorship with the 2014 SHOP.CA Women’s World Team Squash Championship that designates Harrow as the official apparel provider and racquet sponsor.

    As the official racquet sponsor, Harrow is excited to feature the Stealth Ultralite which showcases the tournament logos. Harrow will be selling the commemorative racquet and all the official event apparel during the tournament.

    "This partnership continues our commitment to empowering squash players and elevating the sports presence throughout the world," said Mark Hayden, CEO of Harrow Sports. "We look forward to providing our proven technology in equipment and apparel to all the athletes."

    “We are excited to extend our partnership with Harrow Sports at the SHOP.CA Women’s World Team Squash Championship,” said Danny DaCosta, Squash Canada Executive Director and 2014 Championship Director. “Harrow continues to make great investments into the game of squash and female squash athletes globally. Harrow Sports has been the Canadian National Team Apparel provider since 2011, so it was a very easy decision to extend our partnership with Harrow at the Women’s World Championships.”

    Women's World Racket Shot 2 Women's World Racket Shot 4The 2014 SHOP.CA Women’s World Team Squash Championship held at White Oaks Resort & Spa in Niagara-on-the-Lake, ON is comprised of the top female athletes in the world. This year’s contest consists of the top 10 players in the World and will feature a total of 20 countries. Egypt will look to defend their team title in Canada after defeating England at the 2012 Championship in France.

    The 2014 Championship will include: Australia, Austria, Canada, China, Colombia, Egypt, England, France, Germany, Guatemala, Hong Kong China, India, Ireland, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, South Africa, Spain and USA.

    The Women’s World Team Squash Championship begins December 1, 2014 and tickets are available on www.wsfwomensteams.com.

  • U.S. Squash Open

    Congratulations to Harrow Sports sponsored athletes, No.3 Raneem El Welily and No.5 Low Wee Wern for their impressive matches yesterday at the U.S. Squash Open held at Drexel University in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

    RaneemRaneem El Welily and England’s No.7 Alison Waters met in the first quarter-final match last night. El Welily redeemed herself from a 5-0 deficit to beat Waters 11-9, 11-8, 11-5.

    The most thrilling section of the match came as El Welily reached game ball at 10-9 in the first. She motioned for video review when Waters’ straight return of serve sparked a ‘no let’ call.  The play was overturned, and El Welily gained the next point.

    Low Wee Wern competed against Malaysia’s world No.1 Nicol David in the second quarter-final match up. This meeting was a repeat from the memorable Asian Games final this past September.

    David beat Wee Wern 11-6, 11-4, 11-9 last night at the U.S. Open. Wee Wern had an impressive sequence in the third when she won three points to tie 9-9, but could not come away with the win. David finished the match 11-9.

    Egypt’s world No.3 Raneem El Welily will rival against Malaysia’s world No.1 Nicol David in Friday’s semi-finals of the U.S. Open. David will be looking for revenge because El Welily served David her last loss at the Malaysian Open this past August.

    Congrats to Low Wee Wern for a thrilling tournament and best of luck to Raneem El Welily in the semi-finals tomorrow!

    For all the latest updates and photos from the U.S. Open, click here!

    Photo Credit: U.S Squash Open

  • Harrow Sports and Play4theCure Team Up

    Harrow Sports has turned pink and is partnering with The National Foundation for Cancer Research’s sports fundraising campaign Play4TheCure. Harrow is joining the effort to empower athletes and coaches by selling Play4theCure t-shirts and donating 10% of the proceeds to The National Foundation for Cancer Research. Harrow Sports will also be donating a $250 gift card to Harrow Sports for the team that raises the most money this season!

    Play4theCure was founded in 2006 by Christine K. Reinprecht, coach of the Mystx Field Hockey Club in Feasterville, PA and a current board member of USA Field Hockey.  Play4theCure began as an annual indoor field hockey tournament to raise money for the fight against breast cancer.  The initiative has since expanded to include recreational programs, as well as middle school, high school and collegiate teams.

    photo(1)“I am thrilled Harrow Sports is joining the Play4theCure Team,” said Tina Reinprecht, Founder of Play4theCure. “Harrow Sports has a rich tradition of supporting field hockey programs at multiple levels but especially at the grass roots level.  It’s no surprise that they recognize Play4theCure’s grass roots participation and be eager to assist our mission to help fund cancer research.”

    “Harrow is thrilled to partner with NFCR’s Play4theCure to provide additional resources to help raise awareness and motivate the field hockey community to raise funds for cancer research,” said Alli Tanner, Field Hockey Brand Manager of Harrow Sports. “Play4theCure is an impressive program. The ability for teams to be a part of something bigger than themselves is truly incredible. We are honored to be the newest member of the team and look forward to contributing to the cause.”


    JOIN THE MISSION! Buy the Harrow Sports Play4theCure awareness t-shirts for your team, coach and friends.  Participate as a team, youth program or collegiate squad by signing up at http://www.nfcr.org/play-4-cure-registration-form or contact NFCR at Play4theCure@nfcr.org.

    SHARE YOUR STORY Tag @harrowsports with #Play4theCure with your story and your t-shirt for a chance to win a prize and be featured on the official Harrow Sports Instagram!

  • T Series and Barrage Series Available for Purchase


    Harrow Sports is excited to announce the monofilament T Series and the multifilament Barrage Series are available for purchase! Designed to provide improved power and performance for both amateur and professional players, the T Series and Barrage Series offer amazing response with a high tenacity synthetic nylon to provide improved grip.

    The Barrage Series features a braided weave design for superior control and power. The ultra-thin 18 gauge (1.15mm) Barrage Pro String is available in red/yellow or white/red. The 17 gauge (1.25 mm) Barrage String is available in white/black or yellow/black.

    The 17 gauge T Series combines superb touch, precision and control for pure playability. The T200 String is 1.25 mm and is offered in crystal. The T300 is 1.18mm and is available in a natural color.

    For a limited time only, purchase 6 single sets and you will receive 3 free single sets. If you buy 1 reel, you will receive 1 reel for free! Shop Online Now

    To order your strings today, please contact Dave Rosen or Manek Mathur. You can also request a quote by clicking Here! Offer expires November 15, 2014. Free string must be the same as original order.

  • Introducing the newest Harrow Sports Polo, the Tipped Cotton Polo


    The Tipped Cotton Polo is set on placket, garment-washed for extra softness and is extremely durable.  The high end cotton polo is available in white tipped with green and navy or white tipped with Carolina blue and navy. The classic look is essential to any man’s wardrobe and will be the go-to for events such as casual nights out, corporate functions and anything involving sports. This garment is deemed to be the corporate favorite and team travel necessity.

  • Meet the modern tank, the Freedom Tank.

    Harrow Sports is excited to announce the newest addition to the women’s performance shirt line, the Freedom Tank. It is an advanced semi-fitted tank that will elevate any training session.  With its four-way stretch and smooth, chafe-resistant design, it is sure to maximize performance without sacrificing comfort. Comprised of 89% polyester and 11% spandex, the Freedom Tank can uphold the toughest of elements.

    The athletic racer back and mesh panel design unlocks mobility and is perfect for layering. The Freedom Tank is fitted for yoga classes, long running trails and team workouts.  This tank offered in aqua, black and white is definitely a get-one-in-every-color kind of shirt!

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