posted April 27 2002, evening by Joe and Dan Kneipp
work in what can be described as a vaguely normal occupation: doctor,
lawyer, teacher, banker, small business operator.
I donÂt think
Âsquash professionalÂ can be described as an even remotely normal occupation
by anyoneÂs definition. Picture youÂre at work and this happens: The boss
calls you into the office and tells you that youÂre letting the rest of
the workforce down, that youÂre sub-par and not the quality of worker
that the company is looking for. YouÂre kindly asked to clean out your
desk, and not show your face around the company again.
Not a fun scenario
right? Well now think about what I do for a living. IÂm actually just
paid to win games of squash. ThatÂs my job. There are lots of wonderful
things about this job, but one of the not so wonderful parts is dealing
with the equivalent of an abrupt sacking on a too frequent basis. In the
workplace that is this tournament, IÂve been given the sack and my college
has been given the corner office.
ItÂs one of
the most difficult parts of this game.
to evaluate why you lost, whether your work was sub-par or if your college
was just a more superior worker who was always going to get the promotion
ahead of you.
I lost a hum-dinger of a match against Peter Nicol. The score board said
17-15, 15-12, 15-8 to Peter, but I donÂt think that says enough about
the game. Danny assures me that even though the scores were similar, the
match was a level higher than the one Peter and I had in the semi-final
of the US Open in Boston. It lasted over an hour, which for only three
games is bloody long.
But a tough
close game still doesnÂt change the fact that Peter moves on, and IÂm
officially in retirement until the next job offer (Hong Kong Open, August).
winning and losing is just another part of being a squash player. That
doesnÂt mean it gets any easier to deal with a loss.