Sam’s Exclusive Interview with Canada’s Rising Star
Nikole Todd, from Regina, Saskatchewan, is a Canadian national team athlete and is playing on the Professional Squash Association (PSA) World Tour. Within one year of joining the PSA World Tour in 2012 she broke into the top 100 players in the world. Since then she has been clawing her way up the rankings and this month finds herself at #58, with a lot of untapped potential.
Nikki saw her best result yet in February of this year, making the finals of a $10,000 PSA tournament, the Delaware Open. She has been steadily moving towards better results as demonstrated in the 2015 leg of this season when we saw her in two semi finals, the Nash Cup and the Abierto Colombiano.
She was no stranger to semi finals and is now no stranger to being in the finals: along with the Delaware Open, Nikki was a two-time finalist in last summer’s Pan American Games in Toronto, in the Women’s Doubles and Team events. This weekend Nikki and her partner Robin Clarke made it to the final of the Canadian Mixed Doubles Championship, narrowly missing out on their third title.
She will now be looking to put herself in that final round more often, and change the result in her favor.
SAM: Nikki, your results have been steadily improving since you joined the Tour. To what do you owe this improvement?
NIKKI: I think I owe my improvement to a focused training plan and the help and guidance of some coaches and mentors. Jamie Hickox, Robin Clarke, and Andrew McDougall.
SAM: What is one thing you are really proud of in your game?
NIKKI: I am proud of my speed.
SAM: What is one thing you’d like to improve in your game?
NIKKI: My mental game.
SAM: I understand professional squash is an emotional roller coaster. Can you help readers understand what that means?
NIKKI: Well the highs are really high, so when you are winning or playing well and everything is clicking, you feel amazing. But the lows are incredibly low, as you are often alone, lack confidence and can’t get any good results. And unfortunately both happen a lot.
SAM: How does it feel to play for Team Canada?
NIKKI: It is an honor to play for Team Canada and I am extremely grateful that I’ve been given the opportunity to do so.
SAM: What was your favorite experience at last summer’s Pan Am Games?
NIKKI: My favorite experience was my gold medal doubles match with Sam Cornett, where we played the USA. Sold out crowd with amazing energy!
SAM: Can you describe what it’s like to stand on the podium?
NIKKI: Standing on the podium when you are playing as an individual feels great and you feel accomplished. But standing on the podium when you are representing your country is one of the best feelings!
SAM: And finally, only 12 other athletes have medalled at the Pan Am Games, and only two have two medals. How does it feel to be leading the way for other athletes from Saskatchewan?
NIKKI: I am so proud to be representing Saskatchewan and I hope they are just as proud of me. I would love to see many more Sask athletes living up to their potential and fulfilling their dreams as athletes.
Thanks Nikki, and good luck.