According to India U-17 National Team’s Mental Conditioning Coach Dr Swaroop Savanur, the team is ‘mentally ready’ to participate and play under pressure in the FIFA U-17 World Cup, set to be hosted by India from October 6 to 28.
India have been drawn in Group A of the tourmament with USA, Colombia and Ghana. The Indian team arrived in Delhi on the eve of September 26 and will face USA on October 6 in their first encounter, before locking horns against Colombia and Ghana on October 09 and October 12 respectively at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium.
“They boys are mentally fit and are raring to go,” Dr. Swaroop said. “Obviously there is pressure but pressure is part and parcel of any competitive sport. I believe, the boys are mentally fit to deal with it.”
“I am continuously working on different techniques and strategies to make them strong from within. With the support of the Head Coach, I am integrating the mental aspect of the game along with the technical and physical training that is going on.
Dr Swaroop added that the hosts have it in them to make a difference. “This is India’s biggest football tournament and it is the first time our players will be battling it out in the World Cup and that too, in front of home crowd. The challenge is enormous, but I believe, the boys have it in them to make a difference,” he said.
“The players have been very positive about understanding and adopting various mental strategies. The mental aspect is a continuous and evolving process and as they grow, these mental skills will help them become better and more successful players.”
“Fitness is a work in progress, be it physical or mental and although the road is long, the players should stay mentally fit for the challenge ahead and will meet it head on with the best of their abilities,” he added.