Veteran badminton coach P.U. Bhaskar Babu expressed his concerns about the future of badminton in India after champions like Saina Nehwal and P.V. Sindhu. He believes that the game of badminton has become fast and furious. The standards these champions have set are too high and there is major gap between them and the young athletes trying to reach there. He has an eye to spot talent and is running Bhaskar Babu-MLRIT Badminton Academy situated in Hyderabad.
Talking to Sportstar, the 65 year old said, “I believe the biggest reason for this is the disbanding of many schemes of both SAI and by the State Sports Authority. You come up with any big names in different disciplines till 90s they were mostly products of either Sports Hostels or SAI Academies.”
SAI Coach Talks About What Needs To Be Done
“A beginning has to be made now by grooming the winner and runner-up in each of the age groups – under-13, 15, 17 and 19 years – not just in badminton but also from individual sports. This will ensure a pool of young talent and then have a weeding out process based purely on performances after a critical review. Most importantly, they have to be given scientific training and proper international exposure and an honest selection process is the key.”
“Mushrooming growth of academies will not produce champions. The sport as such is a costly affair now. Unfortunately, in 90 percent of the academies, basic training is missing and thus the players are not having a strong foundation and fading away quickly,” former Indian coach added.
He concluded by talking about Saina and Sindhu. He feels that Saina can still play for a couple of more years as she has always been a fighter. And Sindhu currently remains the supreme player and can be unchallenged in big events for the next four to five years but also she needs to keep working on the weaknesses and keep improving with each tournament.