Lakshya Sen, future of Indian Badminton

He is all of 16 and already dominating the Indian Badminton scene. Meet Lakshya Sen, a force to reckon with, in conversation with the KheloMore COO, Ujwal Deole.

How does it feel to be a junior world no. 1?

It feels amazing to be on top of the world! However, it’s just junior circuit right now. I have a long way to go and need to keep working harder.

What inspired you to play badminton?  Who was your first coach?

My dad is a SAI badminton coach and inspired me to play badminton.

So far in your career, what has been the best decision taken by you?

Actually, the best decision was taken by my dad. At the age of 9 he decided to bring me to Prakash Padukone Academy for my coaching; something that has contributed most in my learning curve and success.

Lakshya Sen with his sports psychologist, Janki Rajapurkar of Samiksha Sports Psychology

Tell us something more about the coaches at Prakash Padukone Academy?

Like I said earlier, lot of what I have achieved today is because of the great coaches at PPBA. They put in a lot of effort behind me, in terms of my skill, in my formative years, and game strategy as I got better.

You do a lot of mental training with Samiksha. How has that helped you?

I started off with Samiksha when I was 11yrs old. The first thing I learned there was discipline; the idea of maintaining a daily routine truly appealed to me. It kept me on track and made me aware of everything I was doing for myself and the sport. I wrote a diary every day for three years, which proved to be very useful. Now, I mostly work on focus, pre-match routines, and off-field activities.

How is mental training different than skill coaching?

Skill coaching is obviously very important as that gives you the tools and ability to perform on the court. Mental training helps your mind remain calm and confident during your off-field hours. As a sportsman, or in general as a human being, you go through a lot of emotions, situations or even problems off-field. A psychologist helps you in dealing with your off-court emotions which in turn result in keeping your focus on the court during important tournaments. I feel that every athlete should work closely with a sports psychologist as soon as they start playing competitive sport.

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