Good health leads to better longevity of an individual and also enhances performance levels. In order to have good health one needs physical activity and will have to take up one sport or the other to maintain their health. On these same lines, professional thinking amongst sports associations and introducing quality professional programmes, will enhance athletes performance from the grass root level.
Introduction of proper coaching methods and the need for qualified coaches must be a priority. Coaches need to be professional in their approach and must introduce modern techniques to athletes.
Every association needs to employ certified coaches in order to produce quality athletes. Emphasis needs to be given for introduction of modern training methods, physical conditioning, diet and then give them the much needed practical exposure.
The Sports Authority of India (SAI), which has certified training programme for coaches at the National Institute of Sports (NIS, Patiala) needs to introduce modern methods of coaching and grading levels to the coaches.
Many of the B. PEd M. PEd students from various Universities come out with little practical knowledge to take up the job of Physical Education Teachers/Directors in schools and colleges. In order to train the children and athletes, the M. PEd/B. PEd graduates need to have the necessary coaching skills and should possess the required grading for coaching.
Coaches in developed countries like Australia, USA., UK, China and others have specialists in their disciplines and have the required grading for coaching. In our country, we do not emphasise on the same and the children made to suffer with them not being coached scientifically at the grass root level.
Each State has a Department of Sports and coaches are employed in different levels from the Taluk, District and State-level for different sports. Even the Associations employ coaches for coaching their state team and to run their academies. Coaches in these centres need to be qualified for the job and should be professional in their approach and should be accountable for the performances of the squad.
Spotting talents and taking them to the next level is the need of the hour. It’s the duty of the coach to notice and tap the talent and to maintain a periodical report on athlete’s performances for further review.
Improvements and excellent performances must be rewarded by way of incentives and others who need improvement must be encouraged and told about where they stand and what needs to be done in order to progress further.
Each association need to spot talent in each age category in the boys and girls section from the sub-junior to the senior level and should on the basis of their ranking/performance give them the needed training and exposure.
Development of modern infrastructure is also one of the aspects which the association must focus. Educational institutions, Universities, colleges and schools should provide top class infrastructure to the students as they collect sports and Infrastructure development fee. Some part of the same should be pooled back and also grants can be obtained from UGC.
Everything cannot be done by the Government alone. It is important for private organisations to join hand with public sector to promote sports and infrastructure.
Need for Sports Management
The concept of Sports Management must be adopted by all sporting associations across the country and emphasis must be given to accountability to achieve positive results. Every State has to formulate a Sports Policy of its own which caters to the development of sports in the State (development of infrastructure, incentive to sports persons, sponsorship/financial assistance to sports persons, Coaching expertise, conducting of International, National & State meets in all Olympic disciplines, employment opportunities to sports persons in State government etc).
All the National Associations and recognised Olympic sports disciplines listed by the National Olympic Committee will be funded by the Government of India. The respective Associations which receive the funds need to be accountable. Athletes, who represent the country need to be compensated financially by each Association for various competitions in which they take part.
Elections should be held as per the norms in every National Association and State affiliated bodies. Preference should be given to former sports persons to enter mainstream administration. Persons above 70-years and politicians must not be elected as office-bearers. Sports administration should be free from political interference.
The onus is on the Associations and the State bodies to work in a professional way along with the sports persons and take Indian sport to new heights in the days to come.