A number of injuries at vital times combined with key players going through lean patches in form led to Dabang Delhi K.C. having a below par Season 5 in VIVO Pro Kabaddi. They tried every possible combination in defence and offence but it failed to yield the desired results. Player fitness levels also came into question a number of times keeping in mind the new format of the league.
Speaking to The Times of India, Dabang Delhi K.C. coach Dr. Ramesh Bhendigiri stressed the importance of being in peak physical condition while playing a physically demanding sport like kabaddi.
"The game is all about body contact and if the players' fitness in not up to the mark, there is a greater chance of injuries,” said Bhendigiri. “Also, Indian players start out playing in the mud and the transition to the mat is a bit sudden. Sometimes it becomes difficult for them to adjust. Only if you are fit will the transition be easy.”
The coach of the 2012 World Cup winning Indian women’s kabaddi team knows, however, that it takes the right combination of brain and brawn to make it big in the game.
“It is not just fitness. The game also requires a sharp mind. On top of the skills, strategy is important and that is where I come in with the inputs from the side-lines," he said.
Bhendigiri, who holds a PhD in kabaddi, was also extremely happy with the popularity the sport enjoyed among the masses currently and credited VIVO Pro Kabaddi for its rise.
"VIVO Pro Kabaddi has changed the landscape of kabaddi in the country. Earlier only a particular section of the society watched the game. Now, with such extensive coverage, many people have started watching it,” he observed. “VIVO Pro Kabaddi has elevated the sport to such an extent that now even in the top schools of India the sport is being played. With big corporates and Bollywood stars investing in the league, it is a great support system for the kabaddi players.”