"A coach is like a doctor" says Kim Ji Hyun and indeed it can be seen that she has healed P.V.Sindhu's game after watching the World Championship final. While Pullela Gopichand is a mentor for Sindhu, the 24 yr old shuttler is seen to be perfectly blooming under her new coach. There is a visible change in Sindhu's gameplay and body language and it is all coming from courtside, where her coach is highly animated and constantly motivating her and upping her confidence.
"At the top level, you can’t say who’s good, who’s bad. It’s all about mental strength. Players fight for every point. You can’t give a chance. You have to be consistent every time in your performance, your mentality. Sindhu was down when I arrived. Now she’s coming up, but I want her to stay up. It’s not about teaching badminton, you’re teaching life skills, respect, attitude, loyalty, everything is connected.”
Born on September 10, 1974, Kim Ji Hyun or Ji Hyun Marr (as she is also called) is a former South Korean right-handed Shuttler and a coach since 2001. Appointed in April this year, she is working with Sports Authority of India at Gopichand Badminton Academy where her main focus of coaching is on Sindhu and Saina Nehwal. She says that her main focus is on 'producing more champions than earning money'. She enjoys her role as a coach and is devoting her time in the improvement of physical fitness, mental health, and skills of her wards. She has a unique training style.
In her words: "I devise some funny exercises, so it’s not the same things over and over again. I have to integrate more skills. I create more exercises that make the players think. Sometimes we have lunch or dinner together".
Sindhu, who is currently world no.5 will surely benefit under her guidance.
Few facts about Kim Ji Hyun are:
She was World Junior Champion in 1989 World Championship.
She was 1994 Hiroshima Asian Games gold medalist.
She ended her career as a shuttler with a silver medal in 2001 Korean Open.
She has coached former world no.2 Sung Ji-Hyun, who is also a Korean shuttler.
She has 2 gold, 2 silver and 7 bronze medals to her name.
We hope to see her again in the future, guiding our badminton stars step by step to greater heights. For now, she will be missing from P.V.Sindhu's side in China Open and Korean Open due to medical emergency.