The Rise of Superman

As published in SquashXTRA – the PSA’s online magazine available on your mobile devices or via your browser – New Zealand’s Paul Coll talks about the changes that fuelled his recent rise up the world rankings …

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In a world dominated by smart technology, the power of social media can at times be all-consuming, but New Zealand squash star Paul Coll has attributed his recent rise through the PSA World Rankings to a journey that started on Facebook nine-months ago

Since capturing the Open de France title at the start of the 2019/20 season, the affable Kiwi has steadily progressed and, prior to the suspension of the PSA World Tour due to Covid-19, found himself on the cusp of a career high top-four PSA ranking courtesy of runner-up finishes at the World Championships and Windy City Open.

Speaking to SquashXtra, those results Coll says are thanks to his partnership with Solihull squash Svengali Rob Owen who he hooked up with last summer in a bid to take his game to the next level and add layers of subtlety to a style that was heavily based on Superman’s legendary fitness and mobility.

I have been working with Rob Owen for about nine months now and it all came about from a message he sent me on Facebook.

He’d watched one of my matches and he said if I was ever in the Birmingham area to drop in.

So, I went for a couple of days in early summer to test the water, and I knew from the first session that this was the right move for me – then I went back for a more intensive block before the season started and that laid the foundations for the campaign.

Now I join up with Rob for maybe three days before every major tournament, when time permits, and we work on the details and just sharpen everything up.

The work we have been doing has all been about giving me more options, which in turn will allow my physicality to hurt the top guys. Particularly in the front court, and when the opportunity presents itself from the back, I am looking to attack.

In this respect and especially back in the summer we did a lot of work on my swing, particularly on the forehand wing and now it is beginning to feel very natural and I am not having to think about it.

For me, especially in Chicago, there was a huge payback on all that work, and I am excited about where the work I have been doing with Rob will take me.

We both believe that at 27 my best is still in front of me. There is a lot more growth to come in my game and I feel I can still improve my movement as well. When you look at the results I have had after just a few months with Rob then I’m real excited about where he can take me in the next period.