There is no substitute for hard work

The Indian squash ace is both a dreamer and a doer report Pankaj Mullick

education Updated: Dec 29, 2010 09:20 IST
Pankaj Mullick
Pankaj Mullick
Hindustan Times

Early years
I always played a lot of sport. As far back as I can remember, I played any and every sport. I was extremely competitive and hated losing. My dislike for losing has not changed even now and that has helped me a great deal in my professional career. It’s a very tough tour out there and it is extremely important to be ruthless when possible. However, I must add that being ruthless must not be confused with being rude and mean to other fellow players.

Professional high
I won my first professional event at the Otters Open in Mumbai in 2006. So, I would rate that as the first high point in my professional career.

Strong influences
My father has supported me wholeheartedly since I picked up a squash racquet. He’s been there through all the good and bad times and I wouldn’t be where I am today without him.

Malcolm Willstrop has made me the professional player I am today. Training under him is a pleasure everyday and challenging at the same time. I am indebted to him for taking me under his wing and I hope I can keep learning every day.

On an average, I train for four-five hours a day, six days a week. This includes spending time perfecting my skills on the squash court and getting fitter and stronger in the gym. There is no substitute for hard work no matter how talented one may be. Playing a professional sport is not easy and takes up a lot of one’s time. I also travel a great deal for tournaments. Hence, it’s hard to find time for friends and family sometimes. I try to switch off as soon as I finish training, so that I can enjoy my life as I work towards becoming the best at squash.

Dealing with failure
Failure is part and parcel of sport. I like to meet problems head on and so I try to understand myself and the reason for failure. Personal traumas occur in everyone’s life and to be honest, they do cause a lot of grief and pain. I just try and keep busy to soften the pain as much as possible.

Mantras for success
Firstly, it is very important to dream and dream big. Dreams are the seeds for the greatest achievements. Once you have dreamt, make sure you work as hard as possible to achieve that dream. Leave no stone unturned, so that you can have no regrets later.

Saurav Ghosal, squash playe interviewed by Pankaj Mullick

First Published: Dec 28, 2010 12:48 IST