Manika Batra, a star table tennis player, believes that having a personal coach is a must for an individual sport athlete. She would have performed better in the Tokyo Olympics if she had court-side access to hers.
Manika told PTI that the authorities, including the Table Tennis Federation of India, should not be concerned with personal trainers accompanying players to multi-sport events such as the Olympics.
“Chief coach is fine for team events, but we also have a singles event where certainly one needs his/her coach as that person knows more about the training and game of his player,” said Manika Batra.
She explained that the India head coach could concentrate on team competitions while personal coaches manage individual campaigns.
Her remarks came after the TTFI fined her for refusing national coach Somyadeep Roy’s assistance during her singles matches in Tokyo. Her coach Sanmay Paranjape was denied play access due to the organizers’ limit on certified persons.
She also used the example of individual sports such as badminton and tennis, where players frequently bring their trainers to all competitions.
Manika and G Sathiyan just won the WTT Contender mixed doubles tournament in Hungary. Her coach didn’t make the trip.
“Only for the team event part of a tournament, we can, of course, have a chief coach, but this is not hockey or football. We can give our best if we work hard and give our best in training with our training teams as it’s an individual sport, not a team sport.
“This is not about ego. It is all about the requirements of a player. Even my seniors went to Sweden and Germany and still go abroad to their clubs and train in their hometowns in India, which is how it should be” said, Manika Batra.