Top coach reveals how he has rebuilt his pupil’s game, and his confidence
Top coach Robert Owen has responded to media reports concerning the debate over his pupil Nathan Lake, who revealed that he wanted a new direction after being dropped from the England Squash and Racketball elite squad.
Owen, who is building a growing stable of talented young players, said: “Looking at it from my perspective, Nathan was one of our top juniors and also a European junior champion, but that standard unfortunately these days can often fall well short of the required standard to become a professional player and well short of some of the other squash playing nations.
“He had clearly drifted and was lacking direction and motivation when I decided to take him on 15 months ago.
“He was a classic example to me of someone who had been told he was very good throughout the junior ranks but was basically not good enough. He clearly had no idea how to play the game and was not being shown how to either.
“As he says, I think he was being pushed into playing in a way that really wasn’t suited to Nathan’s mind-set or indeed his physical attributes.
“He is never going to be the greatest mover in the world or one of the best athletes but I did see areas that could be improved massively and given time he could attain a level that would not originally have seemed possible.
“He can now say he has actually beaten a world top 50 player and has had match balls against a top 40 player, which 18 months ago would have seemed as likely as me winning slimmer of the year award in 2014.
“He has become a far more attacking player and his forehand has become a weapon which is becoming more and more potent.
“He is learning to express himself on court, think outside the box, and most of all he is loving playing the game in a style that suits him.
“He has added deception and hold to his game and for the time being at least the milk round has been put on hold.
“I have really enjoyed working with him, he has a great attitude and is a pleasure to have in any training group. He has done all the hard work and I have just pointed him in the right direction.”