Tennis

Nandini recalls Ganesh’s visionary methods

Credits him for her success and says he was a coach much ahead of his time

Social media has shrunk the world, especially during the lockdown. At her home in New Jersey, former player Nandini Perumal is keeping an eye on the progress made by Indian tennis, and the wealth of information floating on the internet about coaching methods and improving standards.

The 36-year-old Nandini, who trained with coach Ganesh Raman when he was also training Sania Mirza, recalled his visionary coaching methods.

“Sania is an indigenous product, and we should be proud of her. Her mom played a huge part in her success. Her parents took her to a lot of tournaments and she was mentally very strong. She enjoyed her tennis a lot. I had the luxury of seeing her from close quarters when she was really young and when she reached the top 30s,” recalled Nandini.

Late start

“I started tennis late, when I was 13. I had won athletics gold medals in 100 and 200m in the junior Nationals. Thanks to my athletic background and with Ganesh sir’s encouragement, I was No. 11 among women in Indian tennis within five years,” said Nandini.

“His coaching was truly ahead of his time. Back then, when there were not many resources and exposure for coaches he had connected the importance of yoga and breathing in 1996. He also taught us visualisation, meditation and nutrition, which is the norm today. He got the best out of the players with creative and competitive methods,” she said.

“All four pillars should be equally strong to make it big — player, parents, affordability and the coach,” she reiterated.

Yoga teacher

Married to Varun Athi, a former State-level volleyball player, Nandini is big time into teaching yoga, a strength and conditioning expert, as well as a ‘bright minds trainer’.

Both her sons, Vidyuth and Agastya, are exposed to a variety of sports with the freedom to pursue the career of their choice.

“The lockdown has helped us to sit back and reflect on ourselves without much distraction. The kids play soccer and cricket in the backyard and we go biking every evening,” Nandini said.

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Printable version | Jul 11, 2020 7:59:19 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/sport/tennis/nandini-recalls-ganeshs-visionary-methods/article31601502.ece

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