Different Careers Opportunities in Sports Industry

Looking at the sports industry, it’s only a few professions that catch our attention, like that of an athlete. Still, there is a broad spectrum of sports-related interdependent jobs that are beyond just athletic finesse. Jobs across this tangent are expanding faster than ever, with new opportunities every single day.

The sports industry has been growing at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 4.3% since 2014 and created a global market worth of $488.5 billion in the year 2018. Experts predict that it is expected to grow at a CAGR of 5.9% in the near future and reach nearly $614.1 billion by 2022. With such a phenomenal rate of growth in the industry and an overwhelming range of opportunities, it is the right time to think of a career in this industry.
So, let’s dive in and explore the various career possibilities and decide which one is meant for you:

Sportsperson

A professional athlete is anyone who competes in individual or team organized sports. Thousands and lakhs of youngsters aspire to make their way to the top, but only a few live their dream, and even if they do, their careers are short-lived. So what does it take to become a professional player? Well, it is your strong will power and a tiny bit of luck that does the magic. There is no specific degree that you need in order to be successful, but professional coaching and playing regularly will work in your favor.

Skills required:

  • Interpersonal skills
  • Concentration
  • Decision making
  • Hand-eye coordination
  • Physical stamina
  • Strong determination
  • Discipline

Athletic trainer

Athletic trainers work on diagnosing and treating injuries sustained in the muscles and bones by athletes. They are healthcare workers and also help the athletes in preventing any further injuries. To practice as a professional athletic trainer, the minimum qualification required is a Bachelor’s degree in this field; however, a master’s degree is preferable.

Skills required:

  • Good communication skills
  • Interpersonal skills
  • Compassion towards the patients
  • Good observation skills
  • Emotional control

Sports Coach
The name speaks for itself. Sports coaches train sports enthusiasts to participate in matches at a professional level and familiarize them with the know-how of the game. There are various levels and groups of athletes that you can work with, ranging from school to state and national level teams.

To pursue a career in this field, you can look forward to a degree in sports coaching, sports management, and sports science. However, more than a degree, your experience in the field and an exhaustive knowledge of the game are valued. You can’t teach a game unless you know every tactic of it.

Skills required:

  • Good social skills
  • Selflessness
  • Team building ability
  • Patience
  • Motivation skills
  • Organization skills
  • Understanding the physical and mental state of the athletes

Athletic Director

Athletic directors usually look over multiple aspects of an athletic program, which includes hiring coaches, budgeting, promotions and the list goes on. Athletic Directors typically have a Bachelor’s degree in education, physical education or a relevant field, and a Master’s in sports management, administration, or business.

Skills required:

  • Good Leadership
  • Managerial skills
  • Good planning
  • Interpersonal communication
  • Organization skills
  • Managing money

Marketing and Promotion Coordination

The job description for a marketing and promotion coordinator include preparing reports, analyzing the market, and implementing marketing strategies. This job requires a degree in marketing or a related field or working experience in digital and on-ground marketing.

Skills required:

  • Planning
  • Market Analysis
  • Understanding the needs of your client
  • Exhaustive knowledge of the market
  • Research skills
  • Direct marketing

Physical Therapist

Physical therapists help their clients overcome injuries and disabilities with massage, exercise, and other training methods. Besides recovery, they also help in preventing any future injuries. To pursue a career in this field, one must have a degree in physical therapy or any other related field.

Skills required:

  • Assessing and interpreting patients
  • Consulting with other health care professionals
  • Excellent analytical and logical thinking
  • Compassion
  • Up-to-date knowledge of treatment practices

 

Medical Assistant

MAs employed at a sports facility usually attend patients under the supervision of an orthopedist. Besides the usual responsibilities of collecting the patient’s history and symptoms, they are also expected to educate them about the procedures, repercussions, preventions, and so on. In a sports arena, MA can have various tasks ranging from administrative to clinical jobs. Hence, there is no specific qualification that is required.

Even though the nature of this job is not specific, some skills will add weightage to your resume:

  • Knowledge of human anatomy and physiology
  • Administrative skills
  • Compassion
  • Quick action to injuries

Sports and Fitness nutritionist

A sports nutritionist advises athletes on nutritional regimes that will help them achieve optimal performance on the field. A professional in this field need to be aware of the nutrients that athletes must include in their diet and the organic substances that will benefit them the most. Along with an in-depth knowledge of nutrients, they need to be aware of sports performance, requirements of various sports, and the medical history of their client. An aspiring nutritionist should have a degree in nutrition or related fields of interest.

Skills required:

  • A creative and innovative thought process
  • Excellent people skills
  • Social skills
  • Knowledge of nutrition
  • Being able to explain the complex terms in simple words

Sports Journalist

Sports journalists gather information and report new developments that unfold in the sports industry. A sports background, first-hand experience as an athlete can give you an upper hand during recruitments.

