Spotlight Interview with Kylie Lindsay

by hadrian

 

Recently, Elite Squash had the pleasure of an approach from ex-world professional women’s squash player, turned coach, Kylie Lindsay (NZ), to come and visit us here in Bristol and spend some time with Hadrian Stiff and the Elite squash team in order to learn and develop further her squash coaching skills.

We were delighted Kylie had decided to come and spend some time in Bristol and we regard it as a huge opportunity for us all at Elite Squash to learn from Kylie as she brings with her a wealth of experience as both a player and coach. We hope to share ideas and learn from each other over the coming weeks.

So, we thought it would be great idea to introduce Kylie properly to our wider Bristol squash family and we’ve asked her a few questions so we can all get to know her a little better:

Kylie’s coaching background:

Coaching full time just over 3 years.  Previously Club coach at Devoy Squash & Fitness Centre in Tauranga, NZ.  Had own coaching business called FORM Squash.  Was the junior and senior women’s coach for the Bay of Plenty region (same as UK county) in NZ.  Was assistant coach for the NZ Junior girls elite squad and also the NZ junior girls team at world junior championships 2017.  Was head coach for the NZ junior girl’s development squad in 2017.  Has worked with a mixture of players from beginner to pro level.

Kylie’s playing history:

Started playing squash at 6 years old.  Represented NZ as a junior.  Played professionally on the world tour from 2007-2014.  Highest world ranking 34.  Represented NZ at the Women’s World Team Champs in 2012 and 2014.  Represented NZ at the Commonwealth Games in 2010 and 2014.

 

Q& A:

 

  1. When did you get the Squash bug?

 

When I was 6.  My Dad was president of the local squash club at the time so I spent a lot of time there and would jump on court whenever I could.

 

  1. What do you like most about the sport?

There are lots of different aspects to the game (physical, mental, tactical, technical) which make it very challenging.  I like that challenge though and figuring out ways to continually improve (when I was a player) and helping others to improve and reach their potential (now I am a coach).

 

  1. How long have you been coaching?

 

Full time for just over 3 years but I did quite a bit of coaching when I still played as well.

 

  1. And why do you coach?

 

I like helping people and seeing them reach their full potential.  Its enjoyable and satisfying as a coach to see people improve at any level and knowing you helped in some way.

 

  1. Who’s been your strongest influence when coaching? And how have they helped you develop your style?

There is no one particular person.  I think I have taken all my experiences over the years from the different coaches I have worked with and come up with my own style.

 

  1. Can you describe the high lights of the job?

 

Seeing people enjoying playing is a big one.  Makes being a coach a lot more satisfying.  Also being part of helping a player achieve their goals.

 

  1. Who do you most admire in the sport? Who’s your inspiration?

 

My favourite player to watch is Raneem El Weleily (EGY).  As a player she is such a great mover and incredibly skillful but she is also very humble and a nice person off the court which I respect a lot.

Someone who inspires me is Lisa Aitken (SCO).  She is one of my closest friends and someone who I help coach.  She had a lot of setbacks with injury and illness the last few years which I think would have made a lot of other players stop.  But she was determined to get back on tour and now she is and stronger than ever.  It’s a testament to who she is as a person and how mentally tough she is.  I admire and have huge respect for what she has done and the characteristics she shows as a person and as a player.

 

  1. What would you say is your unique style of coaching and what are you looking for in a player?

 

My strength as a coach is probably the technical side of things.  I like to break things down in my head and find a solution to try and make it better.  I like to create an environment which is athlete centred and the player is comfortable talking to me.  I think it’s important that the player is part of the process and has input.

  1. What is your philosophy on discipline?

 

Discipline is hugely important.  If you don’t have that you won’t get anywhere.  Players need to not only have discipline with how they act on court but in every aspect of their training.

 

  1. What are your best memories in coaching?

The Bay of Plenty women’s team winning the national title for the first time in 36 years last year and Lisa Aitken winning her first PSA title.

 

  1. What would you say to any youngsters thinking of starting out in the game?

It’s a great sport to play.  Just have fun and enjoy it, that’s the biggest thing.  It has given me so many opportunities over the years and I am incredibly grateful for that.

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