HYDERABAD: When ace badminton star Saina Nehwal launched her autobiography ‘Playing to Win’ in 2012, she recalled how as a kid she had asked her mother, “What is the difference between me and World No 1?” Her mother hadn’t laughed at her naive question; Instead taught her think like a champion. While being pushy, telling her that she only needs to remember that she has to win, it was her mother again who would also give her night-long foot massages.
Such is a mother and in today’s competitive world apart from being a mom, she is also donning the hat of a coach; albeit with a difference. If training, diet, nutrition and sleep all are monitored under their watchful eyes, it is these moms, who also watch their little ones’ play their matches and cheer them.
Yasmeen Mohammad mother of under-12 badminton player Nasyam Mohammed Faiz is one among the lot. “I am not a pushy mother. I rarely accompany my son to tournaments. My role begins where coach role ends,” she says and adds that being pushing or fighting for points is not right. “Mothers or parents should not be allowed near the playing area during the tournaments. Parents presence puts their kids under pressure,” she said.
Smriti Bhasin’s mother Shruti Bhasin, the champion in singles under-12 girls at the just concluded AITA - SportsCult Tennis Tournament agrees that pushy mothers can scare their children. “They hit them when they don’t perform. Your child is not a medal winning machine,” reveals Shruti. For Srilatha, what she observes from coaches she imparts it to her 10-year-old daughter Tanushitha Reddy. “Though I don’t know much of Tennis, I observe a lot of things and and coach my daughter,” she says.
Senior coach Upender of SportsCult feels that though it is good that mothers coach their wards on many aspects, but they shouldn’t interfere with coaches on the ground. “Coaching is fine, but, too much of pushing is very bad. Coaching needs different skill set,” he said.
B Nagesh, coach at Surya Academy feels that while those who can’t afford a professional trainer can always coach their kids. “A coach is an expert who teaches, supervises, gives directions and instructions and is involved in both physical and mental development of players.”