Mental conditioning coach: 'Indian players mentally ready for the U-17 World Cup'

The Indian Colts face USA on October 6, before locking horns against Colombia and Ghana on October 9 and October 12 respectively at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in the capital.

The India U-17 team during a training session ahead of the World Cup.   -  Special Arrangement

The Indian U-17 team’s mental conditioning coach Dr Swaroop Savanur believes that the young colts are “mentally ready”, with a week left to go for the first ever FIFA World Cup to be hosted by India to kick-off. 

India has been drawn in Group A of the World Cup with USA, Colombia and Ghana. The Indian colts had arrived in the capital on the eve of September 26. 
 
The Indian Colts face USA on October 6, before locking horns against Colombia and Ghana on October 9 and October 12 respectively at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in the capital.

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“They boys are mentally fit and are raring to go”, Dr. Savanur informed. “Obviously there is pressure but pressure is part and parcel of any competitive sport. I believe, the boys are mentally fit to deal with it” 

Dr. Savanur's primary role is “to provide players with mental skills that can be practically applied on the field to help them push the mental barriers and face tough situations and challenges.”

"I am continuously working on different techniques and strategies to make them strong from within. With the support of the Head Coach, I am integrating the mental aspect of the  game along with the technical and physical training that is going on.

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One of the key areas that the Doctor focuses on, is helping players remain in control of their thoughts and emotions, so that they can express themselves on the field.  “This is India's biggest football tournament and it is the first time  our players will be battling it out in the World Cup and that too, in front of home crowd. The challenge is enormous, but I believe, the boys have it in them to make a difference."

The players have been very positive about understanding and adopting various mental strategies. The mental aspect is a continuous and evolving process and as they grow, these mental skills will help them become better and more successful players.”

“Fitness is a work in progress, be it physical or mental and although the road is long, the players should stay mentally fit for the challenge ahead and will meet it head on with the best of their abilities”, he added.

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