Pullela Gopichand: There is a lot of dramatization in sports movies, but I agree with that
Pullela Gopichand doesn't watch many movies. He admits that the last film he saw was over a year ago, and it is ironic that the famous coach is portrayed in three major films in the next two years. In a free conversation with us, the national badminton coach talks about the usefulness of sports biographies for athletes, how he would like to see himself on the screen and his philosophies about training. Excerpts Sonu Sood will play Pullela Gopichand in the biopic of PV Sindhu
There have been a lot of sports biopics in recent years. When you go to see them, what are you looking at: precision or entertainment?
I have two views on this. The first is that storytelling in sports is very important, as is the creation of these role models. That's when people get inspired and practice a sport. Inspiration is important. When I watch a sports movie, unfortunately, I say this is not real. When I watch a normal movie and say a fight is taking place, I don't say this is not realistic, but in a sports story, I think: She is not playing as she should or This is not how it happens in the field. ' Yes, there will be cases where you will see things that can happen, but dramatization is probably what it is too much. But I still agree with that.
Do you feel that there is so much natural drama inherent in sports that it is not necessary to add too much to bring it to the big screen?
Yes I agree. There are parts of an athlete's life that would be dramatic, but you just have to compress it to make it appear on the screen. But yes, there are instances that will connect with people. Things like injuries, poverty and family support, victories and defeats, last minute emotions are there. You just have to compress them.
Speaking of sports biopics, there are at least two next, where we will see that you are portrayed on the screen: one of yours and another in PV Sindhu. Then there is the biographical film of Saina where reports say that the coach's character will be an amalgam of all his coaches, which also includes you. When these actors come to meet you or talk to you, in addition to gestures, what do you try to tell them so that they can understand your psyche and portray you better?
I have met Sonu Sood several times (which portrays him in the biographical film of Sindhu). But it really is more about gestures. I think the films that are being made are more about athletes and the coach may not be the central figure. I'm sure there is a lot of dramatization because of my way of being, I don't think it's a very good script for a screen hero. I am not so loud or dramatic to portray something great. I don't think there is any interest in portraying myself as I am.
And you agree with that dramatization?
Do I have another option? (laughs)
Coaching is not something simple. The way a coach deals with a 12-year-old child may not be the same as you do with an older athlete, particularly because older athletes are more likely to rebel or have their own views that may be different from of the coach. How do you deal with that?
My first coach was Hamid Hussain. It made me fall in love with sport. I would like to go to court because he was there. He was a great Pathan and he addressed me as, ‘ Hey choohe idhar aa ! But we would love to be in the stadium. My next coach was Arif sahab (Dronacharya awardee SM Arif) and he was a disciplinary. Later I was at Prakash Padukone Academy with Mr. Prakash. At each stage, I look back and see that when a child begins, he must have a coach who makes him love the sport. When he loves it, you must be disciplined and structured. Then, once you are disciplined, you must be someone who sets a goal and has an aspiration. That was Prakash, sir. And then, in the later stages of his career, he needs someone who is a co-pilot in his car, who sits next to him and that they both navigate together through the vehicle. This is the relationship between a senior athlete and a coach. At each stage the situation is different. The coach who can be molded and reach that stage is the most productive.
How much of training an elite athlete, a senior athlete, is also an egos management?
I think we are living in a society that is changing. You can't really match all elite athletes. You should also take into account culture and education. But yes, you have different challenges today. You have athletes managers entering the scene, as well as cultural norms at stake. There is a culture in society that asks you to ask questions. We are moving in an area that is changing. Nor are we a country that has a specific culture. We have some roots in the gurukul system where the guru since the final authority is a thought. But, on the other hand, we have an inquiring mentality that comes from the west, where you feel that this is my job. The athlete thinks you do your job and I will do mine. You are seeing a very mixed society, so it is a challenging space to be.
These days, people get quick recognition in sports. An 18-year-old player who plays in a professional league today is no less than a movie star. Do not let it go to your head: is it something that you have developed over the years or is it something that has always taken root?
I think it is education. It is the number of times you have fallen in life and remember that the ups and downs are not permanent. You stay in the middle. As a coach, it's about where you focus. You want to look at the first two victories and think I am very successful or look at the whole stage and try to reduce the percentage of times you have not been successful. It's complicated, because you need to see the victories to stay positive, but observe the failures to not be complacent. I go back to the Olympic finals (where Sindhu won the silver) and I think excellent, but I also think why my subjunior players lost here. That night, I thought This is over, but what about the rest of them, whom I had left for six months? As a coach, it is difficult because you are always thinking about the next batch.
Manav Kaul will play the coach of Parineeti in the biographical film of Saina Nehwal