TRAIN ON SQUAD EXPLAINED What is the Ballkids Train on Squad? In the lead up to AO 2017, a “Train on Squad” will be selected after the Level 2 trials to participate in up to four training sessions, with further sessions should the applicants be invited to join the main Ballkids Squad. The Train on Squad provides opportunity for Ballkid applicants to practice and hone their skills, and get used to performing consistently over the training period. It gives everyone the chance to develop and prove themselves consistently over time and benefit from the expert knowledge our team of trainers provides during each training session. At each training session, commencing in July, feedback will be provided to the participants and grades will be recorded for selection purposes. A Ballkid’s commitment to the training sessions will provide them with a greater opportunity for selection into the Main Squad as final grades will be calculated on full attendance at all compulsory sessions. By attending all sessions, Ballkids will receive the full allocation of grades. How many applicants are selected for the Train on Squad? Approximately 440-450 applicants from the Level 2 trials will be invited to join the Train-on Squad and commence training July. From this, approximately 340 Ballkids will be invited to take part in the Australian Open as a member of our Main Squad. Invitations to join the Main Squad will be issued at the end of October. What is the benefit of being part of the Train on Squad? Participation in the Train on Squad gives the Ballkids the chance to practice and hone their skills under the direction of our Ballkid trainers, many of who are ex-Ballkids themselves. The Ballkid Training Program is a specialist training program that can only be delivered by our team of experience staff; this is not something that can be taught by your local coach or sports teacher. As mentioned, feedback will be continually provided throughout training (in the form of a progress report) and Ballkids are encourages to use this to their advantage to identify and improve specific skills and abilities throughout the training period. For those children who may ultimately be unsuccessful in making the Main Squad, participation in the Ballkids Training Program puts them in an excellent position should they wish to reapply the following year. In addition to being exempt from Level 1 Selection Trials, they will have the benefit of having received 4 months of specialist training with our team. How is the Main Squad selected? Ballkids will be selected for the Main Squad based on the following: High performance of on-court skills (details on Ballkids website) Consistent effort, behaviour and attitude, both on and off court and willingness to go above and beyond Completion of all compulsory elements of training requirements Upholding the Ballkids Code of Behaviour Those selected to move into the Main Squad will be then required to attend the following compulsory events: One training session on either 12 or 13 November 2016 (times to be advised) At minimum of ONE day at the December Showdown Australian Open Launch on 4 December 2016 Approximately 30 children will also transfer onto the waitlist for the Main Squad; the waitlist will operate up until the day prior to Qualifying for Australian Open 2017 (January 9 2017). Waitlist Ballkids can be called into the Main Squad as late as the evening prior to Qualifying taking place. There will be parent information sessions conducted at the first round of training sessions during which we will provide parents with a complete overview of information they need to help their children through the training period.