Exclusive Interview: Timothy Arnold of Malaysia Squash Team and Azlan Iskandar Squash Academy
This time, ToughAsia.com has the honor to interview (one of the greatest but least known) one the of the least covered athletes in Malaysia, Timothy Arnold. Timothy is one of the top squash players in Malaysia, trained alongside some of the top athletes like Ong Beng Hee, Azlan iskandar and Dato’ Nicol David. A crossfit enthusiast, we interview him while watching Nicol David train.
Please tell us a bit about yourself?
My name is Timothy Arnold. I have been playing sports for more than 15 years now. I am a coach for Azlan Iskandar Squash Academy, and currently promoting squash for the academy all over the country.
Please tell us something about Azlan Iskandar Squash Academy.
Azlan Iskandar Squash Academy is supported by the government. The government has given us a task to promote squash throughout the country and I am the head coach. I have been traveling a lot, trying to set up an academy in every state, making squash alive again in Malaysia.
What is the progress now?
We started the Academy this year with one center, and by the end of the year we will be having four centers.
One in Terengganu, one in Kelantan, one in Malacca and one in Putrajaya.
What’s in for the academy next year?
Next year means more work. I see lot more growth for the academy seeing the positive response this year.
Other than Azlan Iskandar Squash Academy, what other effort does the government do to promote squash?
The government is also getting us to organise more tournaments, while raising the standards by inviting more international players to compete with our local athletes.
Overall how is Malaysia’s squash scene?
Overall it is still alive, but more work and effort are needed. I think the public need to see this more often. And we need to raise the awareness of our presence among social players. We are trying to get the social squash scene as competitive as our elite squash here.
What do you have to say to encourage our readers to try out squash?
If you want to keep fit, be strong, and want to try something other than running, squash can be a good option. Come and try it out!
What have you been doing for past three to four years?
I have been coaching squash in Singapore in last three years, also working on my fitness. I got back to Malaysia this year and start my squash program here.
Where do you see yourself in three to five years in terms of physically and career?
Career wise I hope I can see Azlan Iskandar Squash Academy to blossom.The objective is to setup the academy in every state. As for physically, it is a constant improvement. My goal is to be as strong as I can.
Who do you train with?
I train with many national junior players here and athletes from other sports as well, just so I can get different input and help improve myself.
When is your next game? Are you ready for next game?
My next game would be January 2014 and I do have a list of tournaments lined up. Let’s see how far I can go.
Not right now, but I will be ready as next year will be a busy year.
What is your training regime?
My regime now consists of lots of strength work, as I need more explosiveness in my tournaments. Usually that is what I do at least a month before any tournament.
Technically, can you explain to us how strength work can help in squash?
Strength work not just helps in explosiveness, but also the punishment I can endure during a game. The stronger I get in the gym, the longer I can last in the court. That simple.
Do you train in conditioning?
We practice lots of movement and footwork in the court. And I do the same movements with weights in the gym, too.
Do you try any new fitness regime?
I like to try new things, just to explore how these new training can incorporate into my work. Right now I am doing some crossfit, some calisthenics. Just those ‘updated’ urban workouts.
What is your diet habit?
I try to eat as healthy as I can, but I do spoil myself. I love food. I try to keep everything moderation. Not specifically strict on my diet.
Since you like food a lot, how do you compensate that?
Haha. Let’s say if on that day I feel like having ‘Nasi Lemak’, I make sure I train harder before hand. My goal is to burn more calories I can take in a day.
What are the precautions you do to prevent injury?
LOTS OF STRETCHING. And foam rolling. That is really important. We didn’t know this back in the days, and sport science now has thought us so much, especially on athlete recovery. So yeah, stretching and foam rolling.
And lots of sleep, too.
Where is your favorite place to train, of all places you have been?
I like urban gym, specifically crossfit boxes. I like it raw. I like being able to flip tires, I like sledgehammer tire smash, where conventional gym doesn’t provide this.
What do you think the country should do to promote active lifestyle?
I think we should promote through outdoor fitness. That recently gained lots of publicity. And the public seems likes it a lot. It is a good start.
Last question, what do you have for our readers? What can we avoid?
If you want to keep fit and build strength, make it a lifestyle. It is not a destination, but a journey. You must maintain it. If you have that mentality and attitude in you towards that goal, you can go a long way.
Avoid eating unhealthy too often. If you do, you need to find a way burn it off.