Skills required:

  • Knowledge of the game
  • Staying up-to-date
  • Interviewing skills
  • Research and analysis
  • Social skills

Sports announcer

A sports announcer is someone who paints a picture of the entire match with his descriptive commentary on radio, television, and internet broadcast outlets. As it requires extensive knowledge of the game, we often see retired athletes and coaches taking up this job. Someone with a degree in communication, journalism, and radio is eligible for this post.

The skillset that is a must if you want to create a career in this field:

  • Knowledge of the sport
  • Street smart public speaking skills
  • An engaging voice and tone
  • Writing skills
  • Technical savvy

Sports Agent

Sports agents handle sponsorship, public relations, financial planning, and contract negotiations on behalf of their clients. Even though it is not mandatory, a law degree is the best way to get into this profession because contract negotiation requires a legal foundation.

Skills required:

  • A love for the sport
  • People skills
  • Sales skills
  • Expert knowledge of their client’s career
  • Networking

Umpire and Referee

The job of an umpire is to officiate at sporting events to ensure that the match meets the standards of the game and players stand by the rules and regulations. Furthermore, they provide that the athletes are adopting no malpractices to win.

Skills required:

  • Quick judgment and decision making
  • Social perceptiveness
  • Active listening
  • Active learning
  • Critical thinking
  • Time management

Sports Photographer

A sports photographer takes pictures of sporting events, teams, or an athlete; you can work with a particular team, or work as a freelance photographer, and offer your photos for magazines and newspapers. A degree in journalism, photography, or a related field will be a boon for you during placements.

Skills required:

  • Love for the sport
  • Passion for photography
  • Quick reflex
  • Coordination
  • Monitoring

Sports Lawyer

Sports lawyers represent their client’s legal concerns, and they often double up as their agents to put forth their financial interests during contract negotiation. You are entitled to various responsibilities such as securing and interpreting employment contracts, breaking down the legal repercussions of their acts, salary negotiation, overlooking sponsorship deals, and so forth. This job description mandates that you have a law degree.

Skills required:

  • In-depth knowledge of legal terms
  • Analysis of the industry
  • Good interpersonal skills
  • Accurate information about their client’s history

The Sports School, Bangalore was as established with the vision to integrate sports and education to encourage young sports enthusiasts and support professional athletes. With new opportunities arising in the Indian Sports Industry every day, we have introduced courses like BBA in Sports Management, MSc in Psychology with Sports specialization in order to keep up with the dynamics of the industry. Our schooling, pre-university program along with UG & PG courses are backed by the cohesive educational experience prepares well-rounded professionals who are both excellent at their game while being academically outstanding and can easily mold themselves in any career they wish to pursue in the sporting industry. 

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Important Fitness Drills for Football Players

Physical fitness is of the utmost value for a career in sports, and when it comes to a game like a football that requires you to run across a hundred-yard field, it becomes all the more vital. Your stamina and speed on the area play a key role in your game, apart from fast reflex and football tactics.

Enhancing your physical endurance for a game doesn’t happen overnight; it takes years of practice and dedication to achieve that stamina and speed that can take you at the top of your game.  Here are a few drills that can help you build up stamina and endurance:

1. Interval Sprints

Interval sprints require you to run a few yards and rest and then repeat the drill. These drills will help you prepare for the stop and run nature of the game. Here are a few variations of interval drills that can benefit you:
Sprint-Stride Intervals: This technique will include alternate intervals of sprint and stride across the field. For instance, a player can run 20 yards of a sprint, followed by 20 yards of stride, and then repeat it until the endpoint of the field; this will make up for 1 set. Take a short break, say about 20-30s, and then repeat.

Tempo Run: Start at the corner of an end zone and stride for 100 yards. Jog across to the opposite side of the field and stride 100 yards again. Now jog back to the starting point and take a break. Repeat this drill for four times.

Huddle Sprints: Players sprint 20 yards to duplicate the action of a game and then jog back to the starting point. Take a small breather for about 15s and then repeat the drill. This is a very effective drill for replicating the aerobic and anaerobic conditions of a live match.

2. Dribble and Run

This drill requires a ball. You start at the touchline and dribble the ball at your best speed across the width of the pitch until you are parallel to the center. Now leave the ball there and run to the opposite side at 80% of your initial speed. Pace back to the center, maintaining your speed, and dribble the ball to the starting point as fast as you can. Take rest for the same time in which you finish the first set and then repeat the drill.

3. Around the Pitch

As the name suggests, this drill requires you to run across the field. For warming up your body, jog across the perimeter of the field until you reach back the starting point. Now run at 70% of your maximum speed and try to cover half of the lap maintaining it, and then jog your way through the rest of the lap. In the next round, increase the area you cover by a sprint to 70%. Slowly, but steadily keep expanding the area you cover with sprints until you finish the entire perimeter in one go.

