“No player should ever give up on the sport. Even if you don’t get selected for a particular team, you shouldn’t be disheartened because in this sport you will always get opportunities if you are sincere,” advises Patna Pirates coach Ram Mehar Singh in an exclusive interview with prokabaddi.com.
This message for the youth of the country comes from a place close to the Arjuna awardee’s heart as he has lived through a similar situation in life where held on to hopes of playing the sport only thanks to his sheer willpower and determination.
“It was in 1990,” recalls Singh vividly, “At that time I didn’t get selected for my school kabaddi team which was to play in the inter-school games
“I was very demoralized because I was sure that I would be a part of the team and I went back to the school bus and cried a lot.”
Seeing his state, the school’s teachers tried to encourage an inconsolable Singh, but little did they know that he had already set his sights on a bigger victory.
“I had decided then and there that I am going to be a hero in the sport,” said Singh.
Following that incident, Singh worked hard and reached the pinnacle of his sporting career when he was awarded the prestigious Arjuna Award by the Indian Government in 2002 after leading an unbeaten Indian side to Gold in the Asian Games in South Korea earlier that year.
Now a coach, Singh imparts the same motivation to his players that saw him reach the upper echelon of the sport. He encourages his players to set their goals high and is very strict when it comes to demanding single-minded determination from all his players.
“Whatever goal you go after, it can eventually be achieved. But only if that is your whole and sole focus till you achieve it. Then you can aim higher.
“There is no room for distractions in this process,” reiterates Singh.