In the latest “The Show Court” interview, Alix Williams talks to Hisham Ashour, older brother of Ramy.
Alix explains :
Hisham was nominated by Jonathon Power to be featured on The Show Court, as JP said to me :
“Hisham is the guy you want to talk too – that guy will have great stories and great insight”. Those two would make quite a pair at a party – as Hisham said to me during our interview, “There’s only one Jonathon Power”.
My plan to interview Hisham was to get his take on the branding of modern squash, as he’s a guy who knows how to brand himself and understands the power of media.
In our conversation, we went deep into a few topics, and when I went back over my notes, I realized that Hisham had so much more to say about how he wants to take squash outside the box, through his coaching.
He’s a guy who cares deeply about each of the kids he coaches. Hisham has great reverence for what squash culture was when he played, and during the interview, we both mused on what the future of squash will be.
If there’s a squash dream, Hisham Ashour is living it. Working out of New York City’s best squash clubs, he coaches ultra-rich families, studies acting and travels where the energy takes him. In the weeks leading up to our interview, he had jet-setted between Miami, Virginia and New York.
When he’s in Virginia, he’s on-court seven days a week, coaching dozens of kids. There is a huge demand for the creator of the Mizuki. In New York, his coaching is focussed on a few select families, like the hedge fund billionaire Mercer family. Off the squash court, his leisure time is focused on acting classes – Hisham has his charms set on making his mark on screen and in film.
For a world class coach who’s reached the pinnacles of success, why step back from squash now? The answer lies in the pulse of the game.
The first thing I notice about Hisham is that he has a great laugh, and he talks faster than I do, which is fast. “Give me an hour a day, five days a week and I’ll make them a champion.” he tells me. He says, and I don’t doubt him.
His mantra is “Coaches don’t make legends, they bring out the legend in you” It speaks to the belief he has in each player as an individual.
“Acting teaches you to listen. To listen, to absorb and then to talk. And when I’m coaching, that’s what I’m able to do with my kids, that’s how I connect to them. Acting helps you find yourself, and when you’re coaching, you’re doing the same thing – helping people find themselves, finding their inner legend.”
Acting has made Hisham a better coach and improved his ability to be a better judge of character. By putting those skills into practice every day, coaching is making Hisham a better actor.