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Paris 2024: Bindra prepares shooters for mental game

Last updated on: March 31, 2024 20:08 IST

Look yourself in mirror and ask 'did I do my best': Abhinav Bindra tells Paris-bound shooters

Abhinav Bindra

Photograph: Kind courtesy Abhinav Bindra/X

"Look yourself in the mirror before going to bed and ask 'did I do my best'?." This is what Olympic champion Abhinav Bindra told shooters aspiring to excel at the upcoming Paris Games during an interactive session in New Delhi on Sunday.

During the session, India's first ever individual Olympic gold medallist answered queries and shared his experiences about competing at sport's grandest stage.

The session was held at Dr. Karni Singh Shooting Range, as the team entered the crucial final three months of preparation.


Bindra reminded the squad that "success is not a one-off event".

"Doing the right things consistently day in and day out is what leads to success."

On a query on how to maintain self-discipline, Bindra said, "You have to be brutally honest with yourself and everyday look yourself in the mirror before you go to sleep and ask yourself - did I do my best? If the answer is yes you will find you will have the result eventually."


Video: Kind courtesy NRAI

India have won a total of 19 quota places in shooting for the Paris Olympic Games across rifle, pistol and shotgun disciplines, their highest quota haul ever.

The session was organised by the National Rifle Association of India (NRAI), ahead of the first batch of shooters departing later in the day, for equipment testing to Europe.

Three such batches will leave in succession in April, besides a three-member women's air pistol squad and the shotgun squad competing at the final Olympic qualifiers in Rio and Doha respectively.

Later in April the first of four national Olympic selection trials for rifle and pistol shooters are scheduled at the same venue. This will be the first time a national trial for the sole purpose of picking the rifle and pistol Olympic squads will be conducted.

When asked what advice he would give a young Abhinav going back in time he surprised all by saying, "You know I strongly believe that I could not achieve my full potential. I wish I had more balance in life and could have other hobbies. I almost de-humainsed my pursuit.

"I would definitely tell myself to be kinder to myself. I feel I didn't pat myself on the back too often after I had achieved the goals I had set out to achieve."

"I feel that then you could recover better when you go back to the shooting range and be mentally stronger in competition. If you have several pillars in your life, your base is stronger."

Small bore coach Manoj Kumar asked what tools he had developed to counter Olympic expectations to which the champion said, "You have to increase your self-awareness as a shooter. The changes that are happening around you, you have to acknowledge them."

On specific preparations ahead of the Beijing Olympic Games he said, "You know by that time it was my fourth Olympics and I had managed to totally detach myself from the outcome."

"I was totally focussed on the process. I wanted to do my best with every single shot. I never thought of winning or losing. I managed to stay at the present moment because the truth is in the present moment."

He signed off by asking shooters not to train to get better in training, but to get better in competitions.

He urged them to not get into comfort zones in training and to challenge themselves constantly and make it harder.

The session was coordinated by the team High Performance Director Pierre Beauchamp. Also present was Sultan Singh, secretary general at National Rifle Association of India (NRAI). 

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