Mind Over Body
When we watch our favorite champions win medals on the world stage, what are their most important characteristics which impress us? Their technique and skill are definitely impressive, however, the factor that sets them apart is the strength of their mind. We often see world class players win matches from situations in which they are lagging way behind their opponents. Those are the matches that go down in history. This kind of sheer will-power can only be achieved by a training program focusing on the mind as much as the body.
The Path of a Champion
As a budding young sportsman grows up, his or her training also keeps getting more intense. Advanced sports training needs to focus heavily on the mental fitness of the player. Also, coaches need to give personal attention and make sure the student gets more practice of playing in high pressure matches. When Sudha (name changed) joined our academy, she was already on her way to becoming a star. She had achieved the no 3 ranking in Karnataka state and number 8 ranking in India. Our coaches, under the guidance of founder Dhruv Kumar, had to come up with a tailor made training plan. This included intense one-on-one sessions focusing on every aspect of her game, but more importantly it was an exercise of training her mind to not give up.
As Sudha continued her training with us, we could see her gameplay consistently improve within a short time. Her progress was clearly demonstrated by her performance in tournaments, and she ended up winning 4 singles state titles in quick succession. Her doubles partner was also a part of our training program, and their team won 4 doubles state titles. Eventually, she won 1 national level tournament and got runners up in another one in the singles category; and won 1 national level doubles tournament and got runners up in 2 others. One of her coaches, Chethan Kumar says “She had a knack of picking out her opponent’s weaknesses and exploiting them. Her coaching used to start at 4.00 am which meant that she used wake up 45 minutes before. It was true dedication!!!”
A Bright Future
The year that Sudha started training with us was a very exciting year for us at Star Academy. It is extremely rare to find a student of her caliber, and we were fortunate to have the opportunity to train her. That year saw her achieving the 1st rank in the singles category and 2nd rank in doubles category in the All India Ranking National Badminton Championships. After that, she got an opportunity of a lifetime, and was selected to continue her training at Pullela Gopichand’s academy. Our coaches at Star Academy are always following her progress through the news and other sources. We hope to see her representing India soon!!!
You can also read about another one of our prodigal students, Abhinav at https://starbadminton.com/our-star-abhinav/