Paul Coll reflects on a challenging season after the high of winning a Commonwealth Games Gold Medal

July 19 2023

New Zealand squash star Paul Coll faced a challenging season on the PSA World Tour following his Gold Medal triumph at the 2022 Commonwealth Games. Despite clinching just one title at the Canary Wharf Classic, Coll struggled to convert opportunities in critical matches.

In an exclusive interview with the Professional Squash Association (PSA), Paul Coll, also known as 'Superman,' reflected on his 2022/23 season. He admitted to experiencing early struggles due to fatigue and the immense pressure that came with the heightened expectations after his successful previous season. However, towards the end of the season, he found his way again, rekindling his passion for training and the sport.

The key to reclaiming his position at the top of the rankings, Coll realised, was to shift his focus from winning to concentrating on his training and improving his skills. Emphasising hard work, learning and growth became his priority.

Paul Coll's victory in the Canary Wharf Classic provided a much-needed boost, reaffirming his commitment to the right path. Despite some setbacks and illness, he felt invigorated by the win and enthusiastic about his training, paving the way for renewed enjoyment of tournaments.

The New Zealand athlete relished his challenging semi-final against Ali Farag at the Canary Wharf Classic, a demanding yet enjoyable match that showcased his mental strength and tenacity. Coll expressed gratitude for his Commonwealth Games experience, considering it a dream come true and an unforgettable moment in his career. Despite the emotional and physical toll, winning the gold medal meant the world to him.

Reflecting on the final against Joel Makin, Coll acknowledged his opponent's exceptional performance and the immense pressure of playing on such a grand stage. He commended Makin's flawless squash and credited his own mental fortitude for clinching the victory.

When asked about his best performance of the season, Coll highlighted both the Canary Wharf Classic and the Commonwealth Games. He worked tirelessly before the Canary Wharf tournament, focusing on mental, physical, and squash-related aspects, leading to a memorable victory. However, the Commonwealth Games held a special place in his heart, as it fulfilled his dreams and provided an unparalleled two-week experience.

Looking ahead to the next season, Coll's immediate goal is to return to his unique brand of squash and focus on training to improve continuously. He has drawn inspiration from legendary Australian player Rod Martin and is excited to incorporate new mental training techniques. The key, he believes, lies in nurturing a mindset of constant growth and improvement, rather than obsessing over winning.

As Paul Coll prepares for the upcoming season, his determination and passion for the sport shine through, making him a formidable force to watch on the PSA World Tour.

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