Champions speak :Jahangir Khan,Virat Kohli,Diego Simeone..

29 May

Losing never seemed an option

” I was not allowed to play. Not by my family, but the doctors, who thought I was too sickly as a child to take the enormous strain that squash places on the body. I started out hearing – and therefore speech – impaired, learning to speak only once my hearing had been restored. I had undergone two surgeries at ages 5 and 12, and nobody could imagine that there was an athletic bone in my body.

From there to being called the fittest man in the world, or setting a Guinness Book record for an undefeated winning streak of 555 games in any sport – that has been my journey to perfection.

Like any true Pathan, I was most drawn to that which was forbidden to me! And the complete dedication to my sport, the hours of practice every day, the countless sacrifices, all those were my tools to attain perfection.

When I was playing. I was so driven to win that every day seemed like my first day in squash. Losing was never an option. And the day I stopped playing, when I was only 29, I realised that I had done everything I had set out to do. I attained my version of perfection.

I attained my version of perfection.The jouney began with a personal tragedy, one that almost stopped me from playing. At the age of 27, on court playing the World Open in Australia, Torsam my brother, my mentor, and my best friend, died of a heart attack.

I was 15, and my world came to an end. I gave up squash altogether, went back to Pakistan from England, where I was training and vowed never to step on court again.”

―  Jahangir Khan, Losing never seemed an option, Times of India. May 28, 2016

I had always read and followed with awe and inspiration exploits of the great squash champion Jahangir Khan as a child.  He also had another great rival Jansher Khan. I knew squash was a tough sport and required tremendous stamina. Like all racquet sports.  I guess services ( Army, Airforce, Navy) produced good number of players in my country. I knew the great champion from Pakistan had lost his brother on court to a heart attack.  Jahangir Khan was a tour de force and a great champion, imagine not losing for five years and with a winning streak of 555 matches. Perhaps Usain Bolt is in same league in dominance.  One of the greatest sports persons in my opinion.  Although from a illustrious family of squash greats, to come from adversity and win. May be its the early adersity that fuelled the relentless drive to win. Imagine going for a win everyday!

Every day is a new day

” Every day is a new day. I always feel that there is a scope for improvement and with every game, I take the plus and the minus as this helps me to improvise. There is no substitute to hard work and discipline.

I went through the same stuff that every cricketer goes through whe he comes in. You are insecure about your place, you make mistakes in your desperation. You want to do really well and you don’t really control yourself on and off the field.

But as time progresses, you settle down and make consistent choices in your game as well as off the field which gradually helps you be on the top of the game.

I come from a humble background, thus understand the importance of charity. It was there in my mind to start something for a long time, to give back to society and I have time and again come forward to support any cause related to children and youth empowerment”

― Virat Kohli, Every day is a new day, Times of India. May 28, 2016

Virat Kohli is young and champion cricketer. I am no astologer but can safely say that the young star will end up as one of the greatest ever to play the game of cricket. I do not say so on the basis of his records, talent or passion. Every body wants to do well. But on his desire to win every day, his intelligence and ability to learn.  My young colleague said ” Kohli is exceptional. Sachin ( tendulkar) was very talented, he had to learn..” She is right. It is this tremendous desire to win, face adverse situations and learn. Virat kohli had to play a cricket match at 17,the day he lost his father and he went and scored runs. It is perhaps such early adversity that distills focus and will to win at all odds. I admire Virat Kohli. He is a shining example for young people. Indian cricket captain is a tour de force.

I love the pressure

” I like to have 113 years of history on my back. I love the pressure, I love it. To play a final is fantastic. To win it, there’s nothing better.”

― Diego Simeone, Athletico Madrid coach, AFP , Times of India. May 28, 2016

I know Real Madrid won  Champion league final on a penalty shoot out. For me it dosen’t matter. I read this yesterday and the challenger coach’s approach appealed to me. It is the pressure and love of pressure to win is important.

This for today dear friends. I read all of this in Times of India’s print edition yesterday and wanted to share for you dear friends. I like to study and take inspiration from sports.

Those of us who are in regular jobs and careers need to stay inspired and be prepared when our time comes or a opportunity knocks our way.  It is desire to win every day and to come from adversity that is important.

Stay inspired and be healthy dear friends!

Have a easy sunday!

Love, Suresh




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