Each week we are putting an Essex squash coach under the spotlight for a quick-fire spot of Question and Answer. This week it’s the turn of the editor’s personal squash development guru (don’t blame him, he did his best) PAUL SELBY
What’s your name: Paul Selby
Where do you coach squash: Marconi Chelmsford, Frinton LTC, Park Drive Maldon, Bishop’s Stortford
When did you first begin playing and how long have you been coaching: When I was 12. I have been coaching since 1989.
Who is the best player you have ever coached: Daryl Selby. I started off at 4 1/2 and have been coaching him right up to the present day. He has had other coaches over the years such as Neil Harvey and Paul Carter but all players need other input to give them the best chance of succeeding.
What is it about the game that you love: The hard physical attritional game with the strong mental and tactical side being a pre requisite also. It is one of the best games in the world.
Do you coach any other sports: I used to coach football.
Who is your favourite professional player: Amr Shabana. (Thought I had better not say Daryl Selby). Need to have equality and give my favourite women player. I actually don’t have one favourite as I just enjoy watching all the Egyptian women players for their great shot making.
Any training tips for club players: Stick to playing simple shots and use simple tactics. Don’t try and be clever it ends in misery.
Other than your own, what is your favourite squash club and why: I like The Park in Nottingham and the Glencoe Club in Calgary. The Park because it feels like both a traditional squash club and the Glencoe just because it has everything you could ever want from a club in a great city.
Egypt is producing some fabulous young players. How are they doing it: Because they have a great many more juniors playing so more cream will rise to the top. Survival of the strongest. They let the kids have the freedom to just get on court and play and experiment so no real constraints. Their shot making comes from this early learning and the required discipline comes later, we tend to do the reverse.
England Squash has a new chief executive starting soon. What advice would you give him: Get
a clean sheet of paper and start from scratch. Because papering over the cracks won’t solve the
dilemma he will face on day one.
Have you ever deliberately drilled an opponent with a ball? Come on, be honest: Never and never
would. (Not accurate enough)
Pasta or potatoes: Pasta
Steak or chicken: Fish as don’t eat meat.
Beer or wine: Wine (decent stuff not the cheap plonk)
Football or cricket: Rugby is much more enjoyable to watch than the previous two
Favourite football team: Leyton Orient. I started watching them when I was 12 and have been a supporter through thick and thin.
Least Favourite football team: Any other London club.
And finally, if the Dragon’s Den asked why they should invest in squash, what would you tell them: Because it has the potential to grow into a massive sport given the right people running the sport.