Rich Rowley says try going solo to hone your skills

Each week we put an Essex squash coach under the spotlight for a quick-fire spot of Question and Answer. This week it’s the turn of Essex Junior Squash coach Rich Rowley.

What’s your name:

Rich Rowley rich(That’s me at a recent Essex open trials day)

Where do you coach squash:

I coach at several clubs throughout Essex including Riverside Ice and Leisure. I’m also involved in the Essex schools’ programme which is unearthing some great new talent.

When did you first begin playing and how long have you been coaching?

I started playing at 10 years of age and did my first coaching course at 16. I’m 30 now. Wow, that makes me sound old, doesn’t it?

Who is the best player you have ever coached:

Probably Robert Graham’s nephew Tom. Mind you, I’ve been lucky enough to help a whole host of Essex’s rising young players.

What is it about the game you love?

The speed and intensity of the game makes squash so exciting

Do you coach any other sports?

No, squash is my one true love. Nothing else compares

Who is your favourite professional player

Ex pro Mark Challoner was awesome. The guy’s fitness was just unbelievable. All the top pros are supremely fit but he just seemed to be on another level

Any training tips for club players?

Solo practice is always good for honing your rackets skills. It’s also a good exercise if you don’t have a playing partner. Make sure there is some structure to it and your not just hacking the ball around willy nilly

Other than your own, what is your favourite club and why?

Chapel Allerton in Leeds. The locals are mega enthusiastic about squash and a really friendly bunch of people

Egypt is producing some fabulous young players how are they doing it?

By just letting the kids play squash and not worrying about coaching too much while they are young

England squash has a new chief executive starting soon what advice would you give him

Invest in grass roots, Try to come up with a scheme where leisure centre courts get more use, Every time I go to a leisure centre with squash courts they are invaribly empty

Have you ever drilled an opponent with a ball on purpose? Come on be honest

I have drilled a few, yes. But I promise you, never on purpose

Pasta or potatoes

Always been a pasta man

Steak or chicken

Steak for me, every time

Monarchy or republic

Monarchy. The world looks at the UK with total envy. The Royal Family are fantastic.

Beer or wine

I don’t drink alcohol at all

Football or cricket

It’s football for me. Cricket’s too tedios

Favourite football team

Always been a West Ham fan. Can’t wait until we move to the Olympic Stadium

Least favourite football team

Manchester United, Loving it that they are crumbling before our very eyes.

And finally, if the dragons den asked why the should invest in squash what would you tell them.

I’d tell them that squash is the perfect game for all round fitness. It burns plenty of calories and can be played in under an hour. It is played by people from all walks of life and if they invested we could stafe another Olympic bid to get squash where it deserves to be.