The 20 commandments

"The NRAI should have a robust working relationship with the Services. It should also use the world class facilities of the AMU in Mhow and consider the possibility of holding skill development camps there, away from any distractions. The Services have over the years provided many shooters to the Indian team and this relationship has to be tapped and enhanced."

The 10 metres rifle/pistol range at the Dr. Karni Singh Shooting Range, Tughlakabad, in New Delhi. A comprehensive plan should be drawn up to maintain this facility.   -  RAJEEV BHATT

After due deliberation, the four-member review committee that identified the reasons for the shooting debacle at the Rio Games has come up with the following 20 recommendations that may help the National Rifle Association of India (NRAI) to train its team better for future sports meets.

1. The NRAI should have a competent person as a point of contact who is capable of dealing with the stakeholders ensuring that everyone is on the same page, leading to effective monitoring.

2. The federation needs to hire competent coaches. It needs to start grooming former shooters with a long term vision. The sanctity of the national camp must be restored. The camp has to be a skill development one and cannot be confused with pre-departure camps. The NRAI will have to start taking ownership of the camps and its athletes. It cannot be outsourced to SAI.

3. The NRAI should work with all the agencies (providing sponsorship to athletes) and ensure there is no overlap of resources. The goal is the same.

4. The NRAI should have a robust working relationship with the Services. It should also use the world class facilities of the AMU in Mhow and consider the possibility of holding skill development camps there, away from any distractions. The Services have over the years provided many shooters to the Indian team and this relationship has to be tapped and enhanced.

5. It is impossible to stop parents from accompanying their children on tours. Checks and balances have to be in place. Parents cannot expect the NRAI and its coaching staff to coordinate travel and logistics. In the junior teams, there should be no accreditation for accompanying kith and kin if they have no technical knowledge. During the shooting hours, the role of the national coach is paramount and it has to stay that way. The Olympic Village is a very lonely place and one has to be ready for it.

6. Physical readiness of shooters competing at the Olympics should be monitored. One of the coaches informed that it was one of the worst preparations ever. There was no holistic preparation, in terms of physical and mental training. 

7. Repeated failures in the Olympics cannot be held against a shooter to deny him another chance, if he or she is the best in the event. Indian shooting definitely does not have such abundance of talent and competent shooters that one can take a step of leaving an experienced shooter. It is the fundamental right of an athlete to represent the country, when he or she is the best. At the Olympics, experience is an asset.

8. The Dr. Karni Singh range in Tughlakabad is one of the best in the world, but it lacks maintenance. If competent authority, even a proven expert like the army, runs the range and utilises the space, possibly for a world class residential facility, gymnasium, swimming pool, etc., Indian shooting would be on a different plane. The NRAI needs to be proactive and come up with a workable solution with SAI to ensure the range is available to its shooters when they want and not when the officials decide to turn up.

9. Each State needs to have an active and functional shooting programme. Every State needs to address the basic requirements. The parent body must oversee the development of State shooting schemes as ultimately they will provide a feeder line.

10. There is an urgent need to have a core group of competent people who will completely take care of the shooting aspects of the federation. The administrative side of the federation may well focus on generating funds, making the sport popular. There is a general tendency to heavily rely on government funds and that is the foundation for all problems.

11. Introduction of Shooter Passport, in which the shooter, coaches and other agencies keep noting points, providing clarity about the shooter and his or her status overall. Like a school progress report, which is not only about marks any more, the shooters need to be monitored for various aspects, technical and otherwise, so that they themselves get a clear idea about where they stand and their goals.

12. Top juniors need to be consistently monitored and nurtured during the transition period. The senior and junior coaches should be in regular touch and there has to be a specific coach from the national panel looking after the juniors in transition. The junior coaches have to be given the support, in terms of personnel of their choice.

13. A code of conduct has to be formulated for all the shooters in all age groups.

14. The selection policy needs to be reviewed. The selection policy for the 2020 Olympics should be announced in 2017 and be ready for implementation by January 2018.

15. There has to be a scientific and comprehensive domestic calendar, made in consultation with the coaches.

16. The cut-off for National championship has to be increased to ensure better quality.

17. The NRAI needs a High Performance Manager who will coordinate between the shooters, the coaches, the NRAI and SAI.

18. There has to be a committee of experts to appoint coaches. 

19. There has to be experts like logistics manager, armourer etc.

20. The national federation needs to generate sponsorship and try to become self-reliant.

For more updates, follow Sportstar on :