As a player you want to challenge yourself all the time. The moment you reach a comfort zone you want to again try and raise the bar and push yourself. I have always believed that change is important. You need guts and conviction to change things. It’s a risk, and it could make you or break you.
I have been training in Pune for the last two years. I was training in Bangalore for five years before that. My sole purpose to come to Pune was to find a good trainer for my knee and also someone who I could afford. Also hemant hardikar (i work with him in pune) is the best man I know who understands me as a player and how my mind works. It did me good. I played my first ever Asian games, commonwealth games, a grand prix final in Lucknow, and became the national champion.
So when now I have been training in Lucknow with tom john the reason remains the same. To get an another perspective, to may be add a momentum to my game. To get out of the comfort zone of being home and being well taken care of. Of course when you make these changes it’s not because the people who trained you before have nothing more to offer. My coaches like prakash padukone,vimal kumar and hemant hardikar are an encyclopaedia of badminton which is still filling. If I can read the game half as well as they do I will be lucky. I have been lucky to have coaches who understood my decisions always. They supported it and showed faith. They have always wanted the best for me and they have always let me fly.I know I can always count on them. I thank god for that!
Tom John is life itself! He’s emotional, sensitive, selfish sometimes. He loves,hates,laughs and cries. He’s no saint or doesnt claim to be one. He loves women and likes to have them around. He can give you the soundest of advice about anything under the sun but he can also wear a Santa Claus costume and dance on jingle bell all around a packed Lucknow stadium. He is patient with his students but can be very impulsive. He cooks any cuisine to at most perfection. He loves to sing so he takes off his karaoke set every sunday morning. He’s a 60 year old man but his heart gets younger and younger day by day. He should be slowing down, but he still teaches a 100kids how to play with the same enthusiasm he had 30 years back. You love him,hate him but god knows that man deserves respect. There is no one like him. Oh yes I almost forgot hes also a kick ass coach! You see he can’t just be defined as a coach he is just so much more!
He has been training me in Lucknow for the last two months. Any one who has trained with him knows you have to kill yourself each and every day,every session. There is no way around. I have been doing three sessions every day. Day starts at 6 in the morning ends at 8 in the night. Sessions are not long. Every session lasts for an hour and a half. He makes sure you are working every minute of it. There’s running,circuits,weights, the god forsaken shadows,etc. After a week you feel you have trained for a month. It’s one long week.
I am dead every day and I am loving it. His style of coaching is very simple push the player a layer above his comfort zone. He knows your limit more than you. You have to just trust him and do the work. Its not easy to do that. If you do, you will see the results. It’s been tough two months. I have learned a lot and I would like to say I feel a positive change. Of course it remains to be seen how i use all that I have learnt and worked towards in the coming nationals. I hope to do well and really look forward to it!
As gautam buddha says, Change is the only constant! Don’t fight it, deal with it. it could do wonders!