SPORTS

Bindra advises shooters heading to Paris to strive for excellence

Abhinav Bindra, a former Olympic champion, has advised the nation’s shooters headed to Paris to prepare for the pressure they will encounter at the Games and to strive for perfection on what will almost certainly be a flawed day.

India is sending the biggest delegation of shooters to the Olympics, with 19 quota spots reserved for the rifle, pistol, and shotgun disciplines in Paris.

The national federation asked Bindra, India’s first individual Olympic gold winner, to speak last month about his experiences participating in five games in the hopes that the statistics would translate into podium finishes.

While others advocate seeing the Olympics as merely another competition to relieve pressure, Bindra said that competitors had to face the facts.

“Because the platform is the best and most prestigious platform in sports, it’s not just another competition,” Bindra said. The expectations that an athlete must deal with are different; they include both internal and external demands. You are unable to avoid it. You must come to terms with it. You’ll have the greatest opportunity to overcome it once you embrace it. It will eventually strike you if you fight against it and attempt to flee.

For India’s newest generation of talented shooters, Bindra advises them to practice hard and be prepared for everything.

According to the 41-year-old, “chasing perfection is like chasing an untameable beast.” Being flawless on an imperfect day is a skill that all elite athletes acquire. Athletes often need certain feelings or states of mind before succeeding in their endeavors. However, what happens if that day doesn’t provide that feeling? If you believe that all you have to do is get out of bed, get to the range, and have a medal-winning day, well, that may happen, but the odds are quite slim.

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