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Patience, regularity are a must for one’s success

This Arjuna awardee feels that today’s youngsters need to develop persistence

education Updated: Oct 19, 2011 10:26 IST
Gauri Kohli

I was interested in pursuing sports since childhood and practised gymnastics, swimming and tennis. I was equally good at studies and was a tomboy in school. I loved climbing trees, running around and playing. My mother wanted me to take up badminton so I shifted my focus to that sport. After I took up badminton, there was no looking back.

First achievement
My first big success was when I won the senior nationals, beating Aparna Popat. Everyone recognised my efforts and I was hailed as a strong future star in Indian badminton. That was the turning point of my career.

People I look up to
I look up to my parents. They have been the pillars of strength for me and have always encouraged and motivated me to excel. When I was married to fellow badminton player Chetan Anand, he too never stopped me from playing and was a great support right through. My coaches have also contributed to my success immensely. I also admire tennis champion Steffi Graf. She is very calm and composed off the court and when it comes to performing on court, she is very aggressive. She is a very humble person and a wonderful human being and is a fine example of the fact that it’s important to be a good human being as well as a champion.

Coping with setbacks
Winning and losing is part of the game and one should never lose hope. Commitment and dedication towards one’s goal is what matters most. Sports teach you to be strong in all spheres of life. When I feel low, I try to unwind by sleeping, shopping, watching movies or spending time with family and friends.

Milestones in my career
There have been many important moments in my career. Some of the memorable ones are winning the senior nationals for the first time, winning a gold medal with Ashwini Ponappa in the Commonwealth Games in Delhi last year and a bronze in the World Badminton Championships this year. My wins in the mixed doubles category with V Diju have also been special. Another special moment was when I was conferred with the Arjuna Award last month. It is very rare that doubles players are acknowledged at such a level and I feel humbled to receive this honour.

I shifted my attention to the doubles format during my initial playing years as there were very few players to represent India and compete with the best of the best on the world circuit. This also played a key role in shaping my success story. I now want to win as many tournaments as possible before the London Olympics as preparation for the mega event.

Tips for GenY
Today’s youngsters want quick results and are impulsive. They must realise the importance of hard work and focus towards one’s goal and must understand that one needs to be patient and regular in their approach towards work. You need at least 10 years of effort towards your goal before you can expect results.