How ‘dead man therapy’ sparked Minerva to life

A series of sessions with mental conditioning coach Amit Bhattacharjee changed the Punjab club’s fortunes in the I-League season.

Minerva Punjab FC footballers in one of the 'dead man therapy' sessions.   -  SPECIAL ARRANGEMENT

This is one therapy that helped Abhinav Bindra shoot gold in the Beijing Olympics a decade ago, and on Thursday, the same ‘dead man therapy’ guided Minerva Punjab to clinch its first I-League title.

And, the man who helped the Minerva players get accustomed to the ‘dead man therapy’ — a process that helps the players console the mind — is Dr Amit Bhattacharjee, a noted mental coach, who worked with Bindra during the Beijing Games.

READ: Minerva clinches I-League title

“I conducted nine classes with the players of Minerva. During the classes, which went on for nearly 40 minutes, I told the players not to lose hope and believe in themselves,” Bhattacharjee told Sportstar from his Chandigarh residence.

Dead man’s therapy is a unique meditation technique through which the mind receives maximum amount of oxygen. “Ranjit (Bajaj), the team owner, approached me last month after the team fared badly in two consecutive games. After that, we worked together and the result is out in the open,” an elated Bhattacharjee said.

Bhattacharjee (centre) helps the footballers meditate through his unique session.   -  SPECIAL ARRANGEMENT

 

While the Minerva players attended the training session in Chandigarh last month, they also visited Bhattacharjee’s residence on Tuesday for a last-minute session before its final clash against Churchill Brothers. “We had developed a team slogan, ‘We shall win, we shall win’. During the programme, the players were taught special body balancing, flexibility, stability and visualisation techniques. They helped in team co-ordination,” the seasoned mental coach added.

ALSO READ: 'Minerva’s rise was necessary for Punjab football’

Not just Bindra, Bhattacharjee has also worked with cricketers Manan Vohra and Siddharth Kaul in the past, and now, after playing a hand in Minerva’s title win, he believes that it is important for football teams to have regular mental training sessions. “In the past, I have worked with East Bengal for a couple of days. But it is important that the football and hockey teams take mental coaching seriously. In team sport, even collective or group mental training is immensely helpful,” Bhattacharjee said.

With Minerva taking the services of a professional mental trainer and reaping maximum benefits, it could well be a food for thought for other football clubs.

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