I'm delighted to be back home in New Zealand for the festive season and I've got company!
My squash bro Diego Elias is back in the land of the long white cloud with me and my good lady Nele and we are all looking forward to a the #SupermanReturns mini exhibition tour we are taking to both islands of my home nation and I can't wait to get out there with Nele and Diego and meet some familiar faces!
As you can see from the picture below, once we got over the jet lag I took the Puma for a walk and showed him some sights…this is us taking in the view at Mount Maunganui! One thing is for sure, it's great to be soaking up the beautiful Kiwi sunshine again!
But before hitting the road with Diego I've had a bit of time to reflect back on the first-half of the season and I reckon the half-time report card should probably read 'good but can do even better'!
There is no doubt that when I take a peek at the PSA World Tour rankings I'm stoked to be at a career high of World No.7, also to have made two World Series semi-finals at the US Open in Philadelphia and then in Cairo last week at the Black Ball Open and before that to have reached the final of the China Open.
For sure when I look at all of that I've got to be pretty happy with the shape my game is in, but there is a but!, You see the thing is then I think maybe there was a couple of opportunities to go better!
So, you can bet your bottom dollar that on the flight home out of Cairo following my semi-final loss to Ali Farag that thought crossed my mind more than once.
Perhaps the Black Ball Open in Egypt last week probably summed up my frustration with the first-half of the campaign.
I played solid the whole way through and was real pleased to beat Simon Rosner, the new World No.3 and one of the form players of the first five months of the tour in the quarters, to set up a crack at Farag, the World No.2 in the last four.
But when I got there, hands up, I have to be honest, I didn't get started until the third game. Now, I asked myself some hard questions, was that because I was happy to have taken out Rosner and subconsciously thought that was good enough? Maybe eased off mentally ahead of the semi with Ali?
Did the four-setter with Simon take the edge off me mentally or is it that right now I am just short on the mental discipline needed to take me all the way in a major PSA tournament?
Well I reckon the answer probably is a combination of all three but the huge plus is that by repeatedly knocking on the door and putting myself in semi-finals and finals I am continuing to learn from my mistakes in the big games.
I don't know how many Grand Slam finals Andy Murray lost before he got over the line but the point was he kept learning and the lessons I have learned from these big matches against the best in the world will, I hope, make all the difference when I roll up in New York for the Tournament of Champions in January.
Of course Christmas is less than a fortnight away and if you're looking for some quality squash pressies then why not check out my exciting 'PC Clothing Range' by clicking the online shop at http://paulcoll.com and hopefully you'll make someone real happy this Christmas!
But back home to New Zealand and my tour with Diego. We are doing five dates on the 'Superman Returns' tour taking in Hamilton tonight December 13, Hawera on Dec 14, Squash XL on Sunday December 16, Nelson on the 18th and ending at my hometown of Greymouth on Dec 19.
The format is that Diego and I will put on a best of five set match and also provide the option of a clinic.
It's the second time we have done this as we were over in Moscow, Russia at the Subbotnik Club, before the Hong Kong Open and I have to say I was amazed at how into their squash the Russians were. So I'm hoping for a similar reaction back home where it all began for me!
But before I go can I just end by wishing everyone who has supported me on the PSA World Tour, all squash fans the world over and everybody in my support team a very Merry Christmas and a Happy 2019!