"Out of love for the game" - Anastasia Kostyukova

How did you get acquainted with squash, how to keep fit and why is it so important to get to the right trainers in the beginning? Anastasia Kostyukova told about this and many other interesting things. She has repeatedly won gold in championships and tournaments and not only in squash. She has the title of Master of Sports of Ukraine, Master of Sports of Ukraine of international class and is a member of the Women's National Team of Ukraine.

- Tell us a little about figure skating on BMX.

- My parents did not give me any sports, and I really wanted that. There was no opportunity, they were 19-year-old students. I wanted to play tennis and gymnastics. Then I saw bmx flatland, figure skating and I wanted to, too. New acquaintances appeared, I started skating. And if I start doing something, I do a lot. So, she won the Ukrainian championship in a year, and then 3 or 4 more times in a row. I do not remember.

- How did you end up in squash?

- I always wanted a serious sport. This one was street and somehow not serious, I wanted something professional. I wanted something similar to Olympic sports, something serious. But, as you can see, I choose interesting sports. Then bmx, then squash. Still, many do not know what squash is. When I get into a taxi with rackets, taxi drivers ask "Do you play tennis?". It's easier to say yes. Somehow it skidded. I was then studying at the institute and my stepmother told me that in the club where she worked (Formula in Odessa), the coach recruits interns to train as squash coaches. "Go try it, you still have a lot of free time after school." I decided to go and see - I liked something interesting. At that time there were three interns: a badminton player, a basketball player who used to play tennis and me. They took me and the badminton player. In time, she moved to another club, and I stayed there.

- Do you remember your first training on the court?

- No. I remember wanting to grow. I once saw Stefano Galifi on the courts of Formula One, known and loved by all of us. And when I saw this technique, these blows. He plays very squash-charmingly. I liked the technique, everything is so cool, the force of the blow. I wanted the same. Then I learned that all the activities in the capital, but then I had not moved anywhere. I worked five hours solo, and when I arrived at my first tournament in Kyiv, Protasiv Yar, I won in the L2 category. Then she came to another tournament, in which she also won a prize.

- How important is the first coach?

- It is very important, because if you come across a bad coach who will not have an idea about moving on the court and equipment, then it will be very difficult to relearn psychologically and physically. After all, you will play worse for a while than before. The most important thing in squash is the work of the legs. If you don't get it right, you won't be able to hit the ball. The most important thing is the movement, not the blows. Then there is the reversal, the technique, the point of impact, I would say. You have to practice and know how to approach each point of the court and eventually move automatically. If the first coach can lay this foundation, then you have a chance for the future.

- Then you decided it was all mine? I want to play and train.

- The first was the desire to play, coaching was in second place. Dima Shcherbakov (fitness director at Sport life) saw me at one of the tournaments in Kyiv and called me to work for a new club in Teremki, which was just opening. Then I thought, "I need it." I don't know how but abruptly broke down and left. Just took it and left.

- Aren't you sorry?

- No. Odessa is a small city and everything is slow there. It's better from the mental point of view, but life doesn't boil there. Everyone is very relaxed. I want a metropolis, a movement. I mean the squash metropolis.

- What helps you prepare for the tournament, for the game?

- What helps me prepare for the tournament? You never know if you are psychologically ready. All athletes, regardless of the level before playing the mandrake. There is another moment, if you are physically very strong but know what you are feeling psychologically, then you can train more to give yourself confidence and get out at the expense of physics. Meditation helps. Breathing meditation, I mean.

- And if you perform, so do your wards ..

- It is generally very difficult to combine. It is always a choice. If my game is easy, then of course I will go to watch my students, if I have a difficult match ahead, I say that I will not be able to come, because it is worth preparing for my game. My coach Ahmed does the same. He may not come to the regular matches, but he will definitely come to the finals.

- What helps you recover after training?

- Stretching, if you do it for more than 15 minutes, at least 30 minutes - everything else is wrong. And I have a massage gun, it knocks out the crepe. Very painful but fast. This is pain relief because of even more pain. If you will suffer for 2-3 days, then for 30-40 minutes. There used to be a muscle roller. But when you are so tired that even raise your hand lazily, and here you still need to roll yourself on this roller. What roller? A massage gun just right. Bath, if you have time, massage - perfect. At my schedule, it's just a stretch and a substitute for a massage - a massage gun.

