Nobody thought these players would become world beaters: Pullela Gopichand


National Badminton chief coach Pullela Gopichand this Sunday recalled when he started coaching in 2004 with the 25 trainees and gems of today’s era like, PV Sindhu, Saina Nehwal and Kidambi Srikanth in Hyderabad and how they turned the way of badminton in India.

Everyone is well aware of the inspiring success of PV Sindhu and Saina Nehwal at the global level, that has made badminton most flourishing sport in India in last decade. And how nobody knew India would produce such world class players.

Gopichand on his coaching career

Gopichand during a Webinar said, “I can say, this is the sport (badminton) which has developed the most in the country in these past 10 years or so. When I started my coaching career in 2004, there were just 10 good courts in Hyderabad but now there are more than 1000.

There are so many academies coming up in the country, so many kids from all over the country, Punjab, Mizoram and even abroad coming to my academy to train with one of the parents opting to stay in Hyderabad with the child. So there is enormous interest in the sport now.”

Gopichand than expressed he hope that the cost of playing the sport will also reduce in the coming years following the future of badminton that is so bright now.

Cost of playing Badminton

“What has been happening in the past few years (India producing world beaters) is one side of it and what is coming up in future is another side. I believe the sport is well poised (for further development) in future.

Moreover the cost of the shuttle is going to go down in the next few years with the introduction of synthetic shuttle. That should make the sport more flourishing in the years to come,” said Gopichand.

Gopichand then went on saying how tables turned when he produced world class players like Saina and Sindhu.

“I had 25 trainees at that time, all young with 16 years as the oldest one. Sindhu was the youngest. Nobody thought that these players would become the world beaters of now. People thought our women players would not be able to hit the shuttle so hard.”

“I had a formula in mind which I could not actually apply to myself during my career due to injuries,” Gopichand replied on asking how he created such best players.

“When we grow up most of us think of being classical players with tossing up the shuttle and playing the strokes. Players like Dinesh Khanna will have this superb defensive play. But I had something different: jumping, running everywhere and stretching yourself all over. I had many injuries and I could not apply this to me but I was able to do that in my coaching.”

‘Prakash padukone’s All England title in 1980 was one of the defining moments of Indian badminton whereas my All England triumph in 2001 was my best achievement’, said the 46 year old.

How Pandemic will effect players

Gopichand tyen talked about the pandemic that has shattered almost everything and asked players to maintain discipline during the testing times.

“We were thinking of June, then July, August (to resume sports) and now people are thinking September. Nobody knows when sports will resume.the important thing is that the players will have to be physically and mentally ready when the sport resume.”

“In my academy, the trainees have two training sessions- at 6am and then at 4pm. It forces then to maintain discipline. If you have to wake up for 6am training, you will not be sleeping late at night. So, these routines are sort of keeping them disciplined so that they are ready.”

Source – PTI


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