New Zealand’s Paul Coll is our featured player this week, and we’ve had a fantastic response to our exclusive documentary ‘More Than a Machine’ that examines the background and training regime of the Kiwi star.
The purpose of this blog is to give you some suggestions of elements you can incorporate into your training, to help allow you to put into practice some of Paul’s conditioning-related insights.
One theme that Paul returns to a lot in the film, is that of ‘balance’. Whatever standard you are, to improve the level of your squash there needs to be hard work and discipline – equally though, to really become the best player you can be there needs to be a desire to commit and enjoy the whole process.
Not every day will you wake up energised and motivated to train, but as Paul discusses in relation to his own training, developing that willpower to get through a hard session can really pay dividends when it comes to a tough stretch in a match. It may mean sacrificing the odd social event and occasional creature comfort; this though is the price that needs to be paid for any significant goal in life and is an important trade-off upon your path of commitment to improvement.
Paul uses the term ‘sessions in the bank’ several times in the documentary, and this is a good way to think about things – every tough physical session you put yourself through is another one under your belt, that you can then fall back on as a mental reminder when the going gets tough in a match.
We’ve included some sessions below for you to try, to help you start emulating Paul Coll’s outstanding physicality and mental strength. We can’t promise to turn you into Superman, but we can definitely help you become the very best player you can be!
Put it into practice
Ghosting is a key part of any squash player’s training, and Paul is no different. Try out this tough ghosting routine that Paul outlines in the documentary, that varies intensity and recovery to challenge all aspects of your squash-specific conditioning.
Paul highlights the importance of mobility a number of times in his interviews for More Than a Machine. This 15min full body mobility session is great to include several times a week after your on-court sessions, to help open up your body and allow you to move more freely and with less restriction.
Strength is a crucial aspect for the squash player, as it provides a foundation for all of the other athletic qualities. You may not have time to spend going through the gruelling workouts that Paul does, but this short 15min bolt-on session is a great way to include some useful functional strength/power training into your schedule.
As Paul mentions in the documentary; if you’re training hard, then you also need to ensure your recovery is on-point to help optimise your gains. Read this article for some of the key points you need to consider post-session.
Mental toughness is a key ingredient to Paul’s style of play, and something he talks about a lot. Check out this great playlist from legendary US coach Paul Assaiante that covers this crucial area in specific relation to the squash player.
If you’re playing a very physical based game, you need to really make sure your body is properly primed to perform each time you step on court. This excellent playlist from Gary Nisbet goes through everything you need to know about the warm-up.
Also from Gary, check out this playlist that takes an in-depth look at perhaps Paul’s most significant asset: Endurance.
Let us know how you get on with the sessions, we’d love to hear your feedback!
Not watched the full documentary yet?
Over the last two years, Paul has risen up the rankings to become one of the game’s most exceptional athletes. We spent three days with him in Amsterdam in an effort to understand what it takes to be able to push his body to the absolute limit, day after day.Watch the documentary in full