Whatever you do, be different! That was the advice my mother gave me and I can’t think of a better advice for an entrepreneur. “If you are different, you’ll standout” -Anita Roddick
Entrepreneur brings lives of 23 women achievers between its cover to celebrate womanhood.
For this sports star B comes before A, at least that’s how her life unfolded. Badminton doubles specialist, Jwala Gutta, is now all set to give back to the world of sports with her Global Academy for Badminton. Born a girl child to an Indian father and Chinese mother, her birth wasn’t a moment of celebration at the Gutta family.
Earlier in life, Jwala’s mother played various sports and her father dreamt of having their daughter dabble into sports. At a tender age of three, she was exposed to the world of sports. “I have played tennis, table tennis, an volley ball and then finally I took to badminton,” remembers Gutta of her early years. At four, her father took her to S.M. Arif for professional coaching. Arif immediately declared that she was too young to hold a racket.
“I was then sent for Gymnastic training for five years and then at the age of nine I started playing badminton,” reminisces Gutta. When Gutta took up badminton, she was unaware of diet, nutrition and physical fitness. Talking about the stress a player has to go through, she shares,“Even mentally it’s very stressful because along with your body your brain also gets exhausted, therefore, you are required to be strong mentally as well.”
The single-minded focus she has attained is quite commendable, and on how she attained that, Gutta says, “All credit goes to my parents. They never allowed me to think of anything but badminton.” India’s top doubles shuttler counts Commonwealth Games 2010, where she won gold, as the biggest high of her career. As per her, “In India, doubles game is not encouraged as the single player format.” So winning the gold at the doubles format was a bigger achievement.
Gutta has a clear take on winning and losing. As per her, “If you are doing well, people have more expectations and when things are not going as per expectations then you are under pressure from your own self. It’s better to not get excited whether you win or lose.” Jwala is a strong person who takes criticism in her stride. “I take all the criticisms constructively and I don’t let it bother my performance or my thoughts. I do what is right and correct,” shares Gutta.
After a great sports career, Gutta is now all set to give back to the country in the form of her own academy. Apart from franchising the academy, she plans to set up her own Centre of Excellence soon in Hyderabad. The academy has so far signed one franchisee for Telangana. The academy aims to fill the gap required in proper coaching in badminton. “
We don’t have enough coaches, so I am very interested in training good coaches. They are never given due importance, so I want to make sure that coaches come under the spotlight. Better coaches we have, the better players we can make and that is my aim,” shares Gutta.
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