The former badminton star explained how he plans to transform India into one of the leading nations in the sport after Tokyo 2020.
Indian badminton’s chief national coach Pullela Gopichand has revealed that he intends to spend most of his time mentoring coaches - rather than players - after the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo.
Just the second Indian to win the All England Open Badminton Championships in 2001, Pullella Gopichand, who has been pivotal in guiding Saina Nehwal and PV Sindhu to Olympic medals, has been at the helm of Indian badminton for a decade and a half now.
"Post Olympics, I will be spending more and more time on mentoring and ensuring that I coach the coaches and sports science research becomes a big part of my programmes for the next few years," Pullela Gopichand said at an event where he announced his association with Bengaluru-based 'The Sports School'.
"Post 2020, would be to have our knowledge being shared and us working together and benefiting together, progressing toward so that the scale of Indian badminton which promises to grow, has to deliver on that hope. We could be a powerhouse and all of us working together can make it happen for our country," he added.
The 46-year-old pointed out to the scale now needed to produce the next generation of Indian badminton players and revealed that he has been working with other coaches to create a team around every player.
"We have coaches, for example, Saina has a personal coach, physio, trainer and masseur and similar is the case with Sindhu and the doubles players. So now we have the luxury to say that there are individual players who have their team or groups working with them," he said.
"What I have done in the past, we cannot be getting the same results (with) now as numbers have grown. As for me, my expertise needs to be shared, I have to move into the coach of the coaches programme, move into sports science and research to ensure that more people can benefit from my experiences," Pullela Gopichand opined.
Indian badminton has managed two medals at the Olympic Games so far, with Saina Nehwal clinching a bronze at London 2012 and PV Sindhu earning a silver at Rio 2016.
Pullela Gopichand has coached both Nehwal and Sindhu in the run-up to their respective Olympic medals.