4. Figure of Eight

Almost everyone has heard of the infamous figure of eight drills. Just like the name suggests, you have to make an ‘eight’ while dribbling the football. Take two cones and place them 4-5 yards apart. Now Dribble across the two cones while making an oval around each at your maximum speed. Throughout the drill, take short steps, and keep the ball near your feet, hit it with every step. It will give you better control over the football along with fitness conditioning. Condition training and physical fitness are as necessary as a solid command on the ball for a football professional. These are just a few examples of the various methods that you can adopt to increase your endurance in a game.


The Sports School is the first school in India to have a FIFA Qualified Pro Certified Artificial Football Turf where we train our students for professional-level football. We, along with our Sporting Partners for Football Bengaluru FC, provide the best possible training to young enthusiasts and take them to the next level. Along with the regular training program, we also offer other programs like Monthly Sports Training & Weekend Sports Camp so that you can train and grow as per your convenience. Be it for fun or professional training purposes; we got you covered!

How to Be Productive While At Home

After years of dealing with the chaos and buzz of working in offices, traveling in the never-ending traffic, waking up early for schools and colleges, and being on your toes the entire day, this new development of working and studying from home came as a chance to relax for many. But, it was only a matter of time before it turned into a vicious cycle of wasted hours after hours, and pulling through the usual routine of weekdays seemed like a task. In these testing times, the simplest of things become difficult, as the world around us comes to a halt. Hence, our productivity drops down drastically, and we find it difficult to cope up.

Productivity, in general, is a combination of these seven factors:

  • Routine
  • Motivation
  • Mindfulness
  • Consistency
  • Positivity
  • Vision
  • Goal-oriented

However, being productive from home comes with its own challenges that we haven’t dealt with before. Some of the common reasons why it can be so demanding are the lack of social interaction, the monotony of work, and the common distractions at home. Moreover, one perk of going out is that we draw a line between weekends and weekdays; but while being at home, that line starts blurring out; every day is the same.

So how do we continue to be positively productive while staying at home and not give up on the monotone of this new normal? Let’s explore ways to stay motivated during these uncertain times:

Start your day with exercise and lemon water

Commencing your day with lemon water shoots up your energy level for the rest of the day, both physically and mentally. It also helps your stomach in absorbing nutrients better and keeps you going throughout the day. And while you wait for the lemon to do its work, use the time to squeeze in some exercise.

Researchers claim that people who work out in the morning are more productive and have a critical approach to getting things done. Exercising helps your body release GABA, a neurotransmitter, that soothes your brain and improves control over your impulses, and enhances focus and concentration.

Take control

Being at home means that you are on your own; no one will pester you with constant reminders on the time, deadline, and work that is pending. It can be both a blessing and a curse, depending on how you tackle the situation; either you take the opportunity and work at your own pace, or you bail out and procrastinate EVERYTHING.

Take control over your schedule, set aside leisure time, and ensure that you make the most out of the day. At times, the workload can get overwhelming, so divide it according to the urgency, and stick to the timelines.

Lose the nightsuit

One lagniappe of working and studying from home is the liberty to wear the most comfortable set of clothes and skip the morning shower because no one will know. Well, guess what? Maybe that is holding you back!
Just because no one is watching doesn’t mean you quit following your morning routine. When you wake up in the morning and give yourself the time to freshen up and slip into casuals, it prepares you for the rest of the day, and you’re bound to feel more energized.

Create a workspace

Rule number one of working from home is to designate a space just for work. Personalize it according to your needs, stay away from all forms of distractions in and around your house, and try minimizing the clutter. A Princeton University report suggests that people who work in a clean and organized environment give better results than those who work in a cluttered one; it is because the clutter distracts them, and they lose focus.

Block hours

Following a schedule is always ideal. Divide your time in a way that you have sufficient hours to complete your work, interact with your family and friends, and relax; after all, effective time management is the key to a healthy lifestyle.
Following a rigid timeline can be stressful, so keep your timetable flexible but try to do as much as the day allows. Always make time for your hobbies and activities beyond college and work, never lose touch with your true self.

Smart Multitasking

Over the years, we’ve all come across many articles talking about the cons of multitasking, and we can’t deny that it is not the best alternative, as some tasks require your undivided attention. However, you can club simple tasks together, without compromising on the result and have more time in hand, like working out and listening to the news. Multitasking can be very effective if done mindfully.

And Above everything else, don’t forget to cut yourself some slack! Always reserve alone time to let yourself breathe. Being productive in no shape means that you have to work day in and day out; it only implies that you do your work with complete dedication, without draining yourself in the process. The times can get tough, and as more and more people are forced to work from home, it is natural to feel tired and low on energy. Along with working and studying, do what makes you happy and keeps you sane during this rough patch.

