“Good teachers know how to bring out the best in students” – Charles Kuralt.
This quote is applicable to all the teachers out there who strive day in, day out to endure their wards gets the best education to succeed in this highly competitive world. When it comes to sports, some athletes are born with talent, while others work extremely hard to reach their peak.
The role of coaches therefore is to mould these athletes into world-class ones by fine tuning their skills. A lot of work goes into physical and mental aspects of their games to ensure they can perform at their best in any situation during a match.
Let us take a look at 5 best coaches in India right now.
5. Balwan Singh
Balwan Singh has seen the growth of Kabaddi in India as both a player and a coach. Singh was part of the Indian team that won gold medals in the 1988 Asian Kabaddi Championship and 1989 SAF Games.
Singh started his coaching assignment in 1996 and is going strong having helped India win several medals at international events.
Under the tutelage of Singh, India won six World Cups and three gold medals at the Asian Games. The Government of India honored Balwan Singh with the Dronacharya award in 2005.
4. Cyrus Poncha
Indian squash players are proving to be a force to contend with on the world stage with each passing year. The likes of Saurav Ghosal, Dipika Pallikal, Joshna Chinappa, Harinder Pal Sandhu are household names after their achievements at various international events.
The driving force behind these successes over the past decade has been Cyrus Poncha. He is currently training players at the Indian Squash Academy (ISA) in Chennai. Poncha lays a lot of emphasis on fitness and believes it is crucial for any squash player before they hit the ground running.
Dipika and Joshna won India's first gold medal at the Commonwealth Games in women's doubles. The men's team won gold at the Incheon Asian Games after Saurav Ghosal narrowly missed out on the yellow metal in the singles final.
A lot of youngsters are now interested in squash thanks to continued efforts of Poncha and ISA. Poncha recently received the coach of the year award for the team event by the Asian Squash Federation.
The Government of India conferred Dronacharya award on Poncha in 2005.
3. Vimal Kumar
Former Indian badminton player Vimal Kumar has successfully transitioned into a coaching role. Kumar has played a pivotal role, first in nurturing youngsters improve their game at the Prakash Padukone Academy and in helping senior Indian players live up to their potential on the international stage.
Former National champion took charge as Saina's coach after the latter split with her long-time coach Pullela Gopichand. The shift from Hyderabad to Bangalore (Prakash Padukone badminton academy) has had a positive impact on her game.
“By coming here, she felt mentally free and the change in environment gave a fresh impetus and outlook", says Kumar.
Under Kumar, Saina won the Indian Open Grand Prix gold, became the first Indian woman to reach the final of the All England Open championships, won the India Open for the first time in her career. This win catapulted her to the top of the badminton rankings.
Most recently, Sania became the first Indian shuttler to win a World Championships silver at Jakarta. Kumar has certainly brought a big change to her game and that is evident frome her performances this year.
The coach feels that consistency and fitness will be key for her success in the future.
2. Jagdish Singh
The man who converted Bhiwani into a boxing powerhouse, Jagdish Singh is another athlete who transitioned brilliantly from a player to coach.
To continue his love for boxing, Singh founded the Bhiwani boxing club in 2001 with a loan of Rs. 4 lakh. Hundreds of boxers have trained at the academy ever since winning several medals at international events.
Thanks to overwhelming success over the years, Bhiwani is called the 'Cuba of India'. Akhil Kumar, Jitender Kumar and Vijender Singh are alumni of the Bhiwani boxing club. All of them have represented India with some distinction with Vijender becoming the first Indian to win a medal at the Olympic games (bronze at Beijing 2008).
1. Satpal Singh
Sushil Kumar is the only Indian athlete to have won two Olympic medals so far. One of the primary reasons for his success if the guiding light of coach Satpal Singh.
Singh was an accomplished wrestler in the 70's and early 80's. He won gold in the 1982 New Delhi Asian Games after settling for silver in the previous edition at Bangkok.
Sushil Kumar learnt the tricks of the trade from Satpal that helped him win bronze in the Beijing Olympics. Kumar followed it up with a silver at the London games.
Satpal has been honoured with Arjuna award (1974), Padma Shri (1983), Dronacharya award (2009) and Padma Bhushan (2015).