He is best known as the mentor to Abhinav Bindra, but Amit Bhattacharjee has helped many more overcome the limitations of the mind on the field. The renowned mental-conditioning coach believes individual sportspersons would find it easier to recover from the ongoing lockdown brought on by the coronavirus pandemic provided they continue to follow a routine through this period.
“The lockdown has a different conditioning of the mind in individual and team games. Besides the four-five hours of daily practice in their respective sports, people in individual events generally stay indoors, spending almost five-six hours while working on their minds. Their training is very separate from those in teams. They are already used to staying inside for long periods and are mentally very strong. So it will be easier for them to come out of the lockdown,” Bhatttacharjee told Sportstar.
Besides Bindra, Bhattacharjee has worked with cricketers Siddarth Kaul and Manan Vohra, golfers Ajitesh Sandhu and Abhijit Chadha and shooter Ayushi Poddar, as well as football teams East Bengal and Minerva Punjab FC. “When we do meditation, we tell the players that ‘fame is a bubble, honour is a shadow,’ and that you have to rise above it. You have to understand your inner power and we do it through breathing patterns, visualisation and most importantly, learning to balance the left and right brains,” said Bhattacharjee.
Teams, he said, worked differently. “There is psyche (body) and soma (mind) and they work in bundles, controlled by our subconscious mind. To ensure coordination, we work on linear mind mapping with the players using meditation techniques including sound vibrations, breathing patterns, energy management and visualisations related to nature. All players visualise the same game situation and proceed at the same rhythm,” he said.
Asked about the post-lockdown challenges, Bhattacharjee said, “An empty mind will lead to sleeping disorders, depression and negativity. The circadian (sleep-wake) cycle must be maintained. Those not practising these techniques may end up struggling to get mind-body coordination and suffer injury if they practise at high intensity immediately. Also, there will a lot of pent up aggression which will have to be channelled in the right direction,” he suggested.
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