Coach Gopichand finds a way to monitor shuttlers' training amid lockdown

In a lockdown scenario, India’s chief national badminton coach, Pullela Gopichand has come up with an idea to remain connected with the shuttlers.

Pullela Gopichand connects with his trainees online to monitor their training during the lockdown.   -  V. V. SUBRAHMANYAM

In a lockdown scenario, athletes around the world are struggling to find ways to stay fit. But India’s chief national badminton coach, Pullela Gopichand has come up with an idea to connect with the shuttlers.

He along with well-known fitness trainer Dinaz Vervatwala, using the Zoom app connect with the trainees online, to ensure that the majority of them in all age groups of the Gopichand Badminton Academy are linked up and participate in the live, video fitness sessions.

“We have to think of ways to stay fit, which is a pre-requisite to think of being back on the badminton court. So, I thought the best way is to ensure that most of trainees have some physical conditioning to be game-fit once the lockdown is lifted,” Gopichand said in an exclusive chat with Sportstar on Wednesday.

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“Essentially, these sessions are conducted twice a day via the Zoom app which facilitates Dinaz to demonstrate and monitor how the players are doing the exercises,” he explains. 

"In a way, it is a mix of traditional and scientific methods for what matters is the end-result and that’s why the exercises also include breathing, meditation, 15-minute skipping, surya namaskar (10 minutes with three push-ups per set), alternate toe-touch (25x4)," the former All England champion said.

“Besides this, I am also keen to see them stay in touch with the sport too by opting for shadow and wall practice,” he added.

Innovative sessions

Significantly, these innovative ‘circuit work-out' sessions are not just confined to only those in and around Hyderabad but also for them who have left the Academy to be at their respective homes in Delhi, Mumbai and Kolkata. 

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During the sessions, Gopichand is also online along with Dinaz, who appeals to the players to be honest to themselves in doing the exercises; and for his part he focusses on the shadow practice of smashes or returns of five sets each for 40 seconds each, take 20-30 seconds rest and the second one will be with emphasis on parallel strokes. 

B. Sai Praneeth taking part in the online training session at home, being monitored by coach Gopichand.   -  Special Arrangement


Will there be a critical review? “I don’t think they are so naive to be warned of any reviews. Yes, I will definitely check the fitness levels of most of them once they are back in the Academy and take remedial measures, if necessary,” says Gopichand. 

And, many like World championship bronze medallist B. Sai Praneeth welcomes this online training sessions and says: "It is wonderful to have these sessions as something is always better than doing nothing."

"Well, we all know Gopi Anna's commitment and with Dinaz in the scheme of things, these should be good for any player," Praneeth said.

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