The India U-17 Women’s Team, which is currently camped in Jamshedpur, is getting an entirely new kind of training that looks into their mental health and development. As the world of football moves forward together, advancements in our understanding of various sciences have improved the way we approach different things. The training has become more scientific, with drills aimed at both strengthening the players from a physical, technical, and tactical standpoint.
With a Mental Conditioning coach being part of the support staff, the U-17 girls are hugely benefiting on that aspect, with every player receiving a one-on-one session, amongst other exercises. “Right now, we are at the formation stage of these sports psychology sessions,” quipped Mental Conditioning Coach Nicole Menezes. “We have had one-on-one sessions with each player and we are assessing them on various parameters – their background, their motivation, their aim in the camp and in life in general.”
“The intention is to understand them and make an assessment. How much workload can they mentally take, and then prepare a suitable plan that will help them hone their skills so that they can go ahead and perform their best,” Menezes continued. “The girls are currently unaware that the mind is something that you can work on. We must understand that these are adolescent girls, and the right kind of mental guidance at this age could help them in the long run in their careers.”
Football is a demanding sport, and though the India U-17 Women’s Team is still in the preparatory stage of a camp, they have already started to receive a certain level of mental conditioning that is aimed at helping them as they approach competitive matches. “Whenever you are part of an organised sport, results become hugely important, and when there’s demand for results, there is always room for expectations and a great deal of pressure because of it,” informed Menezes. “Not everyone is able to keep up and they need to learn how to handle the pressure, fear of mistakes and doubts.”
“If an athlete is trained well enough mentally, they will not feel such doubts and fears while walking out onto the pitch for a match. Just like they have physical warmups before matches or training sessions, there are a number of mental warmup routines that help them get in the zone even before they …….