Success mantra dipika pal­likal ‘En­joy your­self through the jour­ney’

At world No. 10, Dipika Pal­likal is In­dia’s high­est ranked squash player ever FACTIFLE

Hindustan Times (Delhi) - HT Education - - Front Page -

Born into a fam­ily of distin­guished sports per­sons, I was al­ways in­ter­ested in sports and played ten­nis for two years af­ter which I took to squash at the young age of nine.

I chanced upon squash when I en­rolled in a sum­mer camp some years ago while ac­com­pa­ny­ing my friend Pra­neeta Re­bala. I won my first ju­nior na­tional tour­na­ment the same year I started play­ing. A tal­ent for squash and pas­sion for the sport mo­ti­vated me to move to Egypt as a teenager, where I trained un­der renowned coach Amir Wagi. With his train­ing, I made huge strides in the ju­nior cir­cuit, win­ning nine open ti­tles and many other na­tional tour­na­ments, all in four years.

I had to make a lot of sac­ri­fices such as stay­ing away from fam­ily and learn­ing to do things by my­self. It was a learn­ing ex­pe­ri­ence for me and I knew that I won’t live a nor­mal teenager’s life if I have to suc­ceed. Af­ter spend­ing a few years in Egypt, I moved to the United King­dom for a year and then to Mel­bourne.

First high

Win­ning the Bri­tish Open as a ju­nior in 2008 was a big moment. I won the bronze at the 13th World Ju­nior Women’s Cham­pi­onship in 2009. I then be­came a fa­mil­iar face on the Euro­pean squash cir­cuit and even­tu­ally the World No. 1 in the un­der-19 cat­e­gory. I have won five tour­na­ments at the se­nior level and have man­aged to break into the world top ten. Reach­ing the World Open quar­ter fi­nals last year was an­other big achieve­ment.

My idols

I look up to my coach Sarah Fitz-Ger­ald, who is a five-time world cham­pion, be­cause she has been there and done that. She trav­els with me most of the time and is very close to me. She is one of the leg­ends of the game and I am proud of the fact that she is my coach.

My idea of success

It’s im­por­tant to have faith in your­self. If you are a Cur­rently World No. 10, Dipika is the high­est ranked In­dian squash player ever. In her distin­guished ju­nior ca­reer, she has won the Ger­man Open, Dutch Open, French Open, Aus­tralian Open, and Scot­tish Open on the Euro­pean Ju­nior Squash Cir­cuit and was ranked World No. 1 in the un­der-17 cat­e­gory. She cre­ated his­tory in 2012 by be­ing part of the first In­dian women’s team to win the Asian Team Squash Cham­pi­onships. She is also the first In­dian ever to reach the last four stage at the pres­ti­gious Aus­tralian Squash Open sportsper­son, you should be will­ing to make a few sac­ri­fices, train hard and fo­cus on stay­ing fit.

Deal­ing with fail­ure

You must take ev­ery­thing in the right way. If I lose a game, I an­a­lyse it well and try to learn from my mis­takes. You must main­tain a bal­ance be­tween your wins and losses and not be over­whelmed by them.

Ad­vice to young­sters

En­joy your­self through the jour­ney you un­der­take. If you are happy and en­joy what you do, re­sults will surely come.

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