If I Train Right, I Become My Own Psychologist: Wrestler Vinesh Phogat

A drastic change in training regimen and the extra boost her family has given has seen Vinesh Phogat turn the tide after a forgettable past 12 months, in which she “hit rock bottom mentally”.

An early exit from the Tokyo Olympics, where she entered the top seed, injury issues and a run-in with the wrestling federation pushed her into an abyss.

Image courtesy of Vinesh Phogat’s Twitter account.

The 27-year-old’s existing training methods weren’t yielding results. She had to go back to the drawing board.

After undergoing elbow surgery in September, Vinesh just wanted to train well.

“If my training is going well, I feel good mentally too,” she said after claiming a gold medal in 53kg at the 2022 Commonwealth Games in Birmingham on Saturday.

“I’m the only one who knows what I did to win this medal. It’s much more special considering what I’ve been through in the last 12 months,” said Vinesh, who is now a three-time medalist. gold from the CWG.

Vinesh, who had to really dig deep to win the tryouts to make the CWG team, was struggling to find sparring partners in his class. The women weren’t strong enough, so she decided to train with the U-15 boys.

“She wasn’t getting the required training earlier, but now she is. That’s the difference in my opinion,” national coach Jitender Yadav said of Vinesh’s comeback.

The star wrestler got emotional as she opened up about her struggles since the Tokyo Olympics.

“I had lost my confidence, I feel like I’ve got it back now. It happens to all athletes at some point. Only I know how much pain I went through to be here. I had hit rock bottom mentally, I wasn’t able to digest what was wrong with me.”

She’s also not very particular about her diet, but her family made sure she was fairly well fed.

“I can only feel good mentally when my training is going well. If it doesn’t happen, it bothers me a lot. The environment around me has changed a lot (since Tokyo). My husband started staying with me when I’m (in Lucknow). They (the family) push me a lot on my diet and make sure I get enough milk and almonds. I also started training with the boys, I don’t haven’t done much sooner,” she said.

Someone like Sakshi Malik started writing down her thoughts as she was going through a rough patch, but every athlete has a way of dealing with stress.

“I used to take a lot of notes, but after that phase I tore them up. I was likeikhne aur mitaane se kuch nahi hona (there is no point in writing down thoughts and then erasing them). It is all the will of the almighty and your training. I’ve been talking to a psychologist for six to seven years, but I’m still general. If I train properly, I become my own psychologist,” she said with a laugh.

(By Bharat Sharma)

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