Tennis

Imran Mirza warns of parental pressure

Valuable insights: W.V. Raman in conversation with Imran Mirza on Sania's brilliant career.

Valuable insights: W.V. Raman in conversation with Imran Mirza on Sania's brilliant career.  

In a conversation with the National women’s cricket coach W.V. Raman, Imran Mirza gave an insight into the process of how Sania Mirza’s raw talent blossomed

In a no-question-barred conversation with the National women’s cricket coach W.V. Raman, Imran Mirza gave an insight into the process of how Sania Mirza’s raw talent blossomed. He also touched upon the perils of parental pressure.

“Parental pressure can destroy a person,” said Imran, who has been Sania’s coach on the Tour for more than 20 years.

“When Sania started, the goal was to enjoy sport. We thought cricket was not the game for girls when she was 6-1/2 years old,” said Imran.

“Under pressure in a match, Sania always came out firing,” he added emphasising the importance of allowing talent to play unshackled, without the worry of winning, at an early stage.

“Too much pressure leaves a mark on their personality,” said Imran.

Pointing out that it was a hard journey, especially in the initial years, as they had to wait their turn to use a private synthetic court (there were only two in Hyderabad then), Imran said that the family was happy to have built a world class centre with 12 courts.

Injuries

Having gone through three surgeries, two on her knees and one on her wrist, Sania had to settle being the best doubles player in the world, rather than prolong her singles career as a top-100 player.

After she won the Junior Wimbledon doubles at the age of 16, the family decided to focus on the women’s circuit rather than aim for more junior Grand Slam trophies.

“We believed that playing early on the professional tour would help her against the top players,” said Imran, even as he pointed out that Sania had won the National under-14 and under-16 titles when she was 12.

Most importantly, he said the family acted as a cushion, absorbing all the pressure. “We never allowed our negative emotions to seep into her.” He also explained how it was important to speak at the right time as a coach, insisting, “no point saying anything when it is not absorbed.”

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Printable version | Jul 11, 2020 1:57:37 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/sport/tennis/imran-mirza-warns-of-parental-pressure/article31798361.ece

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