Sachin Tendulkar and his passion for Golf
Director of IGPN, Monish Bindra shares one of his best experiences in coaching. The day Sachin Tendulkar, the legendary batsman and the most worshipped cricketer in the world became his student.
Let's dive in deeper to get a feel of this dream-come-true experience.
On the morning of 20th may 2009 , at there was a distinct buzz in the air it was as though you are anticipating a magical event.
As I was expecting a student a bit different from the rest , there were plenty of questions in my mind too; how would he take to instruction, would he be open to taking information, how should I structure my lesson with him. After all the student on hand was none other than Sachin Tendulkar.
We were introduced and within a few minutes he made everyone around him comfortable. He made it clear that he was there to learn, understand, and have a good time. The next words from him were “Coach, when do we start”?
This was delayed as Sachin wanted gloves for both hands, that's how it had been in cricket and that’s the way he was comfortable. The next few minutes were spent in warming up and in the meanwhile I was assessing his range of shots, drawing up a plan for him in my head. He had a good idea of what was needed versus what was natural, with an obvious intention to learn more about golfing technique.
Down to it
When we started, I found majority of this shots were going to the right , this was because a bit of cricket was coming in the swing. As a habit, Sachin had his club face open through the impact just like he would do for his trademark straight drive or let us just say playing in the V. Now that would work in cricket but the dynamics of a golf swing are a lot different.
I only had to point this out once and he got it right within five minutes. Again, all I had to tell him was , that you need to roll the forearms over like if one were to play a hook shot to the left over your shoulder. He closed his eyes, visualised the motion, took ten practice swings and by the third shot, the balls were flying straight. Over the next two hours we worked on the long game, chipping and putting.
No time to waste
Overall, Sachin had a short back swing with a great body turn packed with enough power. During the lesson, I also had the opportunity to pick out a golf set that suited him & since Sachin was a brand ambassador for Adidas he was given a custom built golf set from TaylorMade.
Given the stature of my student for the day, the managing director of TaylorMade India was there with his entire team during the fitting to make sure Sachin got the best fit. One interesting observation that came from the fitting was that as he was used to playing with a short handle bat and that he would prefer the same for his golf clubs.
Nifty. Crafty. Picky
With a short back swing and a short handle for his years of playing cricket, Sachin obviously needed and would enjoy the feel of stiffer shafts. Only a player of that experience could relate to something like that and all so quickly.
I have coached a few renowned sportsmen in my time but coaching Sachin Tendulkar, former captain of the Indian cricket team, and one of the best batsman ever, was the most exciting lesson that I have given in my life, as a coach.