Badminton: New doubles coaches to focus on mental strength

Indonesia’s Flandy Limpele and Namrih Suroto take charge.

By   |  Published: 7th Mar 2019  12:10 amUpdated: 7th Mar 2019  1:20 am
New doubles coaches from Indonesia Flandy Limpele (left) and Namrih Suroto at the Pullela Gopichand Badminton Academy in Gachibowli.

Hyderabad: With the sudden resignation of Indian doubles specialist coach Tan Kim Her recently, the Badminton Association of India didn’t take much time to fill the void. With next year being an Olympic year, the qualification process this year is important for the Indian doubles shuttlers.

Hence, the association has roped in the specialist doubles coaches Flandy Limpele and Namrih Suroto from Indonesia. The duo arrived in Hyderabad on Saturday and took to the courts on Tuesday.

Speaking after their first practice session at the Pullela Gopichand Badminton Academy in Gachibowli, the Indonesia pair lauded the players’ standards saying that the quality of the game is good. However, they said that there is much to be improved in the mental aspect of the players.

“The standards are good. We have seen few of these players in some tournaments. We want them to become fearless players. They need to become more confident. I have seen them falter in big tournaments under pressure. So we are here to improve that aspect. If they can become confident players, they can achieve results in big tournaments,” said the 45-year-old Limpele.

Limpele, who was the Olympic bronze medallist from 2004 Athens Olympics, has the experience of coaching two years in Germany and five years in Japan.

Suroto had coached Thailand players for two years and spent eight years with national team apart from coaching at the club level. With bundles of experience behind them, they know the importance of confidence that is required for a player to become successful.

When asked about targets set to them, Limpele said, “When Gopichand approached us, he told us that Olympic qualification of the doubles players is their top priority. The current rankings of the players are very low. So we want them to improve their rankings which will become easy for Olympic qualifications.”

Suroto said that the men’s doubles category has good quality while the women’s doubles need to improve a lot. “I have seen the men’s doubles players like Satwik (Sairaj) and Chirag Shetty. They are very good. Even in junior, the talent pool is very good. But there is a gap in the women’s section. We haven’t seen a few players like Ashwini (Ponnappa) and Sikki Reddy who are playing in All England,” he added.

Speaking about their training methods, Limpele said, “Each player will have a different style. We are not going to make drastic changes. We had one session today and we are learning player’s strengths and weaknesses. We will work according to each player’s style. We will go step by step.”

Suroto further explained that their approach will be in smaller targets. “We want to do well in one tournament at a time and then improve from there on. Once we have a clear understanding of the player’s abilities, we can focus different aspects of the game.”

On probing India’s chances of an Olympic medal, Limpele added, “I can’t promise anything right now. We are here on a one-year contract. Then we will see how things work out. The competition in Olympics will be very tough. We want to have high standards in fitness and quality of the game. Moreover, players have to very strong mentally which is our main focus. We are here to make them tough mentally,” he signed off.