So, for some of you reading this, the time has come to ask yourself this question with life-changing consequence: do you think you have what it takes to bring your passion for squash to a professional level? This article will help you out in answering this question - read on!
Lets start with the baby steps..
1) Register with the Professional Squash Association (PSA) Registration sets you up for invitations to tournaments, and will also get you updates on the latest happenings in the squash universe.
2) Scramble for wildcard entries. Virtually all PSA tournaments are restricted to participants with at least some qualification, and are capped at a certain number by invitation only, given the huge number of applicants for each tournament. Competition is the most ruthlessly fierce at this stage, so be hungry!
3) If you manage to get at least a few wildcards, your main priority at this point is to qualify into as many competitions as possible. Qualification is when you start to get some recognition, and sponsorship.
You’ve registered, qualified and competed in some PSA tournaments. So what do you do next?
The next step is to continue to move up in the types of PSA tournaments you compete in. There are five levels of PSA tournaments, which vary in importance, and value in the eyes of professional players.
These five levels are:
1) Closed Satellite Tournament – This tournament is usually reserved for members of the association hosting the tournament and is not open to outside players. If there is a tournament you are very interested in playing in, it would be a good idea to become a member of the association, if possible.
2) Challenger Tournaments – They are usually the entry points for junior players and/or up-and-coming squash players. This is typically treated as a launch-pad to bigger competitions, so having top finishes at these competitions is seen as crucial in the climbing of the proverbial professional squash ladder.
3) International Tournaments – There is no fixed form for such, as they can range from large club events to high-profile glass court events. These are typically invitation-only. However, they are not prestigious enough to be not seen as a launch-pad for greater competitive events.
4) World Series – These tournaments are the ATP 1000 Masters Series in the squash world. They attract the world’s best players, and is where the highest prize money is offered. Every aspiring squash professional will have dreamed of playing in such tournament long before they decided to turn professional
5) World Championship – This is the ATP World Tour Finals of the squash world. The only difference is that this is the most physically and mentally demanding squash tournament that is out there for grabs.
We wish you all the best in your professional squash endeavors!
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