Mental strength as important as physical training: Women's junior wrestling coach
New Delhi, Sep 14 (PTI) Wrestling is a sport which is synonymous with power for most, but Indian junior women's coach Ram Budaki says mental training is as important as physical strength.
"Along with physical training we emphasise on mental training into the girls regime. It is equally important as physical training," Budaki told PTI.
"The girls are made to do meditation daily. We want to reduce their stress levels. After physical training, they have to do compulsorily morning and evening sessions of meditation," he added.
The exercise helps the players to calm their nerves after an exhausting grappling session.
"Meditation also helps in motivating the girls, it increases their self-confidence, eliminates self-doubt. We ask the girls to think about whatever makes them feel confident and happy. Things like how it feels to win a medal for India. That sets a positive mindset," Budaki said.
"The meditation has helped me a lot. I feel at peace, my mind feels lighter once I am through with the session," Swati Shinde, who won a bronze medal at the Junior Asian Wrestling Championship in July, said.
The junior women's team is heading to the World Wrestling Championship, which is slated to be held in Slovakia from September 17-23. India will also field teams in the men's freestyle and greco-roman categories.
Asked about the confidence level of the players, the coach was quick to point out that the Asian Games success of senior wrestlers such as Vinesh Phogat and Divya Kakran has boosted the morale of his students.
"It was a plus point for us that senior players like Divya and Vinesh won medals at the Asian Games. The girls take inspiration from them. We also had a couple of training sessions with them. The girls were thrilled," Budaki said.
On preparation ahead of the World Championship, Budaki said he has made a few changes in the techniques of the wrestlers and is confident those will work in their favour.
"We (coaching staff) gave a lot of extra time to the players as per each ones requirements. I have concentrated more on the techniques this time. We observed the techniques of all the world players, then we had several sessions focussing on those techniques with each wrestler. We have tweaked the techniques of our girls accordingly," he said.
"I am confident that Anshu, who won a gold medal in the World Cadet Championship, Swati, who is the top player in India in her weight category and Mansi, who clinched the silver at the Junior Asian Wrestling Championship will do well," he added