After 30 years of badminton, I still don’t know much, says Gopichand

November 11, 2017

After 30 years of badminton, I still don't know much, says Gopichand


BENGALURU: After spending 30 years in badminton, if there is anything that Pullela Gopichand is certain of is that he still doesn’t know much.

The chief national coach said he began his badminton career by fluke. “There were no admissions open in cricket or tennis. Nobody was interested in badminton at the time and it was the only place I could join. So I did,” he recalled.

Speaking at the second Global Leadership Forum at the Art of Living International Centre, Gopichand said when he began coaching in 2004, the general practice was to identify the best and train them to be better. “But I was proved wrong when a young girl in the academy asked me to teach her how to hold the shuttle. I realized that in the bargain of giving our children literacy and exposing them to technology, we are making them lose their human connect.”

“This made me wonder that excellence doesn’t come with literacy. It comes with believing that every child is talented. Running against Usain Bolt and beating him wouldn’t mean as much as it would if I ran against myself and got a better score than last time. And in the bargain, if we get a medal… fantastic!”

The two-day forum brought together an array of speakers from various fields to discuss leadership needed in an increasingly complex world. Sri Sri Ravishankar, founder of AOL, said: “Leaders are of two kinds: one who wants to achieve and the other who has achieved but wants more people to follow suit. “We need more of the second kind.”

Alojz Peterle, European Parliament member and ex-Slovenia Prime Minister, said, “Although globalization has contributed to interdependence in society, it has also resulted in wars, human crimes and ignorance of our own responsibilities. We need to change the concept of power.”

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