Indian shooting is growing by leaps and bounds. The numbers are constantly breaking records for entries in national championships despite stringent standards.
Even though the consistent world-class performances by the shooters at the top has been encouraging across rifle, pistol and shotgun streams, the National Rifle Association of India (NRAI) has implemented the Education program for coaches and judges from last year to strengthen the foundation.
“Our goal is to ensure that the coaches and judges we train are of the highest quality and are able to contribute effectively to the growth of the sport,” said Pawan Singh, the Director of Education program and the joint-secretary of NRAI.
Seasoned coaches Manoj Kumar in rifle and Ronak Pandit in pistol have been handling the coaches courses this year, first in Mhow, Madhya Pradesh, and later in Tiruchirapalli in Tamil Nadu.
“The NRAI screens the applications, keeping various factors in mind, and selects only 15 each in rifle and pistol for the course. The trainees only spend on their travel and stay. Rest of the expenses are met by the organisers. The Olympic Gold Quest (OGQ) funds the project,” said Manoj.
“The NRAI and OGQ aim to educate over 9,000 coaches and over 600 judges at different levels in the next five years,” said Pawan.
Apart from technical aspects explained by the expert coaches, the trainees also listen to a variety of experts on sports science, communication, etc.
“We try to engage the trainees in lively sessions and make it interesting. They are all keen to learn and we make it a point to ensure that they grasp the points, with a practical approach. After a week-long course, they all go back to their places and continue to implement the coaching system that they have learnt. We follow up with them regularly,” said Manoj.
Touching on the finer aspects of having a strong foundation and correct methods, Manoj pointed out that the posture of a shooter was of paramount importance.
“The shooting posture should have balance and comfort. If the shooter has a wrong posture for four years, it becomes difficult to make the correction. Good coaches at the basic level will ensure that the shooters follow the best practices so that it becomes easier for them to grow to world standards in due course of time”, observed Manoj.
Apart from good coaches, there is also a widespread demand for good officials. Pawan explaied that the NRAI has conducted judges course in Shillong, Delhi and Asansol. It is also in the process of doing the next course in September.
“In one year, the NRAI has trained over 125 coaches and in three months, we have trained over 90 technical officials”, said Pawan.
With a sound education program, Indian shooting finds itself on strong ground for a brighter future.
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