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Athletes will need 6-8 weeks to return to competition after lockdown: Dipankar Bhattacharyya

The lockdown to combat COVID-19 put a standstill to the sports activities in the country as well as in the world.

Dipankar Bhattacharyya

Sentinel Digital DeskBy : Sentinel Digital Desk

  |  17 May 2020 9:54 AM GMT

Our Sports Reporter

GUWAHATI: The lockdown to combat COVID-19 put a standstill to the sports activities in the country as well as in the world. Renowned sports medicine specialist Dr. Dipankar Bhattacharyya, (GM-MS, OIL) feels that early part of the post lockdown will be very crucial for the players as well as the coaches and sports organizers. In an interaction with The Sentinel he also suggests that at least 6-8 weeks would require to bring the athletes in competition mode once they start practice again. Here is the excerpt.

The Sentinel (TS): Can lockdown make a negative impact on the players?

Dipankar: Athletes are addicted to training and competition. So all of a sudden when everything has come to standstill there would be some kind of negative impact on them. I agree not all the athlete will suffer but a section of them will definitely face a few problems to handle the situation when normalcy starts to return.

TS: Will you elaborate it a little?

Dipankar: Look, nature of all human being is not same. Some people can find the solution of each and every problem very easily. However it's not the same to everyone. When problem arises they become tense and take too much pressure on them. You may find many athletes during post lockdown period who will be tensed thinking about their future. Several things will start to move around his mind like whether he is taking too much time to gain fitness; opponent is ready for the competition but not me etc etc.

TS: How to tackle the situation?

Dipankar: Sports organizers and the coaches have to play crucial role here. Once the things start to become normal they should be in touch with the players and try to know their mental condition. If everything is ok then it is fine. But if someone faces problem to overcome the situation the coaches and organizers must give some more time to him. If necessary they can take the help of experts also.

TS: How much time a player will need to gain full fitness for competition?

Dipankar: Look, whether you are Usain Bolt or Hima Das it doesn't matter. If you skip training at a stretch for three weeks or more your fitness level would come to zero and you have to start from fresh. Top level athletes of the country may face fewer problems as they are following certain training instruction provided to them by their coaches and associations. But it would not be same for state and district level players. They will struggle when they return into the training. So athletes should get at least six to eight weeks to gain full fitness and return into the competition mode once the lockdown is over and they start training.

TS: What advice you would like to give to the athletes who are now spending their time at home?

Dipankar: They must spend certain period of time on training in each day. There are many ways to do fitness training at home. Climbing staircase is a good exercise. Skipping is another one. Generally an athlete undergoes five different types of training which are: strength, speed, endurance, flexibility and agility. Stretching is a good exercise to improve body flexibility and you can easily do it at home. All the athletes should work on those areas and that too on regular basis. It would help them to regain fitness quickly. Another point I want to highlight is that the athlete must be very cautious about their meal. Foods with more calories can increase their weight and it will invite big trouble.

TS: Anything else !

Dipankar: I feel it is the good time to work on improvement of skill. The question is how? It's very simple. If a player thinks he has any week areas in his game he can easily consult the matter with his coaches and former players. As athlete are now inside their home so they can spend more and more time to work on those areas which is little bit difficult when competition and regular training is going on. Watching videos of great players is another good thing to do during the lockdown period. I would like to advice a few more things like to do meditation and read books. These will help to stay calm which I feel is very essential in this period. Mental rehearsal of game like situation is also a good thing to do at home. It's a type of rehearsal of a physical skill without movement. It is effective both for skill learning and preparing for competition.

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