When the camp for Tokyo-bound shooters began in New Delhi last month after seven months of training, it was a pleasant surprise to see rifle coaches that many athletes used that crippling time to improve their fitness.
It was not just about losing weight; A stronger core and better toned muscles also meant that shooters would be able to hold stock firing postures, weighing up to 10kg from the rifle and their shooting livery, reducing their demand.
But this new lean physique also required a significant adjustment: shooters wear clothes that fit the millimeter perfectly to their body’s requirements. The clothes are designed to support muscles and joints, so that a shooter can remain very stable in his posture. Now that their bodies had changed, clothes had to be changed as well.
“During the lockdown every shooter focused on his physique and he became much more frustrated than before. Therefore, a lot of changes were required on their equipment, ”said Rifle Coach Deepali Deshpande. “Apoorvi (10m air rifle in Chandela, world no. 7) lost a few kilograms and needed new trousers. Divyanshu (Panwar, world number 1, 10 meter air rifle) also lost some weight and had to order a new jacket. “
Panwar said that he worked on his core muscles and lost at least two kilos of weight during training at home.
“I do a lot of yoga. I ordered a new jacket, but it was not shipped due to lockdown. So, I told the producers about the changes and they made the adjustments, ”said Panwar, who tested positive for Kovid-19 last month.
The first half of the camp, which has an attendance of 32 shooters and will take place on Wednesday, was, in fact, largely about athletes getting used to their new attire.
“Every time you lose weight, the gear has to be adjusted accordingly so that it can take the shape of the body. So, to take advantage of even (better) fitness, first a shooter needs to get into the habit of his jacket and trousers, ”said Panwar coach Deepak Dubey.
If most sports are about movement and agility, then shooting is still steep; The smallest twitch of a muscle, the smallest cramps or involuntary postural adjustments can make for a bad shot. This cleanliness is the drainage and demand of water on the body; Shooters may not require large muscles, but they certainly require a high level of fitness.
“You need to be patient, have a strong core and flexibility so that you can stand and shoot for hours. Dubey said that you strengthen muscles in the standing position and increase the chance of injury.
Chandela and Sanjeev Rajput, the world’s No. 6 in Rifle 3 position, who have been shooting at elite level for years, have held their brushes with extreme injuries.
“Apoorvi has been competing internationally for eight consecutive years,” said his coach Rakesh Manpat. “This relief was a good time for him to work on his fitness. We got new jackets and trousers for him. This is an ongoing process. Technically there are always challenges for the shooter when any changes occur, but are taken care of during the training phase. “
Rajputs, as their discipline is named, have to shoot in three positions – standing, kneeling and prone.
“There are a lot of muscles that we are not able to focus on at times of regular competition,” Rajput said. “I did good physical work during the lockdown. I worked exclusively on my back muscles and thighs. Focusing on building muscle, I maintained my weight so that there was no fatigue. I needed to make minor changes with the gears but I could see a gain in stability. “
Deshpande, a high performance coach for rifle shooters, said that better fitness will only enhance the skills of the shooters.
“It will help their accuracy, accuracy,” she said. “The first part of the camp focused only on making these adjustments required in equipment. Due to this long break it has acted like a detox. When you are constantly shooting in competitions, a shooter is not able to focus much on fitness. But he found time during the lockdown to focus on it. “
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