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Guru Gopichand
Guru Gopichand

Gopichand – the supreme Guru

India is home to 1.2 billion people out of which there are millions who are into sports. Whether at school level or at the national level representing India, we Indian play various sports. For a cricket loving nation, other sports have surely taken a backseat. However it’s during big international events like the Olympics or a India vs Pakistan match that everyone becomes an expert at that sport. One of the reasons behind the success of our players / teams are the people behind them. Be it the support staff or the coaching staff, these are the people who are away from their families for months together to ensure the players perform well. With the conclusion of the Rio Olympics 2016, one such coach that has set up a benchmark for all other coaches is Pullela Gopichand who is our ultimate guru.

Guru Gopichand
Guru Gopichand

Gopichand’s love for sports

From wanting to become a cricketer to playing Badminton, Gopichand has surely hit the right chord. He has been one of the finest badminton players during his times. He is only the second Indian shuttler to win the prestigious All England Open Badminton Championship after Prakash Padukone achieved this feat. Gopichand was at his peak during the late 90s and early 2000s when he won various tournaments. After a glistering career like that, Gopichand could have become a critic of the game doing various talk shows, pre match presentations etc. but he had a different thought. Unlike most of the players from various sport, especially cricket, he decided to do something for the sport and hence setup the Gopichand Badminton Academy in Hyderabad

Rise of Guru Gopichand

Gopichand took the role of a coach after setting up the academy. For that he even mortgaged his house to an industrialist on a condition to win a medal at the Olympics. And since then there has been no turning back for Gopichand. The academy has produced some of the finest shuttler in the world. Saina Nehwal and PV Sindhu are probably the biggest names in world badminton today. Various other players including P Kashyap, S Kidambi to name a few have been the product of this academy.

Gopichand with Sindhu during the Rio Olympics Final. Image Courtesy: FirstPost
Gopichand with Sindhu during the Rio Olympics Final. Image Courtesy: FirstPost

The question I ask is Why can’t every sportsperson be like Gopichand ? Most of the sportsperson after quitting from the game are either doing TV shows or spending time in leisure. On the other hand, the sport associations are always on the lookout for a ‘firangi‘ coach for the players. Why can’t our teams have Indian coaches ? Are they not competent to coach our players ? I feel an Indian coach would have a better rapport with the team along with the vast experience. Also having played the game themselves, Indian coaches will surely be an asset to the players.  What do you think ? Desi or Videsi coach ? Let us know in the comments below.

After setting such a great example for everyone, I hope we get to see more Indian coaches in sports. Thanks Guru Gopichand for inspiring millions of people !

About Atulmaharaj

Maintaining the blog for the past 3 years, I'm a Foodie, Techie, Cricket Enthu, Traveler, Blogger and a Cook ! You'll find posts within a wide range of topics from food to technology. Favorite Quote: "Traveling is like reading a book, one who hasn't traveled, hasn't turned a page.

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10 comments

  1. First is the politics and next I guess is also the fact that coaching takes a lot out of you in terms of staying away from family, friends etc. Sportsman have to travel on and off for years away from family and if after retirement they want to rest and spend time with family, I can totally understand.

    But yes, Gopichand has been a legend in the sense that he has given it all to single handedly create a factory of world beating badminton stars from India :). He was a fantastic player and is coaching with equal dedication and hardwork.

    • Nice point of view Aseem, we neglect the hardships coaches have to take staying away from family and giving everything to the team. Thanks !

  2. I completely agree with you on the point that players share a better rapport with Indian coaches rather than Foreign coaches. But when it comes to coaching Indian athletes, we really don’t know that how the back office process works. As showed in Saala Khadoos- the movie, politics plays a major role in selecting team staff n coaches. I believe, this is the main reason why our known Indian athletes avoid this role of coaching. Gopichand is certainly one of those who never gave up and done enough to make India proud at Olympics this time. A true legend! BTW Amazing write up, Atul! 🙂 🙂

  3. No doubt India has best gems from Guru to Shishya
    its only Sir Gopichand that Sindhu has make us proud 🙂

  4. seriously, he is THE GURU, just read today how he was made to wait for 3 days morning to evening at the sports ministry office only to be told badminton doesnt grab eyeballs and was shown the door. Now that he has given gems like Nehwal and Sindhu the same sports ministry is going crazy over him!

  5. Beyond doubt…Gopichand isThe Dronacharya of badminton, the ultimate preceptor without any fear or favour and truly dedicated.

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