Summer Centered: Noah Tunis '24 Engages with Squash
The philosophy and psychology major is interning the summer with AR Proformance, working to expand access to high-quality squash coaching and analysis.
Noah Tunis’ interest in squash extends far beyond the court. The player on Haverford’s team has always been interested in analyzing and studying professional play. This summer, he is getting an inside look at how that works. The philosophy and psychology major, who is minoring in neuroscience, is spending the summer working in a self-designed internship position with AR Proformance, funded by Haverford’s Smart Family Internship Grant, which supports a single student working in the communications field each summer.
Since squash is a smaller sport, much of the content available, including televised games and most analysis, comes solely from the Professional Squash Association (PSA).
“Think of squash now as if the NFL was a channel, the only one which televised football, and also wrote 90% of the analysis of football available,” Tunis said. “This is what the PSA World Tour currently exists as.”
AR Proformance is a platform looking to challenge that. Managed by former banker turned professional squash player Ahad Raza, AR Proformance publishes analysis focusing on subtle techniques used by top-level squash.
“No one has done anything like it in the squash world,” Tunis said. “Through his coaching and explanation, too, he seeks to bring squash to the newcomer in an approachable way, while still creating content thorough enough for the seasoned player or coach to enjoy.”
Tunis was inspired by Raza’s goal of expanding squash’s accessibility while still providing high-quality content, so much so that he was interested in joining him. Tunis reached out to Raza, asking if he could join him in growing his business and expanding his platform, and Raza accepted.
“We established a solid relationship and fleshed out an internship for this summer where I do a whole host of things,” Tunis said, “including but not limited to editing and publishing his videos on YouTube, establishing his social media presence (in progress), networking with other squash coaches and academies to grow his business’s reach, and working in developing new ways for him to interact with and provide value and expertise to the public and squash fans and players everywhere.”
Tunis started the summer by working at an AR Proformance camp in Connecticut, before returning to his home in Baltimore for remote work. He will later visit Raza in Toronto to assist in the creation of coaching videos and courses on squash training. Some of his other projects for the summer include working towards a future squash newsletter and podcast.
Tunis’ motivation for pursuing this opportunity was split between a love for squash and a love for Raza’s unique content.
“The way [Raza’s] professional career and coaching experience allow him to see the nuances of the game causes me to redefine how I think about squash every day I work with him,” he said. “He strives, too, to provide a holistic coaching model to his students, recognizing their individuality and specific needs, and teaches values such as integrity, fairness, compassion, and intentionality in his videos.”
Tunis recognized the many different opportunities for growth this internship provided him with: as an athlete, a communicator, and a person.
“The mental aspect of the sport is critical, especially at the top levels, and Ahad’s analysis of this is scintillating. I hope to develop my own understanding of the psychology of squash, and sport in general, through studying the game at the top level in greater depth,” he said.
Tunis noted that he has come to view Raza as a personal mentor, and has become inspired by his unique life perspective.
“I hope to learn how to function, in the way he does: he lives intentionally and methodically while producing a high volume of tremendous quality work. He lives with focus and drive, but also with compassion and honesty. He is a role model for me in many personal ways, but also knows so much about squash,” Tunis said. “Learning the nuances of the game from him is essential to my growth as a player, and is an amazing opportunity to develop my mind and approach to the game, to be the best athlete, player, and person I can be.”
“Summer Centered” is a series exploring our students’ campus-supported summer work.