Sponsored by GATORADE

I remember the first time I stepped on the football field and started kicking the ball around. I heard a man shout at me, “Leave the ball… RIGHT NOW!” A couple of minutes later, I was running around the football field, not allowed to touch the ball for the next forty-five minutes. Yes, all I did was run. Things remained the same for a few weeks. And when I did get a chance to kick the ball, I was told that I was wrong and that I’d be doomed if ever kick the ball that way again. 

“Nothing will work unless you do” – John Wooden

That, my friends, was my coach. The one man, I just wanted to get away from. I wanted to shout back at him, name-call him, show him my anger. Show him how much I hated him.

But you know what, that’s the thing. Your mentor or your coach isn’t supposed to be your best bud. They’re your worst nightmare. They’re supposed to make you question every second of your life and make you do the same thing over and over again. Their job is to make you a warrior, a winner, a champion… a person for whom failing is just not an option. How else will they do if they don’t shout at you, make you feel disgusted and push you out of your comfort zone? 

Sure, you’ll hate them for it but not just because, in that moment, they’re killing your happiness. But because, in that very moment, they’re believing in you more than you believe in yourself.

And when it comes to coaches who’ve believed in their students and turned mountains into salt-flats, the Chief National Coach of India’s badminton team, Pullela Gopichand needs no introduction. The man has propelled ace shuttler and World Number 4, P.V. Sindhu to new heights, by pushing her harder both on and off the field. Whether it was about taking her phone away or denying her the ice cream she loves eating. 

This video by Gatorade salutes their relationship and salutes all the coaches who have pushed their students to #SweatForGold.