That small chat changed me as a person

I will always remember the words by Yogeshwar Dutt, and what was better was that at the end of it all I got to spend some time with the wrestling legend and we had a one-on-one interaction.

Gauri Sheoran and Yogeshwar Dutt.

“An athlete often strikes a lean patch, a period when he or she is not performing up to the mark. At that point in time, nothing assumes more importance than overcoming that situation. It does take some time but one must get over it. It is not like you will always win, but then again it is also true that you will not always lose.”

I will always remember these words by Yogeshwar Dutt. He was the chief guest at the annual awards ceremony of Punjab University and I happened to be there. What was better was that at the end of it all I got to spend some time with the wrestling legend and we had a one-on-one interaction.

Shooting is a sport that, like wrestling, requires extreme mental strength. He was the one who helped me with that aspect of my gameplay. At the function, he spoke at length about the importance of mental training saying all one has to worry about is giving his or her 100 percent and the rest is bound to fall in place. I also remember him stressing on the fact that one should never worry about the results if he was putting in all the hard work he possibly could.

With his encouragement, I took up yoga to help me cope with anxiety and develop mental toughness. Hard training sessions also make me confident and mentally strong.

The thing that inspires me most about him is the hard work and dedication that he puts into his sport. That small chat with him did change me as a person. It has helped me do better and evolve into a better athlete over time.

As told to Santadeep Dey.