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03-14-07
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My Move Back: From England to Holland

By L-J Anjema © March 14, 2007
Laurens-Jan Anjema and SquashTalk LLC

Haddrell
LJ plays Alister Walker (photo © Ron Beck )

As some of you maybe know I have lived in Chingford, a small village north-east of London, for the past 5 years. I moved over there at 18 years of age after I finished high school with the purpose of training with the best in the world. This summer (exactly 5 years later) my coach Neil Harvey and I decided it was time for me to move back to The Hague, Holland.

There were a number of factors and reasons which I’m not all gonna discuss. All I can say is that I’m very grateful for the unbelievable learning experience I’ve had in England and that I couldn’t think of a better way to improve from the level of an average junior to the professional level I’m at now. On the other hand, I am also glad to finally be back in my own country eating cheese and cycling to the shops!

It is nice to have one home again. It was rather chaotic traveling all over the world for weeks or even months, then I flew ‘home’ for only a few days … still trying to squeeze in a couple of days at my real home in Holland. Not very efficient if you only have four or five days in between tournaments, mostly spent simply recovering from jetleg… Now it’s all much simpler. If I’m away, I’m away and if I go home … I’m really going HOME!!

I’m also very excited to finally live on my own in my own apartment in The Hague!

Other positives for me being back home are: a better social life (after all you need to be happy to play great), the fact that I’m more independent and an improved chance of getting endorsements and/or exposure in Holland.

The difficulty however is that now, as opposed to when I lived in England, there are not many good players around to train with on a daily basis. In England there were (and still are) around 20 (!) players of top 30/40 standard just half an hour away from where I used to live, a luxury I don’t have anymore…

Also the fact that I can’t train with Neil on a daily basis anymore is a negative. However, I will still be going to England whenever there’s a gap in my schedule and hopefully (he doesn’t know this yet!) he can come over to Holland too.

Nowadays I go up to meet David Palmer in Antwerp when my schedule gives me the chance to train for a couple of days or so. When I’m able to train with the world champion, a one and a half hour drive is absolutely-and-even-more-than worth it.

In my opinion Johan Cruijf was pretty spot-on when he said “Every advantage has its disadvantage”, my improved social life in The Hague being a good example. It means being happy and feeling good and playing well. However it also means phone calls on friday and saturday nights: birthdays, parties, friends asking me to join them for just a few quiet ones etc. But here’s the thing: QUIET ONES TURN INTO LOUD ONES! I guess I’ll have to be more disciplined now more distractions are easier accessible.

[Written 5:29 4th of December 2006, 1852 km from home, at 10000 feet.]

 

 

 

 

 

 

Laurens
Jan Anjema:
PSA Ranking 11-1-2008: #14

Audio Interview
His website (www.princelj.com)

 

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