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In Conversation With Vickram Kanth | Indian Hockey Player

Vickram Kanth, a former Indian field hockey player and a coach in the making, is a part of our advisory board at The Sports School. After making a debut in 2004 with Junior Asia Cup, he has represented India on numerous occasions. Over the years, he has played many matches, and with that experience, he has a bag full of advice for our young athletes. Read to know what he said to our team when they reached out to him: 

  • During these testing times, what was your strategy to stay fit without breaking the social distancing norms?

After following the sports schedule throughout our lives, training in different situations, and different places, both with and without equipment, and of course with the guidance of good trainers, we have a schedule in place and it becomes an integral part of your life. However, training alone can be challenging because you don’t have other athletes on your side to encourage you. In these times, it is your motivation that matters the most, so you need to keep pushing yourself. 

  • What was your motivation as a kid that drove you towards hockey?

I was born in Coorg, so over there kids naturally take up hockey as their first sport, instead of cricket as the rest of the country. Also, my father was a hockey player himself, and as I saw him play growing up, I fell in love with the game. I wanted to become like him; he was my ideal, so I took up the sport. 

  • Playing on national and international grounds is a matter of immense pride but at the same time, you are subjected to a great deal of pressure in the field. So how do you deal with it?

For a sports person, dealing with the pressure is part and parcel of the game. Those who have excelled in dealing with it, getting above it, and playing better have succeeded in sports. Mahendra Singh Dhoni and Virat Kohli are under a lot of pressure themselves, but despite that, they have always performed well. The pressure from family, friends, and fans is obvious, but one should focus on their strengths, believe in themselves, and do their best in the field. Never let the pressure build on you, and focus on yourself, once you’re above it, you will come out with flying colors. 

  • Looking back at your illustrious career, which match would you call the most memorable one?

My debut, the first match I played in Karachi, that’s in Pakistan. The pressure was understandable. It was the Junior Asia Cup, and we won the final match against Pakistan. In that match, I had first-hand experience of how my career will be from thereon. It was my first match, but I had a lot of seniors around me, and we pulled it off. It was like an ice-breaker for my career. I’ve won many more matches, but because of the hype around India vs Pakistan, winning a tournament against them in their homeland made it very special. 

  • What are your views on the future of Hockey in India?

Five years back, we ranked 11th in the world, and today we are number 5. So, we’ve moved forward from 2011, and these years have been a developing phase for India. Although in 2012, the team didn’t do well and we were 12th, but since then it has been an upward climb. The team has been making steady progress, and it is just a matter of time before we start getting more international medals. There is awareness about the sport on the grass-root level because of social media and tournaments are now being held in the country, which didn’t happen back then. Even the World Cup was held in Bhubaneshwar. Now people are watching the sport, and if we do well, there will be more viewership. In the World Cup, we made it to the quarter-finals, we won the Asian Games, and in the Olympics, we were really close too, so now we’re slowly making our place on the podium. In a few years, we can definitely expect more medals for the team. In terms of fitness and technical, the team has incredible support and is doing really well. The gap between our team and international teams has reduced, the matches are close, and the fear of competing with them has vanished. After defeating the Belgians and Australians a couple of times, our team has regained confidence and is preparing well for the upcoming matches. 

  • What support do you think is needed from the government and corporates to grow the sport in India?

I think hockey is lacking awareness. As of now, people have to wait for international tournaments, and there is nothing to keep them hooked in between; we need more domestic events like IPL in Hockey. Just like cricket, even hockey has test series, but those are not telecasted; it’s only during the Olympics and Asian Games that people get exposure. People must know that a lot is happening in hockey as well. 

Hockey is a fast sport which makes it difficult to identify the players, so it somewhere lacks the tradition of icons, unlike cricket, where the country remembers the players. People are unable to follow the players because of the nature of the sport. The media should do a lot more coverage of the players individually so that fans get to know them. Many people watch cricket for Dhoni and Virat because they are fanboy characters; similarly, we need to make more such fanboy characters in hockey so that people get glued to the person, and also to the sport. 

  • Being a sportsperson and coaching athletes are two very different paths. So how has your journey been in this transition? What are the major changes that you had to face?

I still continue to play, although not on the international level. I knew that there will be a time when all of us have to hang our boots, so what next? At my training center, I enjoyed correcting and helping the young athletes around me. No one told us what to and what not to do in the initial phase of our career; it was only during the national camps that we got exposure. However, athletes are very impatient, we expect instant results; it’s like you’re doing it right, and so can they. It was only after the Hockey India Coaching Education Pathway that I realized how the two are different,  coaching demands a lot of patience and planning. They say a lot of good players don’t become good coaches because they want instant success, but coaching doesn’t work that way. Now, I’m a level 2 FIH  coach and I’m looking forward to this. 

  • What is the importance of balancing both sports and academics for young athletes?

