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Squash Sensation Veer Chotrani’s journey, HCL's Game-Changing Partnership, Aspirations and more

Here is the remarkable story of Veer Chotrani, the 22-year-old squash sensation, his father’s influence on the game, and his dynamic partnership with HCL.

Squash Sensation Veer Chotrani’s journey, HCLs Game-Changing Partnership, Aspirations and more

Deepa Ramasubramanian

Published: 21 Dec 2023 11:38 AM GMT

Veer Chotrani, the 22-year-old Indian squash sensation, has carved a remarkable path in the squash world with his talent and passion for the game. Born in Mumbai in 2001, Veer's journey from a young enthusiast to a professional squash player is an inspiring tale of resilience and success. Let's get more information about his squash career, experiences, and the crucial role HCL has played in shaping his journey.

Veer's introduction to squash happened at the tender age of six when he stepped onto the courts of his home club in Mumbai. Guided by his father, Manish Chotrani, a former two-time national champion in men's squash, Veer quickly fell in love with the sport. His early memories include winning his first tournament at just six years old, setting the stage for what would become an illustrious career.

One of the pivotal moments in Veer's career came in 2019 when he emerged victorious in the Asian Individual Juniors in Macau, China. Despite being an underdog, Veer's determination and hard work paid off as he triumphed over higher-ranked opponents, defying expectations. This win began a series of achievements for Veer, propelling him into the limelight of Indian squash.

“So this is back in 2019 when I was playing the Asian Individual Juniors in Macau, China, and nobody had any expectations from me because I wasn't the number one ranked player in India at that point. But I had the motivation. I had put in a lot of effort and hard work before the tournament, and I was feeling good with my game”, said Veer.

Veer acknowledges the significant role his father has played in his journey. A two-time national champion himself, Veer's father introduced him to the game at a young age. Even today, he supports and guides Veer, offering valuable insights and advice. After winning the Asian Individual Juniors, Veer's father emphasized that it was just the beginning, motivating him to aim higher.

Choosing to pursue both squash and academics, Veer made a significant decision to move to the United States. He aimed to access top-notch facilities, expert coaching, and participate in the competitive college squash scene. Currently studying at Cornell, an Ivy League institution, Veer balances his rigorous academic schedule with squash training. He emphasizes the importance of smart scheduling to accommodate both aspects effectively.

Veer sheds light on HCL's substantial contribution to Indian squash, expressing gratitude for the integral support received. While he was not extensively part of the HCL Squash Podium Programme, he attended a few camps, acknowledging the positive impact on his game. HCL's initiatives, including coaching camps with foreign experts, have elevated the standard of squash training in India. Veer emphasizes the importance of having experienced players share their knowledge, enhancing the overall quality of training.

“I had all my Indian teammates with me. We were preparing for the Asian and the World Championship and we had a coach come from England. I remember this was like four years ago, and he was really good. His advice and the knowledge he was sharing with us was really helpful for all my teammates and myself to improve our game. And also we had a good team of fitness trainers as well, which was very useful. So, yeah, it's been great,” said Veer about his experience at the HCL camps.

Veer delves into the specifics of HCL's initiatives that have left a lasting impact on Indian squash. He highlights the significance of coaching camps organized by HCL, where players get exposure to international coaching expertise. According to Veer, this exposure not only improves individual skills but also contributes to raising the standard of Indian squash on the global stage.

“Our mindset, our approach towards the game changes a lot when you hear them and just be on court with them. So I think that's very important and HCL has done a great job to help get the best of foreign coaches to India. I'm really excited for the future” added Veer when asked about the impact of foreign coaches.

Reflecting on the lows in his career, Veer talks about a challenging phase before the Asian Championship, where he struggled with confidence. Losing to opponents he had previously defeated took a toll on him mentally. However, with hard work and perseverance, Veer overcame this period and regained his confidence. Winning tournaments before the Asian Championship played a crucial role in rebuilding his self-assurance.

Veer emphasizes the importance of holistic well-being, discussing his approach to avoiding injuries. Acknowledging the physically demanding nature of squash, he stresses the need for recovery, proper nutrition, and smart training to prevent injuries. Veer credits his discipline in maintaining physical health for his injury-free career thus far.

“Cooling down, stretching, massage, stuff like that is very important to look after your body. And obviously the right nutrition and the supplements are very important to keep your body in shape. And obviously when you're training, you need to be very careful of what you do.” Veer added.

The COVID-19 pandemic disrupted sports worldwide, and Veer was no exception. Spending 16 months in India due to lockdowns, he focused on staying fit with home workouts and rooftop training. The challenging period did not dampen his spirit, as he eagerly returned to training once restrictions eased.

Veer's recent success on the PSA tour, winning two major tournaments and climbing the world rankings, showcases his current prowess in the game. Looking ahead, he sets ambitious goals, aiming for a top-50 world ranking and eyeing participation in the Olympics. Veer's determination and passion for squash drive him towards achieving new milestones.

“I would say, especially the last couple of months I've been playing on the PSA tour. I think it's been the most special for me because I've jumped up the rankings very quickly. Winning two big PSA events last month, I think that was a very unexpected and surprising thing for me. So I think that's something that has been very special for me.” Veer spoke about his recent performances in the PSA Tour.

Veer Chotrani's journey in squash is an example of the spirit of a young athlete overcoming challenges, guided by a deep love for the game. From his early triumphs to his current successes, Veer remains an inspiration for aspiring squash players in India. As he continues to chase his dreams, supported by his family, mentors, and sponsors like HCL, the future looks promising for this rising star in Indian squash.

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