Coaching plays vital role in squash: says Salman Hashmi
Sports Bulletin Report
ISLAMABAD: Former Pakistan squash player Salman Hashmi has viewed off that coaching in the game of squash plays a vital role to develop the game skills of a player.
While talking to this reporter over his mobile from abroad he added that he played squash for his country and he was willing to train the budding players as a coach to contribute in the game of squash at international level.
Salman's coaching background:
Salman has been coaching for 8 years as a professional mentor. When Salman moved to United Arabs Emirates (UAE), he first performed the duties of coach in a United Kingdom Elite Squash for several years. Currently, Salman is the head squash coach at the prestigious Aviation Club. He has worked with players from beginner to pro level, including many Emirates’ top juniors. Dubai's unique location allows him to train with many top professional players, often serving as their hitting partner.
Salman as a player:
Salman first picked up a racquet at the age of six. Throughout his junior career, he was a top-ranked Pakistan Junior. Salman was selected to Pakistan at the 2014 World Junior Championships.
1. When did you start to play squash?
My uncles played squash, so it was a family sport. I was six when the first time I stepped on the court and did not look back. There was no looking back. I was hooked.
2. What do you like most about the sport?
I love the challenge of pushing myself at many different levels. You face physical, mental, tactical, and technical difficulties every time. I like the feeling of discovering ways to improve continually, either as a player or coach.
3. How long have you been coaching?
I have been a coach for the last seven years, but I feel I have been coaching all my life, even as a player.
4. Why do you start coaching?
It is satisfying to help people achieve their full potential and, in many cases, pass what they had wished for. I like to be part of the journey, knowing I was instrumental in my students' growth and growing myself, with them. I enjoy my work.
5. Who’s been your most substantial influence when coaching?
My family has taught me that there is no substitute for hard work and discipline. Without that base, no coaching can help you. As for style, I think everyone has their style, and it is a "kitchrey" of all the people you cross in your journey.
6. Can you describe the highlights of the job?
I am especially interested in growing squash; when I teach, I hope I plant a seed for my student to one day go into the world, not just enjoying squash but introducing squash to others. I especially love to teach "first-timers" and younger children. It's very satisfying.
7. Who do you most admire in the sport?
There are too many people in the list. I consider how the players from the last generation played for passion and honor. Jahangir Khan will have to be at the top of the list, not just for his incredible playing achievements but his journey of overcoming challenging obstacles.
8. What would you say is your unique coaching style?
I believe my strength is connecting with the player – and unlocking the potential they know they have – but cannot tap it. Of course, I am a technical coach – teaching fundamentals – but I think the best coaches know how to push their students to new heights.
9. How the discipline plays role in the life of a player?
Discipline is everything. Without discipline, there is nothing important. Discipline on court, in fitness, in nutrition, in your everyday life – discipline everywhere. If you master discipline, you can master anything your opponent throws at you.
10. What are your best memories of coaching?
My best memory is defenality coaching my brother Farhan Hashmi who reached the quarterfinals in the World Junior Championships held in Malaysia. In the same year, in 2019 Farhan also won the Asian Junior Championships. We spent countless hours throughout the months getting ready for these Championships. He performed well and exceeded all goals and expectations.
11. What will you give message to budding squash kids?
It's a great sport to play. It will challenge you in many ways, but you will love it. But always remember to have fun. Enjoy what you do; always. This game will also take you internationally all over the world, which introduces you to new cultures and making new friends.