Tejvir Singh, the fitness trainer of Delhi Ranji team recommends players to sweat it out in the field to keep their body and mind fit for the game
Tejvir Singh, is a man with a mission to keep his boys in the best physical form. He is a fitness trainer of Delhi Ranji team since 2002 and now has the additional charge of under-19 Delhi Ranji team as well. Tejvir who has trained with all the big names in the present Indian cricket team talks about his work, fitness benefits, changing attitude of youth and the rise of gym culture.
“Warm up is the most important,” according to Tejvir who adds, “It is a big concern and youngsters in their joy to kick start the game usually avoid doing warm up and increase chances of injuries. Warm up prepares the athlete mentally and physically, raises the flow of oxygen and blood circulation throughout muscles, tendons and ligaments. This strengthens muscles and makes them more flexible, reducing the chances of tears.” He believes that in order to succeed we must stay honest with our training schedule.
Fitness entails a lot of planning and prioritizing work. “We segregate our training in mainly three parts – off-season , pre-season and season. We have unique methods and approach for all three seasons. In every season we mainly deal in training players on cricketing skills, enhance their basic strength and endurance through a mix of cardio exercise, running and weight training. Ground training plays a decisive role and help players achieving explosive strength and the best form,” says Tejvir. He is not impressed with the way we are lifting English and Australians fitness formats and reasons that “we have different environment, genes, body structure and eating habits. We can’t follow foreign patterns blindly. It may seem working for them but somewhere we won’t be able to give our 100 per cent output.” Objecting to to the growing popularity of indoor training arrangement like gyms, he says, “I don’t agree with players who are fantasizing to have six pack abs and big biceps. It’s never going to work. Players forget they need to perform on ground during matches not in gym.” Advising youngsters to understand the difference between supportive and substitute workouts, he says, “If you as a fast bowler can bowl seven overs at a stretch then gym training can enhance your strength and you may then bowl ten overs at one go but gym training in isolation will kill your core ability to bowl fast and consistently. And don’t forget weight training is prone to injuries .Gym training supports your fitness and it is not a substitute for ground work.” Quizzed about the reasons for gym trend he remarks: “Remember Kapil Dev, Imran Khan, Richard Hadlee and Ian Botham, they were the players who had such a long remarkable career without any or little injuries. Gyms were there that time too but these players never took shortcuts. Gym does give you muscle strength but leaves endurance strength which is an essential on ground.”
Physical fitness determines the career of any sportsperson. So how does he counsel his players? “Your body is your career. Know your body first and dedicate yourself to work on your pain areas. Training must cover all aspects of fitness including strength, power, endurance and agility which means cricketers must train hard , rest well and sensibly.” He recommends the following to maintain fitness: “First, start your day early and run, beginners may start with brisk walking. Second, sleep for at least eight hours. Third, love your training and stop looking for excuses not to train. Fourth, the diet should be good and avoid oily and junk food. Fifth, have regular medical check ups.” Though this profession is all about hard training, competition and sweat but still trainer needs to be sensitive to players needs and feelings