Lakshya game for the grind

Lakshya Sen has improved his skills through these methods and broken into the top 70 in the world.

Published: 04th April 2019 11:14 AM  |   Last Updated: 04th April 2019 01:20 PM   |  A+A-

Indian badminton star Lakshya Sen

Indian badminton star Lakshya Sen

Express News Service

BENGALURU: It may appear a strange sight to the uninitiated. A game of badminton is on. Against one player on one side of the court, there are four on the other. In other words, the player in question is playing against four. This is what Lakshya Sen has been doing. In the world of Indian badminton, this is not uncommon. Due to a lack of strong sparring partners, top players often prefer more than one on the other side so that their speed and endurance levels are stretched.

Back from the Polish Open (Grade 3 International Challenge event), where he lost in the final, Sen didn’t waste time relaxing. At the Prakash Padukone Academy, he is put to work by U Vimal Kumar. The former chief national coach placed four against him — two at the baseline and two at the net — as Sen tried to outsmart them. This went on for about 30 minutes and after an exhausted Sen stopped for five minutes to catch his breath, he was again called back to the court. This time, shuttles were hurled at him from four directions and his task was to retrieve.

While it may look like a punishment, this is what gets the best out of Sen. He has improved his skills through these methods and broken into the top 70 in the world.

“In one versus four, the shuttle speed is different every time. It helps him make quick decisions. You have to assume you are playing against one. Other than skills, it helps improve speed, reflexes and control. Footwork and balance get better too,” Kumar explained.

Although these methods are useful, Sen’s muscles are not fully developed yet and his young mind tends to be impatient, leading to mistakes which prove crucial on many occasions. A mental trainer and yoga are helping him manage this part. Kumar is happy with his progress and feels that by the end of the year, top 50 is a realistic target.

“He needs patience and that will come with age. But since he is young, when you push hard, soreness becomes a problem. He is working on the physical side but as coaches, we have to be careful,” Kumar said.

“The aim now will be to improve his ranking and gain entry into Super Series meets.” For Sen, what matters most in his first full year at the senior level is exposure. “The list is long for improvements — fitness, endurance, strength, speed, power and then little things on the court. With a packed calendar, I don’t get time for full training. So the focus remains on full-fledged training before tournaments.”

The next aim, however, is not on court. Sen will appear for his class XII board exams this month. After exams, he will be off to New Zealand for his first Super 300 tournament of 2019. After a month’s break, he will feature in the Australian Open, Canada Open and US Open.

Stay up to date on all the latest Sport news with The New Indian Express App. Download now
(Get the news that matters from New Indian Express on WhatsApp. Click this link and hit 'Click to Subscribe'. Follow the instructions after that.)

Comments

Disclaimer : We respect your thoughts and views! But we need to be judicious while moderating your comments. All the comments will be moderated by the newindianexpress.com editorial. Abstain from posting comments that are obscene, defamatory or inflammatory, and do not indulge in personal attacks. Try to avoid outside hyperlinks inside the comment. Help us delete comments that do not follow these guidelines.

The views expressed in comments published on newindianexpress.com are those of the comment writers alone. They do not represent the views or opinions of newindianexpress.com or its staff, nor do they represent the views or opinions of The New Indian Express Group, or any entity of, or affiliated with, The New Indian Express Group. newindianexpress.com reserves the right to take any or all comments down at any time.

flipboard facebook twitter whatsapp