Squash is ...
Physical, tactical and fun!!!
Meet the Flying Finn...
Once upon a time...
in a land far far away, a squash center was built close to where we lived and my dad wanted to try out a new sport with his friend.
At that time, I was still a baby but my brother Timo was old enough to start playing along with my dad and that's how everything started, looong time ago. I followed up on court not too long after, obviously. So basically began going to the club in a stroller.
I liked it because...
...I was always quite small for my age and still not very tall of course). So it was nice to play a sport where height didn't really matter.
Already in my early years I managed to beat lots of adults by being accurate to the front and able to read the game well. I also began to get more and more friends who were also playing at the same club, which made the sport even more fun.
And I still like it because...
... it's nice that squash can be played in many different ways even at the top. One can become number one in the world by playing attacking or defensing and it still doesnít really matter if you're tall or short.
Thereís also many different kind of shots one can use which makes it interesting. Of course itís been my job as well for number of years now and I think itís rare but good opportunity to be able to earn your living with something thatís been ones hoppy.
Not easy to be the only top player in the country then...
It was difficult at first because we used to have a quite a wide range of good players in Finland who also played on the tour.
After last player from these older generations, Mika Monto, quit playing 2004, I think, there was a long period when winning in Finland was fairly easy. Actually it was too easy because I wasn't able to get the same practice matches that before. So my ranking dropped along with my level of squash for a moment. That's how big of a change it was for my daily rhythm.
Now when Henrik has improved it's beginning to be tougher again. We also have a good group of other younger players at the moment which I hope will challenge Henrik in the future.
What I really don't like...
... I'm sure most of us pro players think traveling is one of the worst things in this job. Long flights and time away from home is something we all have to face no matter where one is based.
Also the pressure of winning and keeping your ranking is always present when ever we play. And as we know, Squash is also a really physical and tough sport so it's not always easy to live with aching body and muscles either.
And what I REALLY LOVE about the tour...
The tour has already given me a chance to see the world more than many people will see during their entire life. I also have friends all over the world.
The experience from seeing this much and meeting so many people from different cultures has shaped the way I am and how do I see life generally. This is a privilege many people might never get.
Olli's Profile Page