Uncertainty due to Covid-19 has made it crucial to keep Olympics-bound athletes mentally strong: Leading physio Arvind Yadav | Tokyo Olympics News – Times of India

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NEW DELHI: The Covid-19 pandemic has played havoc with the mindset of athletes world over, with the postponement of the Tokyo Olympics, cancellation of several qualifiers and international meets and disruption in training and exposure trips leading to an environment of uncertainty.
The need to earn livelihood, maintaining physical fitness and keeping oneself injury-free, besides looking after the family’s health made the sportspersons fight on multiple fronts amid the raging pandemic and subsequent lockdowns.
The unpredictability of this situation has made the role of the coaching support staff attached with the Indian athletes much more important, as these professionals work on providing players with the physical space, nutritional diet and personalised engagement to remain in good spirits.

Dr Arvind Yadav, former physio of the Tokyo Olympics-bound Indian archery team who has previously worked with several franchises during his stint with the Pro kabaddi League (PKL), told TOI that the need of the hour is for coaches, mental trainers and sports federations to ensure the holistic well-being of players by giving personalised attention to each one of them.
“It’s time to value mental health and various aspects associated with it. The pandemic has caused angst amongst the sporting fraternity, as they are worried about their livelihood, physical fitness, injuries, family welfare and several other issues. With lockdowns, bio-bubbles, hotel quarantines and Covid-related travel restrictions, these issues got accentuated further, leading to injury and fitness issues,” Yadav explained.
“The Olympics are nearing and it’s important to peek into an athlete’s mindset from the point of his physical and mental well-being. The coaching staff has to adopt a creative approach in producing the right environment and identifying the minutest details of a player’s daily schedule to iron out issues on a case-by-case basis,” he added.

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Yadav cited accessibility constraints for Indian players to training facilities during the initial periods of the lockdown and how picking up simple fitness activity and hobbies helped them divert their attention away from external pressures.
“Some of these issues pertained to financial commitments, franchise expectations and fears over long durations of inactivity. Support staff and mental trainers working with players on developing mental strength and spending quality time with families have become essential to prepare them for upcoming Olympics and manage a quick reset.”
With less than 50 days to go for the Olympics, India’s Tokyo-bound athletes are giving final touches to their training.
“We have to support each other through this period, and we are quite confident about great performance in the coming Olympics. I would be fairly confident to say that the performances will be impaired across a lot of sports. Let’s hope for the best.”

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