Coronavirus: Lockdown spreads use of technology in wrestling fraternity

Like other sportspersons, wrestlers know how to use smartphones for their training. The compulsion of staying indoors has made them friendlier with the device.

Wrestling coach Kripa Shankar Patel (left) teaching through video chat.   -  SPECIAL ARRANGEMENT

Like other sportspersons, wrestlers know how to use smartphones for their training. The compulsion of staying indoors has made them friendlier with the device.

“As shown in the Dangal movie, a few years ago people used to mock technology and say, ‘Are you going to teach wrestling on mobile phones?’ Now it's a reality. The mobile phone is an asset which keeps one connected with one's coach and helps in getting inputs,” Kripa Shankar Patel, who taught wrestling to the actors of Dangal, told Sportstar.

“Even as I take care of my ailing father and do my training for World veterans’ championships, I get several calls from wrestlers who seek help. I help them through video chats and other apps. Lockdown has definitely spread the use of technology among wrestlers,” said Patel, an Arjuna award-winning wrestler-turned-coach-turned-referee.

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Mahavir Prasad, a Dronacharya award-winning coach, concurred. “When we were active wrestlers, it took us months to know the latest trends in world wrestling. Now we keep ourselves updated because of technology.

“Technology is helping today’s wrestlers, especially in the time of lockdown. All of them are using video calling apps and Whatsapp to get inputs from their coaches and mentors,” said Mahavir.

Well-known coach Vinod Kumar, a Dhyan Chand award winner, noted how technology made a positive impact on wrestlers.

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“Most of the wrestlers may not be very well educated, but they are well acquainted with social media and the latest mobile technology. It goes well with the growing awareness and availability of sports science back-up.

“Had the lockdown happened in our time, in the 1980s, our training would have been badly hit without any guidance and inputs from our coaches. Today’s world is completely different.”

Vinod gave a fine example of the use of technology. “The message from United World Wrestling president Nenad Lalovic over the internet has given a lot of motivation to the wrestling fraternity during such a crisis. It has brought a lot of hope,” said Vinod.

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