Newly-appointed Uttar Pradesh Badminton Academy (UPBA) coach from Indonesia Hendra Mulyono observed the young shuttlers of India perform during the junior national badminton championships held at Jaipur,recently quite closely. He has a double responsibility on his shoulders coaching the regular trainees at the UPBA Lucknow as well as to guide the upcoming Indian shuttlers during the national training camps to be held here as the BAI is making Lucknow an important centre for the training of junior shuttlers.
Talking to The Indian Express about his experience at Jaipur,Hendra,25,said,There is talent aplenty in India. The only area where the youngsters lack most is the physical aspect. They need to become physically more fitter. As far as the technical aspect is concerned,some players are good while in some improvement is needed in defence. They also need to be faster.
Hendra,who won the gold in the mixed doubles event in the Indonesia International Challenge in 2010 said that the Indian badminton scenario is quite good in India now. The exploits of Saina Nehwal,Jwala Gutta and Ashwini Ponappa at the international level have added to the popularity of the game in India because of which more and more children are taking to the sport of badminton.
UP Badminton Association (UPBA) joint secretary Nishant Sinha confided that the reason why they have gone for someone from Indonesia was because the Indonesians are known for technique and speed. In 2011,Hendra had coached the Philippines national team. Another foreign coach will also be joining the Academy at Lucknow in the near future. I am sure the shuttlers will benefit from their skill, he added.
Till recently,the Academy had internationally renowned coach in Thomas John who used to coach not only the Academy trainees but also guided the national campers. His contract ended recently.
Besides playing for the Indonesian team,at club level,Hendra used to play from Djarum badminton club there. At the domestic level,Hendra had triumphed in the mens doubles and mixed doubles events. He had to leave playing in tournaments because of an injury in December,2010 following which he took to coaching.