“I am not so talented.There are many, many players more talented than me. I just work very hard to stay at the top of my game.”
These are words of Saina Nehwal, the Badminton superstar of India. What made her the champion that she is today? This book is a detailed account of her tale and traits that made Saina sustain at the top of such a competitive sport for a long time.
My first and final impression
When I started the book, I wasn’t very sure what to expect from the book, whether it’s about Saina’s life as a sports icon or her winning theories. Few pages down, I realised author Jatin Gupta has explicitly stated the takeaway from the book right there in the title – Winning like Saina : Think and succeed like Nehwal. The book offers a systematic analysis of the winning traits, qualities of a champion like Saina Nehwal and draws parallels from it to give great insight to readers. The best part of the book is that the author put across useful tips for success and management concepts in a comprehensive manner without using much technical jargons. Instead he has cleverly managed to explain and emphasis his points with help of backup stories from life’s of other prominent personalities; and who doesn’t pay attention to such inspiring real life stories!
Pros and Cons
In a nation where cricket reigned, to rise up in an individual sport like Badminton to win the admiration of the entire nation and to be World number One, is a commendable achievement. There can be no better choice of a sport icon to inspire people aspiring to win in their respective fields. Saina and her humble beginning makes it more relatable to reader. Author has mentioned at several places how important a role her parents played in her formative years and even later, maybe that’s the reason why he mentioned, ”Think and succeed like Nehwal.”
The book doesn’t follow a timeline pattern but instead it is structured in a way that each chapter deals with some Trait or factor which contributed in her winning story. As an inference of each chapter it gives something which each one can imbibe into their respective lives or careers for making it more successful.
The management point of views have been subtly incorporated through support stories, quotes or concepts and statistics . Through vast reading and experience author has manged to weave in some interesting but relevant stories to prove his points like that of Brooklyn Bridge story or about inspiring tale of racer Niki Lauda makes the book more engaging. Some of the topics were little repetitive especially about mentors and few of her traits, maybe because of its relevance at various phases of her life . While most of the sub stories were engaging I felt few of chapters could be more crisper. The book highlights the role of the various mentors in Saina’s life and the significance of mentoring and mentors in every sphere of life.
“Having a mentor is not being ineffective but an effort to be more effective.”
The book navigates through various traits of Saina like her hard working nature, winning attitude, the analytical approach and various other qualities which made her the first queen of Indian Badminton. Though it has been discussed pertaining to Saina’s success story, these are pretty much essentials required for being successful not just in sports but in any field.
“True battle rages inside. It is not on the field that the battle is won but in mind.”
One thing I felt was, since the book was on Saina’s life a little more unheard anecdotes about her life would have been an attraction to the book. It would have been interesting if it had incorporated little of Saina’s personal experiences or perspective about her journey in badminton.
Overall, this is an interesting insightful book on what made Saina such a successful champion that can be used in our own lives to succeed in our respective fields. The narrative based on someone like Saina Nehwal makes the book relatable at the same time motivating. If you are looking out for an inspiring story which will give you tips or motivation to steer your life and career in a positive manner I recommend this book.
Author(s): Jatin Gupta
Publisher: Rupa Publications
Release: June 2018
Genre: Non Fiction/Personal Development
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