‘A medal at Olympics validates your prowess as an athlete’
Ronak Pandit has been a top-class shooter, shaping into a sharp coach.
“Heena Sidhu and Shahzar Rizvi set world records and achieved world No. 1 ranking under my training,” recalled Ronak.
Isolated in his room in a hotel in Zagreb as part of the protocol, the pistol coach of the Indian team that has been based in Croatia, Ronak expressed happiness that the outfit was “in the best space”.
After having Ved Prakash Pilaniya as the only pistol coach to accompany the team when it took a chartered flight to Europe on May 11, the Indian team will soon have five pistol coaches.
“Our duty is to prepare the whole team. We are together and delegate work on a daily basis. Everyone responds differently to instructions. Going into a high pressure event like the Olympics, we have to ensure that our communication is clear, concise, positive and without scope for interpretation,” said Ronak.
Different coaches have different approach heading into the Olympics.
“Stay process oriented. Our entire team is high on skill, experience and motivation. It has performed well. We have to stay focused on the process and keep building on it. The key is to keep working on making one a better athlete and a better human being on a daily basis,” he said.
With dentist wife Heena, a phenomenal shooter herself, expecting the couple’s first baby in a few months, it was hard for Ronak to detach from home and join the team promptly. He answered the national call.
Having learnt a lot from coaches Tibor Gonczol, Antaolii Piddubnyi and sports scientist Dr. Pierre Beauchamp, Ronak has tons of knowledge, which he combines with his practical ability to still shoot “competitive scores” with minimum training.
“There is an aura around the Games. A medal at the Olympics validates your prowess as an athlete. The aura makes it tougher to perform at the Olympics. To find your way around all these challenges and to come out on top on that given day is something every athlete lives for.”
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