- At what age is it optimal to start squash?

- I started playing at the age of 21, during which time I achieved some success. I started training with a coach, with a training schedule 4-4.5 years ago. Before that it was like that, I would work on a solo a couple of times a week for a few hours. In general, the sooner the better. You can give your baby a racket from the age of two, so that he just knows what it is. For 5 years I have been doing something little by little.

- How do you manage to combine "I like to eat" with a perfect figure?

- Oh, it's always hard for me with that. I want to eat every three hours, at least I need something to eat. Banana, protein bar. I want meat, but it's not an option at work. The quality of food is important. Lack of fat is a calorie deficit. You should consume less than you burn. Another point is the quality of food. You can eat bad food. Eating three calorie pies a day will be less than you spent but you ate pies. This will be reflected on your skin. You will not be thick, but there will be no beautiful relief, skin tone. There will be no quality of skin. If you control yourself and maintain this deficit with healthy, proper food then everything will be fine. Once a week you can treat yourself to something not very useful, such that you can not relax at all. Having reached your ideal figure, you can afford to eat whatever you want for a week, but then you need to take matters into your own hands. And here the difficulty is that it is more difficult to take yourself in hand, so it is better not to go out of rhythm. The main thing is not to get carried away. You can never completely relax.

- What have you already tried in extreme sports and what else would you like to try?

- From the age of 6 I learned to ski, then became bigfoot (short skis without sticks), then snowboarded. After him, she resisted - she wanted to learn to slide on a snowboard. I fell 100 times and almost broke my back, but it turned out a little. After that she went to jump into a trampoline from a springboard. I also liked it but I don't want it anymore. You can try, but you can kill yourself. There, the error is too costly. You will fall into squash and nothing, and there you will fall and everything. I really want to surf but I'm afraid of sharks. But I would definitely try (laughs). This is in my plans and should be ticked. I would jump with a parachute, fly a hang glider. I would gladly start racing. Once I was in karting - I won a corporate tournament there. I really liked it, there were 24 people. Tried bungee - it was cool! We went with Ahmed, his friend and Julia Zhukovets. I jumped, then jumped back again. I liked it, I would jump again. Cleans everything. It's like a quick cleanup. You're sick now, sad - you need to go jump off the bridge. The main thing is not to forget the rope (laughs). You know, it's as if everything was shaken out of one ear through the other. However, not for long, this effect comes quickly and passes just as quickly. I would jump every week. I liked. I would try the wake.

- And how are you?

- I did not like it very much. You are tied to this rope, you fall, you bury your nose in the water and all - you sit, waiting for you to be pulled out.

- Tell us about your tattoos. What, where, what do they mean?

- The first was on the back "tutto è possibile" from the Italian "everything is possible". I wanted "no night impossible" but "anything is possible" sounded better. Why Italian? Because. I don't know why, it just sounded the best. Latin is banal, but in Italian it sounded good. I did this at the age of 16.

- And what did the parents say about this?

- And my parents didn't even know about her for several years, because I hid it well behind my long thick hair, making sure that my hair didn't fall forward from the wind. Somehow. And when they saw it was all the same. Then on my neck, over this tattoo, I finished a diamond. I wanted to find the embodiment of the meaning "strong, stable, first". You can't hit "1" on the neck, somehow not very much. Diamond is considered to be the strongest stone that cuts glass. His meaning is - stability and strength of character. When they moved to Kyiv, she made a tattoo on her arm "for the love of the game". It has two meanings. One is half humorous, the other is simple, that love not only for squash, but also for life. Life is like a game. Out of love for the game in everything. And funny - you work, you work on that court, you train, you think at some point "why do I need all this at all?", And then "oh, really! Because of the love of the game. " I don't have any more tattoos yet, but I've been thinking for a long time about making another one.

- And we will end on this optimistic note. Thank you for your time!

- Thanks!

@Oksana Gerasimenko

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