Indian badminton may be basking in glory with Kidambi Srikanth and Saina Nehwal winning the China Open but chief coach Pullela Gopichand today warned that it would be difficult to produce next level of world-class shuttlers if the country fails to attract great coaches.
The former All England Champion reckoned that getting the new crop of players to stay committed and motivated over a period of time, and attracting quality coaches are going to be twin challenges facing Indian badminton going forward. ”While there is plenty of talent and ideas in the country, what’s important is execution part and work ethics adherence. Hard work and work ethics are difficult to get,” he said at ‘Youth Conclave’, organised by Confederation of Indian Industry Young Indians.
“To produce the next level of players is the toughest job. Infrastructure building is the easiest part of the entire structure. To have people committed, motivated in working over a period of time which is probably eight to ten years is a tough job,” he said.
Gopichand underlined that unless coaching becomes very lucrative and rewarding people are not going to take up this profession.
“Unless you have great coaches, you cannot have great pupils or students coming in. At the moment, our challenge is that coaching is not looked at the way it should be looked at. The best minds don’t get into coaching,” he said. “India won about 60 medals in the last Asian Games, but how many coaches’ names we know?” he asked.
“If you don’t produce quality coaches, you cannot produce next level of players,” Gopichand said, stressing the need for a shift in the “thinking process” and putting “coaching aspects” at a different level.