Wednesday, 8 June 2011

Senior Debut in Poland and into Summer Training

Sorry its been a while been a busy few weeks with tournaments in Egypt and Poland and now preparing for next season. Since my last blog first up I was in Egypt a daunting place to play as they are currently the ones to beat and you hear countless stories of a young Egyptian beating experienced pros. I was right to be cautious as I lost 3.2 in my first match, not ideal after going all that way but even more annoying I was playing well. On a lighter note I had a few days left in Egypt and I managed to get some training in and made it a priority to get at least some kind of tan after being compared to looking like a ghost.

After getting back from Egypt I was back into some hard training in Cheltenham and even dabbled with a bit of yoga after it was suggested to me by a few ex-players. Don't get me wrong it was horrible at first but I found it really helpful after a really tough days training to help recovery and allow me to train better the next day.

Next up was the last tournament of the season in Poland for the Senior European Individual Championships, the idea of a young pro like myself going to this tournament is to hopefully get some good matches and gain exposure to the more experienced player. In particular some of the top seeds for the event such as Greg Gaultier and Thierry Lincou.

But I was there too try and win some matches in my eyes and I had a good start knocking out a seed in the first round meaning I was through to the last sixteen where I met Nick Mueller from Switzerland a player ranked 35 in the world. It proved a rather big ask and although I felt I played well it was fairly clear he was the higher ranked player as I went down in just over thirty minutes. There was no time to relax though as the tournament had a monrad scheme meaning you play for a final position, so later that day I had another tough game this time losing in four games to a Dutch player ranked inside the top 110 in the world.

I managed to get one more win though as I beat a Croatian player 3.0 meaning I was playing for a final position of 13th if I won my last match. Up next for me was another Dutch player ranked around the 120 mark. It proved to be one match to many and I lost again in four. On reflection a good tournament, learnt a lot and now it was over I could look forward to week off.

Although I have really enjoyed my first season as a pro it has been a lot more intense so I have grown to enjoy my time off much more now rather than perhaps feeling guilty as I did on previous occasions.
So after getting back from Poland it was time to relax, catching up with a few friends that were back from university and getting some golf in. Also it gave me a bit of time to reflect on how the season had gone and what I had learnt.

Week off over it was into 'summer training' two words no athlete likes to hear. Its fair to say I was both nervous and excited of the challenge ahead and so far it has been just as tough as I thought it would be but the body adjusts and I wouldn’t say its getting easier but I am less daunted by the whole prospect!


  1. Well done Nathan it's great to see you giving it a real go. Keep it up… if anyone can do it, you can.

  2. Good start Nathan, give yourself time to adapt, improve your weapons strengthen the head! You have travelled far from Christ Church SQ but the real tests are yet to arrive, accept the challenge, prepare well, be happy. Good luck John Jeffrey