At the end of another season, the PSA’s Matt Coles has been talking to the stars of the PSA World Tour about their 2018/19 campaigns. Here he catches up with Egypt’s Zahed Salem.
One of the crop of Egyptian stars inside the higher echelons of the PSA World Tour is 27-year-old Zahed Salem.
He currently sits at World No.14, his highest ever career World Ranking. It is the first time the Egyptian has broken into the top 16, and he admits that it was something he really wanted to do at the start of the season.
“Breaking the top 16 was a big goal for me and I am happy to have achieved this,” Salem said.
“Of course, I am hungry to accomplish more, as reaching World No.14 shows me that I have what it takes to be a top player.”
Salem is happy with the way he played in his quest to reach the top 16 in the rankings, and he also admits that it makes him happy.
“I am proud of the way I played in the last season, how I managed and handled certain situations, but it was essential that I kept myself pushing till the end,” he added.
“Then, of course, finishing the season with the highest ranking in my career so far makes me very happy. Surely with this finish, I am already excited and looking forward to the next season!”
Salem celebrating at the British Open in May
Looking ahead to 2019-2020, and the Egyptian took some time off to recharge his batteries, and try his hand at some other sports.
“I took few days off in order for me to recover from last season mentally as well as physically. Planning on doing things which I normally wouldn’t do during the season, maybe invest a few hours in different kind of sports such as tennis, beach volleyball, swimming,” the Egyptian explained.
“It is vital for me during the off-season to spend time with my family and enjoy the summer time as much as I can.
“Then slowly head back to training with a nice smooth buildup to work on a good basic fundament again and a few things in preparation for the next season.”
The Egyptian has a different goal-setting program to most, by cutting down his goals into two separate areas, but it all comes down to a ranking at the end of the campaign.
“The goal for me is a wide term, I break my goals down into two parts:
Process Goals, [which] are the goals which keep me focused on my training to improve my tournament performance.
Outcome Goals [which] are the goals which keep me focused on a big picture with results and wins.
“Some of my process goals for the next season would be things that I need to improve in my game to compete with and beat the top 10 guys whatever mentally, physically or tactically.
“Additionally, then my outcome goals would be to reach the top 10 and to make it in the last 8 of the Platinum tournaments or even better.”
Keep a look out for the next player’s review of the 2018-19 season in the coming days, fellow Egyptian Nouran Gohar reviews her campaign.