PV Sindhu: How I Became A Champion

PV Sindhu serves yet another winning shot! The ace shuttler won the Badminton World Championship 2019 in a smashing finish. Sindhu shares her incredible journey in this ParentCircle Exclusive!

By Rajesh Viswanathan

PV Sindhu: How I Became A Champion

A 73-shot rally which ended in a heartbreak to a win with a score of 21-7, 21-7. Yes, it’s not often that an Indian player does that kind of a score on a badminton court and it’s not often that it happens in a final and it’s definitely not often that it happens in a World Championship Final. Yes, we are very much talking about PV Sindhu!

In a nail-biting finish of the World Championship 2019 final, PV Sindhu smashed her way to win the historic gold. Sindhu makes the country proud once again as she becomes the first ever Indian to become a world champion. It was a sweet victory for PV Sindhu who had lost a heart-breaking but well-fought battle against Spanish shuttler Carolina Marin in last year’s final. The 2019 final was an exciting match where Sindhu’s opponent, Japanese shuttler Okuhara, had no answer to the sublime skills of the ace shuttler from Hyderabad.

Yes, Sindhu has been an inspiration for us throughout her career. Ever since she won the silver medal in the Rio Olympics, Sindhu has only gone from strength to strength. So, what makes Sindhu so special?

In an exclusive chat with ParentCircle, the 'golden girl' of Indian badminton talks about her journey so far, the role played by her parents, her thirst for success, life outside the court and, of course, her incredible win.

Does the win sink in?

I would say not really, because I’m in a mindset where the realization has begun to sink in slowly that I have finally done it. It is a much-awaited win after a long time. Earlier, I had won 2 bronze, 2 silver but not the top prize. I had been waiting every year for this elusive title. I missed the title narrowly last year and before that year. Finally, I did it. And I am very happy about the whole achievement.

From your phenomenal Olympic silver till now, not much has changed about the qualities and attributes you bring to the table. I still remember Gopi talking a lot about work ethic that you attribute to your family, your parents. What has been the role played by your parents in this wonderful journey so far?

My parents’ role has been an important one. I think half of the credit will go to them because they’ve always supported and motivated me and I think I am here because of them. Since, they have been volleyball players, they know what it is like to perform in pressure situations, when we are really upset or when we lose or win matches and when we tend to commit mistakes. In a way, I am really very lucky to have parents like them because they give me tips on situations that could happen and ways to tackle the same.

You made a very valid point that it is okay to lose. Was that an important message you are brought up with?

Definitely. My parents also said that you must give your 100 per cent. Winning and losing is secondary and it is perfectly okay to lose as long as you learn from mistakes and come back stronger. It’s not that you lose and then it’s over.

We see a lot of your traits on full display on court - aggression, resilience and ability to bounce back from failures. Were you like that as a child as well?

I am a jovial and a very sensitive person. In the beginning, I was not so aggressive but of Gopi Sir tried to imbibe an aggressive behavior in me to take on challenges. In due course, I became an aggressive player. I admit that I get aggressive on court but not off court.

We witnessed the lovely hug you gave to Carolina Marin and also the lovely selfie at the final of the World Championship. So, there is always life outside the badminton court?

Yes, there is life outside the court.

How do you motivate yourself?

I think it’s more of loving what you do. Badminton is my passion and wins on the big stage motivate me. People often ask me whether I feel sad after a loos and how I recover. It’s sad at times, but that is when you need to be strong and think that there is always a chance for redemption. That is how I motivate myself. I have won a total of 4 medals in the World Championships so far. It is sad when I lose in the finals but that is when I must remind myself that ‘No Sindhu it’s ok.’ I have to believe in myself.

We know you have been raised up wonderfully to handle failures. How are you able to handle the amount of fame and success you have achieved?

I really enjoy the success that I have achieved. When I was really young, I saw lot of successful people who were asked by the public for photographs and autographs. I used to think that I want to be like them. I am enjoying the limelight. You need to enjoy success and you need to maintain it, but at the end of the day you have to remain grounded. My dad always says this.

We are all aware of your mental strength. But a very important attribute in racquet sport is physical strength. And it gets built because of good nutritional habits. You have been through that phase of teens where junk food is irresistible. How did you handle all those pressures?

Of course, everything is very important, mentally and physically you need to keep yourself fit. When it comes to physical fitness, of course, I am really very happy that I train with Mr. Srikanth Verma, I train at the Suchitra Academy and he has been really helping me out in the physical fitness because as a player it is very important as now a days matches really go too long. Like one or one and a half hour, so you need to be physically fit. When it comes to nutrition I would like to thank Gatorade because they have come up with this GSSI nutrition where it’s really big and they are helping me out. Of course, Gatorade they sponsor me so I’m thankful to them. Also, when you talk about junk food, I think occasionally is fine but not all the time, because it also might affect you when you play or when you train. Putting weight is not good for yourself. So, you need to keep yourself fit, as well as, healthy.

What is Sindhu according to Sindhu?

What is Sindhu? I would like to say a World Champion right now.

Any quick message for parents out there? You have been brought up by lovely parents who have been empathetic, encouraging but not overbearing. So what’s the key message you have for parents?

My parents have played a key role in my life and I am very thankful as it is due to their motivation and support that I have achieved so much in life. In every child’s life, a parent’s support is the most important thing. Parents should encourage their child in whatever sport he or she wants to play. Children will not become champions overnight. A lot of hard work and sacrifice must be made both from the parents and the child’s side.

It’s a beautiful partnership I would say. Any message for children who aspire to be the next Sindhu?

Of course, a lot of people take me as a motivation, as an inspiration. I would like to state that they need to enjoy sports. That is very important and they need to believe in themselves and keep working hard because hard work is the key to success. Ups and downs will be there, but hard work will always bear fruit.

So, you heard it from Sindhu that hard work is the key to success. It is just one of the elements that she talked about. There are so many elements that have contributed to her success so far. We daresay so far, because she already has two bronzes, two silvers, one gold medal and of course, not to forget the Olympic silver as well. There is a lot more coming in from Sindhu and she is scripting her story in the history books.

Hall of Fame

  • In 2019, Sindhu became the first Indian badminton player to win a gold at the BWF World Championships..
  • In 2018, she won a silver medal at the Commonwealth games.
  • 1n 2018, she was the flag bearer of the Indian contingent at the opening ceremony of the Commonwealth Games.
  • In 2018, she made it to the Forbes list of highest-paid female athletes.
  • In 2016, she was awarded the Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna award, the highest sporting honour of the country.
  • In 2016, she became the first Indian badminton player to win a silver medal at the Summer Olympics.
  • In 2015, was awarded the Padma Shri award, which is the fourth highest civilian award in India.
  • In 2013, she was bestowed with Arjuna award for badminton.

ParentCircle Exclusive: watch the entire interview with PV Sindhu right here:

Also read: There's A Sindhu In Every House

About the author:

Written by Rajesh Vishwanathan on 26 September 2019.

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