When we started off at a young age, there were a lot of opportunities in the industry, but now the competition is very high. Out of a batch of 30, only a few end up big, while others are just lost! Many kids in our batch couldn’t make it. So a sportsperson needs to understand that even if they don’t make it, they’ll still have academics to catch on to. Once you balance the two, you’re much more stable. Sports are uncertain; you might get injured, or there are chances you don’t make it to the team. On the other hand, Academics is certain; there is no concept of luck here, it is about what you learn, and it stays with you. 

  • What do you think about The Sports School? What made you associate with us as part of the Sports Advisory Board?

Rohan Bopanna is a close friend of mine, and he introduced me to The Sports School. When I met Dr. Shankar, I felt that it is something wonderful, that it is one of a kind. What intrigued me the most was that we had many sports here, except hockey, and I asked myself, ‘Why not hockey?’ Then I got involved with the institution. Also, sportsmen have to travel a lot but with facilities like these readily available, even we can train on these grounds.

A lot of people drop out of sports because they lack the facilities and lose the balance between sports and education. I’ve met many parents who get confused between sports and academics, and don’t really know what is good for their kids. So, with an institution like The Sports School in their own city, parents can freely enroll their kids, and this will help many budding sportsmen. As a sports person myself, I take the responsibility to take The Sports School to great heights and spread the word so that people use this opportunity and ultimately bring laurels to the country. 

Ending the conversation, Vickram Kanth quoted, “Sports to me is ultimately the overall development of a person. Sports is a good way of life. Everybody should take it up, to have a fitter lifestyle, and to just do what they love,” and we couldn’t agree more. 

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Different Types of Training Methods For Athletes

Sports training, in a nutshell, means preparing for a performance. It helps the athlete build strength and endurance gradually, improves their skill levels, and strengthens confidence. As simple as this may sound, but formulating the ‘perfect’ training method that fulfills all your physical goals is a dream come true. The workout program you follow has a significant impact on your desired outputs; hence training must be relevant to your purpose and sport you intend to pursue.

There is no hard and fast rule that one must follow in order to achieve a particular result; this is due to varied body types, different metabolism levels, and diverse age groups. With multiple options available, it becomes all the more challenging to choose one, so how do we go about this process?

The best way is to try everything and see what gives you the most reliable results; experiment and learn in the process. Here are some conventional models of training:

Continuous Training

Continuous training or steady-state training includes longer intervals of physical exercise without breaks or rest periods. Ideally, in this method, the heart rate is kept constant between 60% to 80% throughout the session, and it aims at enhancing your respiratory and cardiovascular system. Once you build your cardiovascular endurance, it becomes easier for your body to cope up with routine activities without running out of breath.

Continuous exercise is recommended if you are looking forward to losing weight, participating in marathons, swimming, triathlons, and bike rides. It is also an excellent way to begin exercising before moving on to the high-intensity workout. Typical sessions include swimming, running, biking, walking, or a combination of all, for about 20 to 30 minutes.

Fartlek Training

Fartlek, a Swedish term that means ‘Speed Play,’ is a training method that blends the elements of continuous and interval training. It involves the change in speed or terrain to emphasis on both aerobic and anaerobic systems and increases the recovery rate. It challenges the athlete’s body to adapt to different speed levels, hence acclimatizing their body to run faster over long distances.

There are multiple benefits of Fartlek training, such as improved endurance and speed, more flexibility and versatility in the athlete’s game, and more race tactics for runners. This method is suitable for cross country runners, team games involving variations in speed and marathon runners.

Circuit Training

This method of body conditioning involves endurance training, resistance training, exercises, and high-intensity aerobic workout in a circuit to intensify strength and muscular endurance. When planning a course, it is essential to work with a diverse group of muscles, and the number of repetitions followed. Although you can concentrate your session on one particular section of the body, this method is ideal for complete body conditioning.

Circuit training gives more efficient results and increases your metabolism, as it combines the best of both worlds. It also breaks the streak of boring workout routines because it enables you to experiment with new exercises.

Interval Training

Interval training alternates between short bursts of high-intensity workout and periods of rest and recovery to promote the recovery rate, speed, and lactate threshold of the player’s body. In this method, the high-intensity periods are anaerobic exercises, and the recovery period can vary from complete rest to low-intensity activities.

Benefits of following this routine include faster and more efficient workout sessions – allowing your body to work more in limited time, reduces the risk of overtraining – since the intensity varies, it avoids the risk of overtraining and freedom to experiment with exercises.

Flexibility / Mobility Training

Flexibility training refers to a planned set of exercises that can gradually help expand the range of motions of a joint or set of joints. One way of enhancing flexibility is by following stretching techniques that focus on particular areas of the body. It is often pursued as a warm-up session before high-intensity workouts and weight training and is highly beneficial for all forms of sports, especially gymnastics and dance.

