News & Events
|Siddhanth — making waves|
Siddhanth Gupta, the 14-year old Tamil Nadu shuttler, is rated high and considered precocious.
“He’s a National prospect. If he gets moulded a bit, he can make it big,” said Karthick, a senior coach with the HAP Badminton Academy (Sivakasi), at the Tamil Nadu Badminton League here. Siddhanth has been training there for around five months now.
“Compared to other players of his age, he doesn’t have the fear of playing against older and better opponents,” said Karthick.
“He was not sure of his footwork (court movement). He used to skate a bit, lunge less. So, we worked on it,” said Jerry Martin, who has coached him for four years.
“We worked on the Chinese movement in which the legs are wide apart, and there is a lot of chasse and cross-behind movements. Chasse is such that the feet moves a lot, the legs will not rush. Cross-behind is when the legs are diagonal to each other, and short, quick steps are taken. This is especially to approach the corners.”
Under Jerry, Siddhanth was the National No. 1 for around five months in the u-15 boys’ singles last year. He represented India and reached the pre-quarterfinals of the Asian junior championships in Yangon (Myanmar) in 2017, the biggest achievement of his career so far.
The coaches said Siddhanth has the ability to make the ‘fast’ players play to his pace. He’s good at the ‘dribble,’ a shot that sends the shuttle spinning, making proper contact and placement difficult for the opponent.
Siddhanth said, “I don’t let them attack. When the shuttle is dribbled, most players merely ‘lift’ it. That makes them open up to the opponent. I just re-dribble. I’ll make sure that I don’t let them smash or play fast. For instance, I use the high toss to make the game slow.”
He’s been getting assistance from the Quantum Leap Performance (QLP), a Chennai-based high performance training centre for athletes, to better his “reflex strength and speed.”
The coaches said the highlight of Siddhanth’s play was that it was not easy to read his strokes — something that’s not conscious deception, says the shuttler.
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