Chief national badminton coach Pullela Gopichand on Wednesday said the reason he continues to coach is that there is still no succession plan in place, adding that it has been tough on him, reported PTI.
Gopichand has been vocal in the recent past about the need for more top level coaches in India to keep up the results at the international level.
“Well, to be honest, the reason why I continue to coach and I am obsessed about it is also because I haven’t had...I don’t see the succession plan come by so easily, it is been tough,” said Gopichand at an event in Mumbai. “I wish, now... to be honest, I feel it like a burden and a responsibility, I can’t let go the kind of (performance) we have achieved and the players need me and that becomes a burden internally.”
Gopichand, a former All England champion, has been the mentor behind Olympic medallists Saina Nehwal and PV Sindhu.
“So in the last few years, I was silently talking to people and in the last few months I have been talking to the press a little loudly about the need for coach education, need for coaches to be empowered and a system to be in place. It is my selfish desire to rest and relax,” he added.
The image of a “calm and composed” Gopichand sitting courtside during matches is quite familiar and he revealed that he never intends to put additional pressure on shuttlers when they are already under pressure.
“When I am sitting behind the player, I consciously think that my pressure should not add to the player’s pressure, [they are] already in a pressure cooker [situation], so you don’t want to add a little more to that pressure, he said.
Saying that winning and losing was part of the game, Gopichand said it was important to maintain equilibrium when it comes to displaying emotions.
“So in a tournament, I am sitting down and I have 10 kids playing and six of them have lost on day one, three of them have lost on day two, so if I start feeling bad and miserable each time they lost or feel excited each time they win, then it is not very healthy for me.
“It is important for me over the years to realize that winning and losing keeps happening and it doesn’t matter and it is part of your job (as a coach). If you get too elated when you win, you will very feel lousy when you lose, just to control it and keep that equilibrium, is something important,” he said.
(With PTI inputs)