Indian football team undergoes team-building exercises at Army Centre

Bengaluru, June 7 (IANS) The Indian football team for the first time took part in team-building exercises organised by the Indian Army at the ASC Centre here.

The camp was organised at the Army’s ASC Centre on Saturday, where the team was put through an obstacle course consisting of 21 different barriers and also team-building recreational games.

With just five days left for India’s crucial match against Oman — a preliminary joint qualification match for the Russia 2018 World Cup, national coach Stephen Constantine said it is best to take time off from a training session to build the team.

“In order to build a team of any kind and in any sphere of life — be it in business or the corporate world or sports, you need people who can work under pressure,” Constantine said.

“So by putting the players under extreme pressure, you find out and separate the men from the boys. Obviously, the military are experts in putting people in high pressure and difficult situations because they can’t afford the soldier to make a mistake at a critical point,” he said.

“So from our perspective it also helped in team building with players getting to trust each other in difficult situations and fighting against the odds. And both psychologically and physically, we benefited immensely.”

A motivated Sandesh Jhingan, who plays as a defender, said: “Quitting in such situations is uncalled for.”

“Go for it. Not going for it is a problem. At the outset, I felt the barriers were a bit difficult. But I went for it; in fact, we all went for it,” he added.

Teammate Arnab Mondal echoed Jhingan adding that the exercises “highlighted one’s reaction under pressure”.

“There will be obstacles which will challenge us. You need to back yourself and be mentally tough. The entire episode has made us tougher. I need to thank the coach for taking us through it,” Mondal said.

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