Business, like sports, requires perseverance. Squash champion Raneem El Welily says it’s not just the hours that you put in toward your goal, but “what you work on, how well you manage your weak points, and how you work on improving them.” Her strategy seems to be paying off- El Welily recently topped reigning nine-year champion Nicol David. The young Egyptian athlete landed her title as World No. 1 during the September 2015 PSA (Professional Squash Association) Women’s Rankings, officially making her the first Arab to win the accolade. El Welily, who was the World No. 2 for eight months, continued a winning streak at the J.P. Morgan Tournament of Champions, Guggenheim Partners Windy City Open, and the Alexandria Open.
The champion asserts that it’s just about having the talent, paired with hard work, discipline, and hunger to achieve. “Staying motivated the entire time is really important,” says El Welily, “so yes, I always have a practice plan to follow that I try and be very organized and disciplined [about].” She adds, “But getting bored from the routine is inevitable and it kills your motivation. So always know when you need a break, when you can afford one, and if not, know what to do to refresh and energize yourself.”
RANEEM EL WELILY’S TIPS FOR KEEPING YOUR EYE ON THE PRIZE
“The key for my success was four things. First, the help and support I got from those around me- thinking you can succeed on your own is a huge mistake.
Second is listening and learning when to listen, and when to keep your ears shut from the crazy world around you is really difficult for me. Learn to filter; know for myself what’s good for me and what’s not. Third is that everyone has their own tests and paths to walk, crawl or even run. Focus on your test, and think how you can get to the end of your path. No matter what you do, never ever compare [yourself] to someone else. Finally, never let arrogance get inside you. I have to admit it does get to me from time to time, but I’ve learned the hard way that the moment you think you know it or have it all, is the moment you lose it all.”