P. V. Ramana: ‘In some aspects, badminton and volleyball are similar’

P. V. Ramana, formerly a distinguished volleyball player of India, now aids daughter P. V. Sindhu in her preparations.

Masters of different disciplines: P. V. Sindhu (left) with father P. V. Ramana. Photo: Special Arrangement

P. V. Ramana takes a keen interest in daughter P. V. Sindhu’s physical preparations. A member of India’s 1986 Asian Games volleyball team that won the bronze medal, and an Arjuna awardee, he can provide inputs from his own sport.

After all, volleyball, like badminton, demands rapid movements on the court. “In volleyball, there are certain positions where a player needs to move fast in multiple angles. The central blocker, for example, needs to jump for a black, come back and again jump for the speed-attack. In some aspects, both games are similar, and hence I [can] help Sindhu in the preparations,” Ramana said.

Shoulder power

He added: “My palm [in volleyball] is like a racquet for a badminton player. The way to twist your wrist at the contact point with a volleyball, is how I tried to explain to my daughter. She listens, adapts, then tries to implement. The power in her shoulder when moving into attack mode originates from there. I am giving her whatever best I can from my side. If some point I make is not correct, her coaches in badminton are there to decide [what is working].”

Read | Sindhu sets sights on All England Championships

Ramana is now getting used to being quizzed on the Pro Volleyball League (PVL).

Sindhu grew up accompanying her father to volleyball matches — he represented the South Central Railway team in the domestic league — but hasn’t tried to pick up the other sport. “She has seen me play, but was only interested in badminton, which is an individual event, whereas volleyball is a team sport where many other factors are needed to succeed,” he said.

Respite for volleyball fans

A fan of India star K. Udayakumar, Ramana admitted to having moulded his game on the Kerala international and the one-time India captain. Both were part of the team that won the bronze medal in 1986.

Father and daughter, in Mumbai for the announcement of a brand ambassador by an insurance company known for conducting badminton tournaments, will watch the PVL opening ceremony in Kochi. “After a very long gap, youngsters interested can look forward to something. All this while, only all-India tournaments were being conducted, now the league is making it possible for kids to focus on volleyball also, besides other sports, and try to get into PVL,” Ramana said.

After watching the opening contest of the league, he will track the volleyball action on television, during travels with Sindhu.