Ace shuttler Pusarla Venkata Sindhu talks about the game, her regime and support system

Pusarla Venkata Sindhu who recently won the Macau Open Grand has set her aims high to achieve more for herself and the country. Recently in Delhi to receive CNN IBN Indian of the Year 2013 in Sports Category Award, she talks about badminton, family and other aspects of her life. Excerpts:

How was it winning a medal in the world championship?

It was a great feeling to finally get a breakthrough. I mean I participated and won many prestigious events earlier but this was the biggest challenge before me. I am glad I did it for myself and my country. Winning and losing is a part and parcel of sports and don’t matter much beyond an emotional time frame but what makes it really unique this time is the enriching experience which is wrapped in the flashes of glory. As a player it was self-satisfying.

How has the game reformed your personality?

It has trained me to counter life’s ups and downs in a more positive way. My entire sphere of life is badminton, beyond that I really don’t have much to worry about as my parents take care of everything else. My personal life is quite hassle-free. As far as my professional life is concerned, it has made me more positive and has instilled a fighting spirit in me. Sports makes you confident, strong and puts you in a position to face all kinds of challenges.

What role does diet and exercise play in sportsperson’s life and what is your diet plan?

I believe diet is an integral part of a sportsperson’s life. Diet needs to be followed in a very scientific manner to achieve greater efficiency at work. A good diet is a mix of right proportion of proteins and carbs. My day starts with white eggs, milk, oats and brown bread. Lunch usually is vegetarian. It’s dal, lots of vegetables and few rotis. Dinner is always high on non-veg food like mutton, chicken or fish on alternate days with protein shake. Weight training has its own significance and considering the amount of injuries we face one needs to develop a strong body with strong muscles. My weight training is a combo of intense light weight training coupled with high endurance and cardio exercises. I would also request my young friends to completely give up junk food. It doesn’t do any good.

How was the experience of growing up with a set of parents who were both sportspersons (volleyball players). Also, what were the challenges you faced as a badminton player?

They have been a constant support for me. I feel blessed that I had a strong support system from every corner. As a kid, I use to escort my father for his training and there was a badminton court in that premises. This was the beginning. He was very supportive when I decided to pick up this particular game. My father encouraged me to excel in my game and motivated me to keep going. Everyday, we would get up early and travel 56 km to reach the ground for practice. My parents were with me together to pursue my dream as a badminton player and never gave second thoughts before making any sacrifices. My coach Gopichand not only worked on my technical weaknesses but also travelled with me wherever I went. He taught me how to face my losing and winning days with sportsman spirit and learn the importance of time. He is always available, keeps me focused and constantly aids in improving my game.

What would be your message to young players?

First, I will request all parents to be a part of their children’s aspirations. It is next to impossible to succeed without their contribution and someway helps youngsters to focus on their game wholeheartedly. Second, players must never attempt shortcuts because there are none. Work hard and be honest with your training schedule. One more thing, never allow a lost game to break your zeal. Experience matters, move forward, apply your experience and learn in your game and you will appreciate the transformation. Education is a must and should be attained at every cost. It widens the horizons of the human mind and makes you a good person. I am still studying and a second year student of B.Com.

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