Bengal Warriors coach Pratap Shetty: Pro Kabaddi League has brought fame to Kabaddi
The Star Sports Pro Kabaddi league’s fourth season is just a couple of days away, and all the teams are engrossed in the practice, preparing to give a tough fight to their opponents and seeking every little advice of their coach and working rigorously on it.
The Pro Kabaddi League will see Pratap Shetty as Bengal Warriors coach for the second consecutive year. Shetty prepared the Warriors for a tough time in the third season; however, the team lost to U Mumba and Puneri Paltans to finish fourth. This year Shetty has geared up his Warriors and has worked immensely on their stamina, their fitness, while paying special emphasis on the player’s strength and working on their weakness.
In an exclusive interview with Sportskeeda, Shetty talks about his Warriors’ strengths, practice sessions and how Pro Kabaddi has been a boon for the players.
Shetty hails from Bangalore but has been born and brought up in Mumbai. The coach has also been associated with cricket in the past. Shetty’s path towards kabaddi was paved because of cricket, prior to joining Kabaddi, Shetty played cricket for six years but his company played Kabaddi and he joined them. His height gave him benefits and the game started to interest him more and he got absorbed in it. Shetty has been associated with Kabaddi since 1992.
Shetty has a Kabaddi team of his own, and all his team players are a part of Pro Kabaddi League, out of which five are in Bengal Warriors itself. His boys include the Warriors’ captain Nilesh Shinde as well.
Shetty has focused on each player individually, and worked on his weakness/strengths. Shetty expects the team to fair well after the month long workout and practice seasons that they have had, and is optimistic of seeing the Warriors in the finals this time.
“The boys are also quite motivated and have the faith that they can make it to the finals”, said the coach.
Senior players important for team
Speaking on the team's bonding and the great rapport he shares with the side, Shetty said that because five players, namely, Nilesh Shinde, Surjeet Narwal, Nitin Madane, Vishal Mane and Girish Ernak have been associated with him for past 5-10 years, and because they are senior players it helps the team in bonding.
“When the senior players come along well, the juniors also co-ordinate and it makes a great team,” says Shetty.
Talking about his team’s strengths Shetty was all praises for his defence with Vishal Mane making it stronger this time.
“Our defence cover is strong; Vishal Mane’s entry into the team has boosted it. In addition, our three raiders have returned stronger after fighting their injuries and we are working on them,” added Shetty.
On the team’s captain, Nilesh Shinde, Shetty says that he is a senior player and plays his responsibilities well and keeps the team balanced.
The practice sessions of the team consist of running, physical training and weight training. The team practices for 90 minutes in the morning and 90 minutes in the evening. The sessions include a lot of running, grilling, physical training; weight training is that takes place in the morning sessions, and in the evening stretching, warm up, and an hour’s ground practice.
The team also goes through a visual training, where an analysis of the previous season’s matches is done, the major catches and misses of their team, the other team’s play is analysed and accordingly, the training is directed.
Shetty agrees that things were different before Pro Kabaddi league.
“We were actually breaking our legs and getting all bruised while playing Kabaddi but there wasn’t much of recognization but now things have changed for good. Now, the teams have fan following and its good and difficult at times. Like after Pro Kabaddi League when we head for the other tournaments, where we do not have any security and protection, it gets problematic because the fans do not even spare the changing rooms. So, now we request the organizers for bouncers and security for the player’s safety,”