Underlining that less than 10 per cent archers train mentally, eminent coach Sanjeeva Singh on Thursday said mental toughness was essential for an archer to succeed in the Olympics.

Speaking at the inaugural session of the first-ever online ‘Train the Trainers’ programme organized by the Archery Association of India (AAI) and the Sports Authority of India (SAI), Sanjeeva said an archer needed to perform confidently at the biggest stage.

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“In the 2019 World championships men’s team event final, we had far more experienced archers than that of China, but we could not beat them as we lacked in mental toughness,” said Sanjeeva, an Arjuna and Dronacharya winning archer.

“If one can hit a 10 once, he should be able to do it again and again no matter whatever is the situation.”

Citing examples of Roger Federer, Michael Jordan and World and Olympic medallist archer Brady Ellison, Sanjeeva said setting goals, talking positively to oneself, relaxing, practising visualization and using simulations on a daily basis would help one become mentally tougher.

He emphasized on developing an eco system of support staff – including psychologist, mental trainers, physical trainers, physiotherapist, nutritionist and masseurs – to back various teams ahead of the Tokyo Olympics.

Union Sports Minister Kiren Rijiju, who inaugurated the 15-day holistic programme, said he learnt a lot from the session and would make some policy changes to ensure the country’s success in the Olympics next year.

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AAI president and Union Tribal Affairs Minister Arjun Munda said this initiative would go a long way in reaching out to the archery community in all parts of the country.