12 décembre 2016 ~ 0 Commentaire


Just after the finals, we had a very interesting chat with Nele Gilis’ coach, Bart Wijnhoven. The Dutchman works in the club of Sportwerk in Hamburg.

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On the final

I think Amanda was a bit heavy legged today because she’d had some tough matches in the previous rounds. As far as Nele goes, maybe I shouldn’t say that, but I don’t think she played well. She wanted this so bad, maybe too much, that she was very nervous. I could tell because even when Amanda was discussing with the referees she was getting nervous, and I was trying to tell her to stay calm. During the first three games, she didn’t play at the front, she only started doing it towards the end of the match. Having said that, it’s completely normal because it was her first final of a 10k event. Plus, she won it, which is not bad at only 20 years old.


On his collaboration with Nele

We’ve only been working together for 3-4 months. She is based in Amsterdam and I am in Hamburg so it’s not easy, but we are trying to connect as often as possible. Therefore this tournament was an opportunity, besides the matches we did some training sessions throughout the week.

On his approach to coaching

My work is mostly based on the mental side of things. What areas of her game does Nele need to improve? I’d say she doesn’t need to work on anything! The main thing is, she needs to enjoy herself on court, and that’s what we are trying to work on together. But that’s the case for a majority of squash players. They all know how to hit to every shot in the book, what makes the difference is here (he points to his brain). Whatever the level you play at, you need to be free on court, and to express yourself and your game, not someone else’s. I am not gonna make a player hit 50 straight drives if that’s not who he is. And the truth is, you play much better if you are enjoying yourself. But we’ve talked enough about me, I think the coaches get too much credit for the players’ performances …


Photo credit: hamburg.de

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