Weight Training

Weight training is a primary form of strength training that develops the size of skeletal muscles and power with the help of weighted bars, dumbbells, or weight stacks. A study shows that weight training doesn’t only control bone loss, but can also promote the formation of new bones in the body. Hence, it is essential for the overall development of the body.

Now, the amount of weight you stick to depends upon the repetitions you are planning to do; you will pick up heavier weights for six repetitions than for twelve.

Plyometric Training

Plyometric or jump training includes exercises in which the body exerts apex force in short intervals of time and focuses on muscle extension and contraction swiftly. Some primary activities in this technique are plyo pushups, box jumps, bounding, and depth jumps. It aims at improving muscular power that transmutes into higher jumps and longer sprints.

These are highly beneficial for martial artists, sprinters, volleyball players, and high jumpers.

Speed, Agility and Quickness Training (SAQ)

SAQ training aims at re-programming the athlete’s neuromuscular system; this further helps in enhancing multi-directional movements. Usually, professional athletes follow this method, but with its increased popularity, many amateurs are now taking up this method and incorporating it into their workout sessions.
Vital elements of the SAQ technique are sprints, high knees, mini hurdles, agility ring hops, and death jumps.

When it comes to sports training, following the popular opinion might not work very well in your favour, and can end up giving no to limited results. Therefore, explore all the options available and follow the one that offers you optimum outcomes and catalyzes your desired result.

At The Sports School, we provide our students with appropriate Progression Based Training depending on their games and objectives. Our highly efficient coaching teams consisting of renowned coaches, mentors, along with Nutritional and Fitness Experts challenge and support players at every level to improve their skills. We believe that every sports enthusiast and young sportsperson must understand their physical and mental capabilities to push their limits with every training session.

In Spotlight: Vickram Kanth | Indian Hockey Player

A young hockey enthusiast, holding the flag of India with the resolution to make his country proud in front of thousands of spectators in Karachi, was truly living his dream.

Vickram Kanth, born on 11 April 1987 in Coorg, Karnataka, is a former Indian field hockey player. Ever since Kanth was a kid, he felt inclined towards hockey, and his passion for the game grew with time. “I was born in Coorg, so over there kids naturally take up hockey as their first sport, instead of cricket as the rest of the country. My father was a hockey player himself, and as I saw him play growing up, I fell in love with the game,” he recollects while talking about his passion for the sport.

Kanth made a debut with the 2004 Junior Asia Cup, where the team displayed an overwhelming performance and backed a gold medal for the country. “My first match that I played in Karachi was the most memorable one for me. I’ve won many more matches, but because of the hype around India vs Pakistan, winning a tournament against them in their homeland made it very special,” he comments, looking back at his career. In the following year, he made his way to the 2005 Junior World Cup team.

Kanth made it big with his senior debut in the 2006 South Asian Games, winding up with a silver medal; post this, he caught national attention for his splendid game. In the following years, he represented India as a defender, starting from Asia Cup 2007, where the team held the Nation’s head high by bringing home a gold medal. Kanth has also been a part of the Sultan Azlan Cup in 2007 and 2008, backing bronze, and silver medals respectively.
In 2014, he headed the Indian team during the Bangladesh test series, and under his captaincy, India defeated Bangladesh in the three-match test series by a margin of 3-0.

Kanth’s International career came to a standstill after the tussle between Indian Hockey Federation (IHF) and Hockey India (HI). “I always had the frustration of not being part of the National camp. After the Chile disaster, the players were divided between IHF and HI, and there was a restriction on players participating in the World Series Hockey (WSH),” Kanth comments in an interview.

However, Kanth never gave up on the game entirely and continued his career in the Hero Hockey India League, wherein he has been a part of The Delhi Waveriders and represented the Indian Oil Corporation Ltd in domestic championships. Along with actively participating in domestic games, he often doubles up as a coach for young athletes.

“As an Ex-SAI trainee, whenever I find an opportunity to guide young players I do it. I enjoy playing mentor, correcting young players and teach them the right technique we learned in due course of our international career,” he further remarks, “the intention is to ensure these youngsters don’t repeat the same mistakes we did which was corrected only when we moved into the national program.”

It wasn’t until the introduction of Hockey India Coaching Education Pathway that Kanth was determined about his career as a coach. “Coaching was always on my mind, even after my international career ended, I enjoyed spending time with young players. But when Hockey India launched the program, I felt it was something I wanted to do. As the name (Hockey India Coaching Education Pathway) suggests, it provided me with a pathway to getting involved in the coaching setup, go through the right process, and understand the nuances of Coaching. It was new to me, and I enjoyed it,” he reveals to the media.

