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How Lawn-Tennis Player Landed up Being a Successful Archer: An Interview with Abhishek Verma

India’s ace archer, talked to bodyandstrength.com in an interview about his life, challenges and dramatic turn of events which landed him into the challenging and thrilling sport of archery. He shared how he trains and keeps fit as well.

What does it take to aim and hunt down your target – the eye of an archer. Yes, the success mantra which is followed by whole world is literally lived by Abhishek Verma. In this interview with bodyandstrength.com he revealed his story.

Abhishek Verma has brought accolades to the country in Archery and is an Asian Games (2014) gold medallist in men’s compound archery team event along with Rajat Chauhan and Sandeep Kumar, and the silver medallist in the men’s individual event.

When did you start playing sport (Archery)?

In 2002 (June) I started playing Archery. I had free time as it was summers.

How did you get into this sport?

You can say that it was by mistake! Actually, I played lawn tennis and I have torn two rackets in a month then I demanded for third racket but my parents get offended and told it’s a very expensive game we cannot afford another racket to damage. This is how I shifted from Lawn tennis to Archery!

What are main skills required for Archery?

Dedication! Dedication is the main skill that’s required for any sport. You can practice and work hard towards your goal and rest of the things totally depend on the right time and dedication.

What is your training schedule?

My routine is very tricky. It changes according to the target. During competition, before competition and after competition my routine is different.

My current morning session is 6 to 9 am then gym session 9 to 10. Evening session starts at 3 and ends at 5 pm. After 5 o’clock I do other activities like meditation. I get free from my training sessions around 8 o’clock.

How do you deal with mental pressure during competitions?

I make my own imaginary world to compete in the competitions. It helps me throughout my game.

I do not see the other person as my competitor. My competitor is same in every competition. That competitor is no one other than ME. Target Board is my competitor either it is big or small event.

Keep yourself calm, positive, focused and relaxed – these are the key pointers to be remembered by any athlete.

Trust me! Imaginary World helps me a lot to win the medals.

What are the challenges you face in the field of sports?

Archery is an outdoor event so atmosphere plays an important role in winning the event. If weather is not in your favour you cannot perform well. Since there is nothing more unpredictable than the weather, some days are windy, some days are extremely hot or cold. So we train ourselves keeping in mind all the weather conditions and how to deal with it.

It is one of the most difficult challenges to give your 100 % in all the atmospheric conditions, no matter its windy or hot. The thing that only matters is your target and dedication.

How sports have helped you in your life?

Sports have taught me the value of life. In fact, Archery is my Life. Sports gave me my present and future. It gave me job, education, financial support and the most valuable person- my wife.

You have played various tournaments but which one is special for you?

Undoubtedly Asian Games is the most precious tournament for me. I have played 2 Asian Games. I played well in both year. I won one silver and one gold medal.

Asian Games were held after every four years. We patiently wait for it to happen, we work hard to get the medals. So we can say that Asian Games play an important role in any athlete’s life.

It’s not easy to wait for 4 years. We have to be dedicated and punctual to be selected in the Indian Team and play well. Be constant!

For Non-Olympic Games players, Asian Games are Olympic Games.

Who is your sports idol?

I admire all the Indian Players who represent our country on an International Platform. Sachin Tendulkar, Shushil Kumar, YogeshwarDutt - all are heroes! They had made their mark in the sports industry. No matter how many obstacles came in their way but they proved themselves.

What kind of assistance/help are you looking for from Indian government?

The Indian government is doing pretty well for the sports industry but they need to focus on it more. Recently the ‘Top Scheme’ launched by the government but it was for Olympic Games but what for Non-Olympic games?

If government would help us then we can practice more freely, get financial support and mental stability also.

Non-Olympic Players are dedicated too. We are giving medals in Asian Games, Commonwealth Games, World Championship, etc. to the country. So there should be no difference among the players. 

Describe your sport (Archery) in one word.

Archery is LIFE.

Your advice to the people on keeping fit and taking up sports.

I want to give advice to all the parents out there to promote your children and encourage them to get into sports. Sports can boost immune system and keep an individual mentally and physically fit.

It’s not necessary to win medals in games, games can give you a new life, games can keep you alive!

What are your future goals?

My ultimate aim is to win a gold medal in Asian Games. I am also training for world championships.

I want to open an academy for the aspiring players of India. I want to make young players successful sportspersons. India has huge amount of talent if we can perform well without so much facilities and help then there is no idea how much we can do with support and guidance.

It was enlightening and encouraging session with the aspiring Asian Games gold medallist. We believe that destiny starts from a vision and will which happens in your mind and definitely, the nation wishes Abhishek all the very best!

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