A few weeks ago, when the whole nation and Indian community all over the world was busy viewing the fate of the Rock star God man: Gurmeet Ram Rahim of Dera Saccha Sauda (a religious sect in India), I was looking at some other sporty news flashing on the TV:
3. Indian Badminton Team Coach Pullella Gopichand said the Chinese players had much more disciplined routine on courts compared to their contemporary lot who could be seen on court with mobiles. Also, he said players missed out at important moments when their matches were scheduled keeping in mind the fans and TV telecast timings in home country.
6. Col Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore said something about treating all sportsmen/women as VIPs.
As days passed, physical training became a habit, although I never enjoyed it. I hated getting up early for running and marching on hard parade grounds wearing big bulky boots which weighed more than my bones probably. But the worst was definitely the long cross-country marathons and the sports competitions. I looked like a fool-a total misfit- on the playground as I could play no game and my endurance was next to zilch when it came to long distance running.
2. Presently, most of them were not engaged in active competitive sports due to their other duties. They were visibly struggling to match pace with their young well-trained opponents.
3. Also, they were not getting any extra perks/benefits for playing the sport in Services while their counterparts in civil were able to gain monetarily as well as professionally in this field.
4. Differences in the ranks of all the players made it further impossible to create harmony amongst them.
5. On top of all this, I felt my inexperience in being a suitable manager aggravated their poor performance.
I submitted my report and as usual life progressed without any changes.
1. Even these trainees were forced to undergo all other training activities and were not allowed to participate in commercial/professional civil sports tournaments as a result of which many of them wanted to quit.
2. Those who still managed to remain were troubled by poor diet, insufficient rest and injuries.
This was when I realised the decline in performances of Services players in many national/international events. If somebody managed to perform well, it was always a story full of struggles on all levels, rather than that of successful teamwork.
Although I realised living inside an Armed forces campus, I was blessed to breathe pollution free air and have huge play grounds and specialized sports equipment, there was a need to create the right attitude towards sports even in the Armed Forces. There was definitely a need to look at this field in a more professional manner. Since the armed forces are also a smaller version of the larger Indian society, one found people were more interested in social media and other commercial pursuits such as shopping and eating fast food.
The old customs of meeting people through social drinking and dining were overdone through late-night parties and meaningless boozing which gradually becomes an addiction. As a result, the outdoor physical activities become less inviting with rising age and experience. While we are posted at metro cities, one engages the children in either academic or co-curricular activities but rarely in activities related to professional sports. And when it comes to isolated places like the cities in far north-east or north, survival takes precedence over everything else. Thus the children start to loose interest and continuity too.
1. The competitions would start late, although the reporting time would be quite early in the mornings.
2. While some coaches would take good care of their wards, some would just desert them to look after themselves. Thus, some participants would be well- warmed up and practiced while some others would be running from one court to another preparing for their bouts themselves.
3. Due to a large number of participants, the fights would go on in any order decided by the officials without any attention to the age or performance of the participants.
matter but only a matter of personal genius. We didn’t take pride in creating a sportsperson just as a doctor, engineer or a teacher. Also, we did not believe in creating a disciplined environment for the growth of sportsperson. We have still not accepted that it takes a lot of mental, physical as well as emotional effort to become a successful sportsperson. In fact, it takes a lot more to be a consistent performer in the field of sports. With growing age and experience, every sportsman needs an equally capable coach and parent to challenge him/herself, to push one to come out of the comfort zone and to be updated with the current generation.
Another reason I feel that goes against Indian sportsperson is the amount of extra attention they get once they perform in one global event. For example, look at the
Phogat sisters and you will see how their performance had gone down in this year’s Pro Wrestling League. You may be happy to see how smartly dressed they are in various talk shows and reality shows but talking about their performance, you will have to struggle to find out the names of competitions they took part in last season. The sudden exposure to being a public figure or a celebrity leaves these sports persons bedazzled as not all are from a very well-to-do or educated backgrounds like P.V. Sindhu and not all are as focused as Dipa Karmakar who decently declined the BMW gifted by Sachin Tendulkar.