In India, badminton is perhaps the most preferred game of all age groups. It is hugely popular, especially among the girls. The reason for it being that in an economy like India, where by and large people can’t afford to spend much on pursuing sports, spending is really vital. But with badminton, all you need is a net tied with local bamboos, a pair of racquets (even locally made) and one box of shuttlecocks. In our childhood, we couldn’t afford to change the shuttle, even after many days. You will hardly find anyone who hasn’t played this game ever.
This, I strongly believe, is the reason for the rise of badminton for women, especially from the middle class. Prior to the rise of Saina Nehwal and PV Sindhu, India had seen legends like Madhumita Bisht and Aparna Popat, who had given their best with comparatively lesser facilities as well as infrastructure. Foundation stones laid by them are lighting up the way for today’s women shuttlers. Also, Prakash Padukone and Gopichand had laid the foundation for Indian badminton. Now let’s get back to the present era.
After showing their mettle in the recent events such as Indian Open and Malaysian Open, Indians have done well in IBL as well. PV Sindhu winning a world championship bronze and also becoming world no. 10 is a good omen. She has followed the footsteps of Saina Nehwal very well. Her commitment and hard work has resulted in greater achievements.
The recent rapid growth across the sport has led to elevation of standards among Indian shuttlers, with the IBL gaining hysterical fan following and rapid coverage. Most importantly, badminton is getting a sort of “recognition” in comparison to so called other “mainframe games”. And of course, the federation and the academies have definitely contributed a lot in polishing the skill, and also helped the rising of hardworking players like Saina/Kashyap. Off late, the pleasant entry of PV Sindhu has also played a timely & important role in the overall development of badminton. But, on the other hand, it remains a hard fact that Indians still do not possess the desired level of talent. Many a times, we have noticed the established ones giving a shaky performance, and foreign players of lower ranking suddenly cropping up and grabbing matches with their toil and hard work.
The other side
This is a sport, predominately captured by China, Japan, Malaysia, Poland & Denmark, and India is still in its nascent stage. But keeping in mind the zeal of Indian players, we can still hope for miracles.
It is a known fact that we still do not have required level of infrastructure, coaches, kits, number of tournaments, and overall development of badminton at the micro level. It is high time that all concerned consider putting in all out efforts to ensure the momentum is sustained. Even the success story of PV Sindhu is more of her personal dedicated attempts, along with the great sacrifices of her family, rather than the guidance or a path finding attempt by the federation. Though, on a positive note, other youngsters are also sweating & showing the hunger to climb up the rankings. Kashyap, for instance, has been followed by a number of new young players.
Areas of thrust
The name of the game is to keep your cool. I firmly believe that our coach has got to work on a couple of zones, including –
To train the shuttlers to sustain their lead and stay calm
To overcome the trend of giving up, once lagging behind
To change the analogy and review the strategy instantly
To train players according to the ever faster pace of the game
Focus totally on the drop shots and net play
To build stamina
The above, clubbed with vigorous practice, will hopefully open up unlimited possibilities including rankings, big bucks, endorsements, coverage, awards, and rewards. Hoping to see the impact in near future!