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Physical, mental fitness key to success: Saina to aspiring kids

After a year of hard work and <g data-gr-id="65">perseverance</g> Saina Nehwal is now a household name. She has finally attained the number one ranking in women’s singles, even after her latest glitch which gave her a silver medal in World Badminton Championship held in Jakarta, Indonesia on August 10-16. 

She is the first woman in India to achieve such a monumental success in the game of Badminton. In an interview with Millennium Post, she talks about her hopes and dreams. She also expresses her happiness about the level of awareness Indians have developed towards the game in recent times. She believes that consistent performance is something that helps a sportsperson to be on the radar and it further promotes the game. She says that it allows the grooming of new players, coaches, audiences and infrastructure.

How excited and prepared are you for Japan <g data-gr-id="49">Super series</g>?
I think everything is well-planned now. For me, if my practice is going well then I feel prepared. I am not really worried about my performance because my practice is on the right track. As you know I was not getting adequate attention and was losing rankings because of the games I lost, I had even decided to retire last year. I needed individual time and attention and group practice was not for me. Hence, I had to move out of Hyderabad and with Vimal (Vimal Kumar, coach) sir’s attention, I was able to win games and become world number one.

How do you think mental fitness is important for a player to perform well?
I think mental fitness is extremely important. If one works hard and dedicates their life towards it, they expect good results, and for that, health is important. I was unable to cross series of quarterfinals last year and once I shifted to Bengaluru, I was getting more attention and now thankfully, I started winning medals and became world number one, I guess god is very kind to me.
Has success affected you?

I believe that consistency is important because Badminton is not as popular as cricket in this country. One may not remember you if you win a series after a long gap. Hence, consistently winning series after series will make you a household name. I am glad to have won medals for the country and that people follow badminton these days. They’re <g data-gr-id="59">aware about</g> the game and it makes me happy.

What is it that you worry about at this moment?
There’s not much to worry at the moment. Although, I am scared of injuries because a bad incident might ruin good opportunities and possible <g data-gr-id="58">victories</g> but I hope I would stay fit and win many medals for my country.

What message do you have for aspiring  children?
I want the little kids to eat healthy first because the body will not support if <g data-gr-id="66">stomach</g> is empty. As a sportsperson, eating healthy is part of our job. Sometimes, we are encouraged to eat in the middle of the night so that we feel charged up in the morning for practice. I want the children to know that physical and mental fitness is necessary to fulfill your dreams. If your day starts without breakfast, you may not be able to meet your potential.
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