“If we have to continue producing quality players, we need to shift focus towards coaches’ education programmes, especially in Tier II and Tier III cities. There’s been an increase in the popularity of the sport and there is now great demand for quality coaches. If all the people connected with badminton – the BAI, the Sports Authority of India (SAI), the sports ministry, the private foundations and state associations – work together, this key issue can be addressed,” Padukone said, while announcing the 10th edition of the Tata Open India International Challenge at the Cricket Club of India (CCI) on Tuesday.
The $20,000 event starts today, and will culminate on December 3, with top seed Sourabh Verma leading the men’s singles field. The tournament has attracted players from eight countries, including Malaysia and Thailand. In the women’s singles section, Rituparna Das has clinched the top seeding.
“I have said this often and I reiterate: we need to get a good foreign coach who will be responsible for only training coaches. I think that will solve this issue to a great extent. This can be done in batches of 50 to 100 coaches, who can return to their cities and academies after their own training,” added Padukone.
He insisted that India has a few quality coaches but what they lack is a chance to keep abreast with the latest developments in their field. “We have some very good coaches, but unfortunately they don’t get much opportunity to upgrade their knowledge and keep pace with the developments that are taking place at the global level. It’s not that they don’t want to improve, they just don’t get that opportunity,” he insisted.
Speaking about the tight schedule that some of the players have been maintaining, Padukone said: “That would depend on each individual player. The key is to strike a balance between training and number of tournaments they are participating in. At the top level, figuring out the perfect mix is also an art. It’s upon each individual and coach to decide, and the focus should be on peaking for top tournaments like the Olympics, World Championships and Super Series events. Even then, I feel Indian players need to guard against fatigue and injury. These are things that can result from playing in too many tournaments.”
No PBL games in Mumbai
Meanwhile, the third edition of the Premier Badminton League (PBL) opens with Chennai Smashers taking on Awadhe Warriors on December 23 in Guwahati. Mumbai, which hosted at least one leg of the league in previous seasons, does not feature as a venue this time. Guwahati, Delhi, Lucknow, Chennai and Hyderabad are the cities that will host the 23-day long tournament that will feature seven teams. The other franchise to miss out on playing games at home are new entrants Ahmedabad. The original owners of the Mumbai franchise had pulled out last season, citing ‘environmental and financial challenges’.
Source : timesofindia