Great online session, but nothing like in the field

KOLKATA: The Covid-19 pandemic has disordered the sports world. The days have turned into weeks and then months, but sporting events around the world are still suspended and by all accounts it will take a while before they return. However, sports associations in India have found ways to keep players involved during this crisis through online classes, tournaments, and webinars.

Although the technical part of his sport has been left in the background due to space limitations, the focus has been on the physical state and mental maintenance of the players.

Six times world champion MC Mary Kom in an online education program conducted by the Boxing Federation of India (BFI) explained the nuances of injury management to other boxers. I taught them from my experience and from the athlete's perspective. In this way, he must have helped participants during this time as they cannot go out and train at any academy, Mary told TOI.

When asked if online sessions are effective compared to actual sessions, the 37-year-old said: This has its own positive and negative aspects. We are doing it because there is no other option. The good news is that many of our boxers and athletes are taking advantage of these programs, which may not be possible in person at this time. I would say that these online sessions are good and very useful.

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Olympian Joydeep Karmakar is fueled by enthusiastic criticism of the recently concluded online shooting competition. Each and every participant in the online tournament felt the pressure of competition even as they shot from their rooms or basements. It gave them the much needed psychological boost, Karmakar said.

Echoing his thoughts, Commonwealth Games gold medalist Manu Bhaker said: I was looking forward to a competition and the online event helped me evaluate my performance. This initiative will keep our spirits high during this blockade.

Karmakar has also started an online session to keep the students at his academy motivated. The shooters became depressed after the first days of confinement. They were afraid of losing shape, he reported.

With little chance of working on technicalities, Karmakar organized online discussions based on the background of the sport, the Olympic movement and on the champions of the game. Knowing the theories of sport is as essential as achieving the correct posture while shooting. So I started asking them questions and let them surf the Internet for an answer. Later we discuss the issue. I'm amazed at how much this exercise has helped me get involved at the time, Karmakar said.

While sports like chess can be played inside the room and shooting can be handled on the grass, basement, or living room, players who participate in outdoor sports like cricket, soccer, hockey, golf and various others have to manage it with only exercise and mental strengthening sessions

Bengal Ranji trophy starter Abhishek Raman feels the 45-minute video session with the former India player VVS Laxman It has helped him regain his focus. Mr. Laxman did not speak about technical problems, but focused on how to deal with failures and ways to regain confidence. He suggested ways to mentally prepare for the upcoming season and stay fit. It is a new but extremely useful form of learning, Raman said.

The ISL-6 ATK champion has also provided each team member with a fitness program. Our coach has given us a schedule and I am working to keep him in shape, said club right-back Prabir Das. Similarly, India's top table tennis player Sutirtha Mukherjee spends 3 hours a day keeping fit. Besides physical exercise, there is not much you can do at home. Coach Soumyadeep Roy is helping us with physical and mental exercise schedules, Sutirtha said.

For golfers based in Chandigarh Shubhankar Sharma These sessions are a way to get back to basics and clear doubts in the mind.

However, GM Dibyendu Barua, who is teaching online classes for his students, believes that players can benefit from online sessions right now, but a real chess game is much more competitive. With the availability of laptops and the internet in every home, kids are getting a lot of help from these classes, but I'd rather play head-to-head with an opponent, Dibyendu added.

Echoing his thoughts, Karmakar said: Online training is only for these tough times, but it cannot replace physical training.

According to the sports psychologist. Mugdha Bavare , players have taken this block in stride and online sessions have played an important role in it. Most athletes participate in webinars and join fitness sessions. These have helped players deal with this crisis. As a mental coach, I keep telling players to control the controllable and stay fit and mentally healthy, Bavare said.