Vickram Kanth is also a member of The Sports School’s advisory board. The Sports School works towards educating young minds to prepare athletes of the future, who are ready to tackle the pressure of national and international matches. With his exceptional mentoring skills and extensive first-hand experience of the industry, Kanth imparts his knowledge to sports enthusiasts, ensuring that they don’t commit the same mistake as him and his counterparts.
“A lot of people drop out of sports because they lack the facilities and lose the balance between sports and education. I’ve met many parents who get confused between sports and academics, and don’t really know what is good for their kids. So, with an institution like The Sports School in their city, parents can freely enroll their kids, and this will help many budding sportspeople. As a sports person myself, I think it is my responsibility to take The Sports School to great heights and spread the word so that people use this opportunity and ultimately bring laurels to the country,” Kanth says while talking about The Sports School.

How to Choose The Best Training Facility for Your Child?

Choosing the right facility for your child can be a challenging responsibility, given the multiple aspects of a game and the risks that come with them going on your mind. Well, the first step towards this is understanding which sport is perfect for your kid, but the question here is, how do we decide? The answer is simple; we don’t! Selecting a game is on them; all we can do is help them in this process, and find where their interest lies.

A sports facility is any enclosed area specially designed for the general public engaging in physical activities. Broadly, we can divide them into two categories: indoor facilities which cover courts for ball games, gymnasium, dance halls, tennis courts, and so on, and outdoor facilities ranging from football courts to race tracks and rollerblading routes.

Here are a few tips that can be helpful while choosing the right sports facility for your child:

Let Them Explore
No one is born knowing which sport is meant for them. Hence, widen the horizon of games that your child is exposed to, introduce them to a variety of different sports that they can play, and see what interests them. Often, young minds find it difficult to concentrate on one sport, knowing that there are a plethora of other games they can indulge in and have never experienced. Keep the options open and notice their attitude towards each one, are they having fun, and are they genuinely interested in it? Ask them what they feel while playing. The more they explore, the more they will understand what they savor and if they aspire to continue playing.

Which sport do they like watching?
Some kids can sit through an entire NBA game, while others will flip the channel; this speaks volumes about their interest in a particular game, and we should take notes. Take them out to witness various live tournaments, watch matches on television with them and see which game excites them.

Temperament
Everyone has a different social meter; some kids work better in a team and can blend in, while others are lone wolves. Keeping this in mind, figure out if your child is drawn towards team sports like football, basketball, and cricket, or individual ones such as swimming, gymnastics, and cycling. Look out for their likes and dislikes about each game while watching a match with them. Let them experience both and choose which type of sport is more comfortable and comes naturally to them.

Signs of Enthusiasm
While experimenting with various sports, lookout for signs of passion; is your child an enthu-cutlet while talking about a particular game or a player? They may even gravitate towards their peers who practice a specific game and talk about it with excitement. Listen to them, and then you can make a more thoughtful arrangement.

Once you know which game they enjoy the most, it is simpler to pick a sports facility for them. However, this process doesn’t end here; the next step is to fix a place where they can learn and practice.

If your child is exploring the game and trying to learn basics, then take them to the neighborhood park and sports ground, let them enjoy the game with their friends, and make time to play with them too. For kids, sports is all about fun, and if this is lost, they will ultimately stop playing.

When they’re deep into the game and wish to do more than have fun with it, then you should consider enrolling them into an academy that helps kids pursue sports professionally. Start low key with beginners’ training programs and let them get used to the pressure of playing for a team in small matches. Once they are coping well with it, help them scale up their game for more prominent tournaments. If they feel that they are unable to meet the expectations of the game and want to quit it altogether, let them do so. Sports is all about the satisfaction players get out of it, and if your kids are no longer playing with their own will, then let them step down and take a break.

At The Sports School, we offer a diverse range of fully-equipped, world-class indoor and outdoor facilities to promote the holistic development of our students and to facilitate budding sportspeople.

These include:
● State-of-the-art Gymnasium
● FIFA Quality Tennis Pro Certified Artificial Football Turf
● International Standard 65m Natural Cricket Ground with six indoor and six outdoor nets
● Two and a half FIBA standard Basketball courts
● 12 BWF standard indoor synthetic Badminton courts

The Sports School offers various specially designed programs based on our students’ training level, interests and ambitions in the field of sports, without compromising on their academics; be it for fun, or professional level training, we got you covered! With full-time courses, our institution has now given way to weekend camps for sports enthusiasts starting from 3rd October 2020. These camps are open for everyone, from those who wish to play sports in their leisure time to the ones pursuing it professionally. With our world-class facilities, we plan to make your dreams a reality.

Lost Indian Sports You Should Know About

Sports have been an integral element of every culture since time unknown. Disinterested from building a settled civilization, people in India felt the need to set aside leisure time for playing sports. Traces of Ancient Indian games showcase that they were innovative, fun and required complete involvement.

In the Indus Valley civilization, people contested with weapons like the toran (javelin), bow and arrow, and the chakra(discus). Besides these outdoor games, we always had a craze for the indoor, and how to we know this? Historians have found traces of primitive board games etched on the walls of caves and temples and discovered dices and counters at sites like Harappa. Ancient Indian texts also incorporate references to different sports.

