17 September 2013


One of the best surprises of the last 12 months was the progress that Steven Coppinger has been showing on the PSA World Tour. 
About two years ago he went down to Florida to start to train with retired legend David Palmer; by doing so, he joined another much progressed player Miguel Angel Rodriguez. By now you can clearly notice the influence that the iron man - or the marine, as some call him - has had on both of their playing styles and results (in the current September 2013 PSA Rankings they are #16 and 17# respectively).
Coppinger was a brave a top50 player before with a good complete all-round game and the typical slight lacks that distinguish the top20 from the players ranked below. In Coppinger's case it was clearly the physical aspect that needed an upgrade to achieve better results; he is very tall and that's clearly not an advantage in a sport where every two seconds you need to bend, lounge and brake at the end of a sprint. 
Steven told me about his brutal off-court training regimes with Palmer (you can make yourself an idea if you watch this clip by squashskills). In squash, balance is essential and Steven is now really steady on his foot even at heavy stretches and severe lounges. 
Note how quickly he recovered from a wrong-footed position at 0:34 to play a beautiful forehand drop shot, how well he hit and regrouped to the 'T' after a heavy stretch to the deep backhand corner, his quick reaction in the middle at 1:08 and the excellent reaction-volley at 1:21, and after all that hard work he still had the strength to get into a perfectly balanced position to execute a winning forehand drop shot to conclude this mega rally. 
Simon Rosner and Steven Coppinger, two tall men to watch next to the giant that James Willstrop is in both senses of the term.