In the first of a new series of articles, we put former WSA world No 34 player Lauren (Lozza) Selby under the microscope in a quick-fire round of Questions & Answers. Each week we’ll be putting a different Essex coach in the hot seat to find out what they like, why they do it and what makes them tick.
Name: Lauren Selby (Lozza!) That’s me on the right
Where do you coach squash: Ardleigh Hall and Bishop’s Stortford
When did you first begin playing and how long have you been coaching: I began playing when I was about 7 at Bishop’s Stortford. I have been coaching for about 12 or 13 years.
Who is the best player you have ever coached: I have given my brother Daryl a session before and he’s number 10 in the world so perhaps I should go with him! I’m not sure siblings count so I’d have to say Rob Dadds or Anna Kimberley (current U19 British Champion).
What is it about the game that you love: Its fast, furious and energetic but it also requires an incredible tactical awareness and clarity of mind.
Do you coach any other sports: I have coached hockey before, a sport I have played and loved since I was very young.
Who is your favourite professional player: I love watching Raneem El Weleily from Egypt, she makes the game look so effortless. She has wonderful technical ability and glides around the court…squash at its finest. I also love watching Amr Shabana for the same reasons. Perfect technique is very important to me and both these players have near perfect techniques.
Any training tips for club players: Try and play some conditioned games which lead you into playing certain shots from certain positions.
Other than your own, what is your favourite squash club: I have played in some amazing clubs around the world but I am going to stick with an English club. In the past I would probably have said Lambs club in London, because I used to go and watch the British Junior Open there when I was little. Now I would probably say Exeter Squash Club, the people are so friendly and welcoming.
Egypt is producing some fabulous young players. How are they doing it: Practice, freedom to play and role models. The Egyptian juniors play after school most days, they are hitting more squash balls than our children are. They are allowed to play with freedom, I think sometimes we over coach and restrict our juniors. The juniors also get to see their idols play on a regular basis, our kids don’t watch enough top quality squash and therefore don’t have any role models.
England Squash has a new chief executive starting soon. What advice would you give him: Start with the grass-level.
Have you ever deliberately drilled an opponent with a ball? Come on, be honest: I am very calm and passive on court! You all know I hit too many lobs so it’s highly unlikely I would hit a shot low enough to drill someone! (Editor not convinced)
Pasta or potatoes: Sweet potatoes
Steak or chicken: Chicken
Beer or wine: Red wine! (Editor can confirm)
Football or cricket: Football I suppose, even though footballers wind me up!
Monarchy or Rebublic: Monarchy…long live the Queen.
Favourite football team: Liverpool and Leyton Orient!
Least Favourite football team: Arsenal
And finally, if the Dragon’s Den asked why they should invest in squash, what would you tell them: Its pinball in a room…I think it sells itself!