Over the years, we have lost touch with our majestic sporting culture, and even though we are heading towards a brighter future for sports, some have been lost over the ages. Here are some of the prominent games that left an impression on our history:

Night Polo in the Mughal period

The history of polo in India can be traced to Manipuri villages, where the tribals enjoyed a game called pulu. Although Zahir ud-din Babur was the first Mughal Emperor to establish Chaugan, night polo was an invention of Jalal ud-din Akbar, who created a set of rules and introduced an illuminating ball for late-night matches. The sport nearly died with the end of the Mughal dominion.

Kalaripayattu

Kalaripayattu, also known as Kalari, is an ancient form of martial arts that holds its root in Kerala. The word Kalari appears in various Hindu texts to describe a battlefield and combat arena. Owing to its long-standing history, it has a distinguished place for martial artists. Traditionally, this game includes two forms: the northern style or Vadakkan Kalari, and the southern style or Thekkan Kalari. Over time, a new pattern has also gained recognition, called the primary method or Madhya Kalari, which aims at combing the elements of both styles.

Kushti

Kushti, also called Pehalwani, refers to wrestling contested in Ancient India. It developed during the Mughal era by combining the techniques of Persian koshti pahlevani and native Indian Malla-yuddha. The origin of this sport dates back to the 5th century BC, where it was popularly known as Malla-yuddha, meaning combat wrestling.

Atya Patya

Atya Patya often described as the “game of feints,” is played between two teams, with nine members on either side. It is a popular sport in India, especially Maharashtra. It gained national importance after the formation of the ‘Atya Patya Federation of India’ in 1982. The Government of India listed the federation amongst its list of recognized organizations for the year 2013.

Yubi Lakpi

Yubi Lapki, which translates to coconut snatching, is an individual contact sport that requires coconut. It is an ancient Indian game that originated in Manipur. It is a traditional football game that holds notable similarities to the tournament of rugby, but the two are not related.

Before each game, players rub their bodies with oil to make it slippery for the fame, and a ball soaked in oil is placed before the king. To score a goal, the player has to approach the goal post and cross the line from the front with his oiled coconut.

Kambala

Kambala is an annual buffalo race held in Karnataka, during the Kambala season that begins from November and lasts till March. It started as a traditional sport to entertain the rural public by whiplashing buffalos on a slushy paddy field. The buffalos are adorned with colorful jewels and elegant headpieces of brass and silver.

Jallikattu

Jallikattu is a folkloric bull-chasing sport practiced in Tamil Nadu, organized during the harvest season of Pongal. It is almost two millennia old. In the ancient period, it was popularly known as Yeru Thazhuvuthal. The participants hold on to the hump of the bull for a particular time and grab their horns to achieve authority.

Insuknawr

Insuknawr is a Rod Pushing Sport of indigenous Mizoram. The Mizo community developed multiple games to break their tiresome routine of shifting cultivation; this was one among them. This game requires two players, who hold the rod under their arms while trying to push their opponent out of the ring.

Dhopkhel

Dhopkhel was organized in the state of Assam during its annual festival, Rangoli Bihu. This sport requires two teams, where Dhop, a ball, is tossed by the player in a fashion that it lands in the opponents’ court. It is similar to modern-day Throw ball, and at times there are parallels drawn with Kabbadi.

Pachisi

Pachisi, which translates to twenty-five, is a cross and circle game that originated in Medieval India. It requires a board that resembles a symmetrical cross. The player’s pieces move around the board following the throw of the six or seven cowrie shells, with the number of shells resting with gap upwards designating the number of spaces to move.

Chaupad

Chaupad or chausar has existed in India for most of the past two millennia. This game features a cross-shape board, where four players contest in two teams, and each player owns four pieces. It shares significant similarities with pachisi and modern-day ludo.

Chaturanga

Chaturanga referred to as the predecessor of modern-day chess, is a strategy game that originated in India during the 4th century BC. The exact rules of the game are unknown, but historians believe that it was similar to its predecessor, Shatranj. It was played on an 8×8 uncheckered box, with pieces similar to chess.

Achugwi Phan Sohlaimung

It is a wrestling tournament held between two men to test their strength in the state of Tripura. It is also known as Thwngmung in the Tripuri language(Kokborok). But, in recent years, people are abandoning such sports as they are exposed to modern sporting culture.

Inbuan

Inbuan is another form of wrestling that originated in Mizoram during the early 1700s. It involves strict rules that prohibit kicking, stepping out of the circle, or even bending knees.

Over the years, modern culture has taken over our age-old tradition, not just in terms of sports, but also in our lifestyle. Let’s take a step back and rejuvenate these games that have entertained our ancestors for centuries together.