Scale up training to help turn athletes into match winners

  • Lalita Panicker, Hindustan Times
  • Updated: Aug 19, 2016 13:27 IST

She has a silver in hand, a gold might well follow. And all eyes are now on the world of Indian badminton and its spectacular players from PV Sindhu and Kidambi Srikanth to Saina Nehwal. This goes to show that Indians do have an aptitude for certain sport and badminton is one of them. The same also goes for women’s wrestling. Taking this into account, it can be argued that India should not fritter away its energies in focusing on several other sport. Let us do away with this scattershot approach and hone in on a few sport in which we can excel. Badminton is certainly one of them. In this sport, we have been able to spot talent and build up its potential and create match winners like Nehwal and Sindhu.

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In badminton, we also seem to have a successful training model which can be scaled up. Of course, individual effort and perseverance cannot be discounted but it has to buttressed by proper training, nutrition and encouragement. In badminton, thanks to outstanding coaches like Gopichand, this has paid off.

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It is inexplicable as to why we insist on participating in sport where we have no chance at all of getting anywhere, leave alone win a medal. Like sculling. We ought to maximise investment in sport in which we have a fighting chance. At present, we are spread too thin on the ground and the sports authorities seem more focused on the number of athletes attending mega events rather than their potential. So let us not waste money on sport where we are so far behind that there is not much chance of results in the near future. Focus on the possible and try and monopolise it. If we start with badminton, wrestling, and now gymnastics, the medal tally next time around might be more heartening. If Sindhu and Sakshi could pull of their feats with little official support, think of where they can reach with the right inputs. Let us get off the blocks on this now.

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