Stressing on the involvement of foreign professionals for the betterment of grapplers, Yogeshwar Dutt has stated that Indian coaches lack interest in learning new techniques. CWG gold medallist Geeta Phogat also said that foreign coaches provide the skills unknown to Indian grapplers.
“The foreign coaches are willing to learn and work with athletes. But Indian coaches lack that hunger to learn. They still live in the past and continue to train with the old systems. Therefore it is essential to have foreign coaches in wrestling because one has to keep changing the game," said Yogeshwar Dutt in a panel discussion.
“Indian wrestling started doing well globally after the foreign coaches came. In 2003, for the first time we got a Georgian coach, it was after that we won at the Olympics, started winning World Championships and medals in the Asian Games also increased.”
Agreeing to the views of Dutt, Geeta Phogat also emphasized on the role of foreign coaches in wrestling to help the Indian grapplers know more requisite skills and techniques.
"Yes, Indian wrestling has improved since foreign coaches came in because the skills and techniques they have is new to us," said Phogat.
"The coaches boost our confidence when we lose. They remind us that we have done it once before and we can do it again. We need to trust our coaches. Unless we trust them we can't get the result," Phogat further added.
Olympic champion shooter Abhinav Bindra who was also a part of the discussion shared his experience saying that he constantly kept on questioning his coach.
"I barely trusted myself so it was difficult for me to trust anyone else. I had an unconventional relationship with my coaches. I questioned them and until I was convinced I didn't do what they were asking of me," informed Bindra.
Former tennis player Mahesh Bhupathi and former chief coach of the Indian hockey team Balbir Singh senior also shared their views on the impact of coaches in a player’s career.
"My dad taught me the foundation of the game but once you get to a different stage you want to learn more and more from different physios, different coaches," Bhupathi said.
"I never discourage any player and even if the player had a disappointing performance I would tell him you'll do better next time and it worked -- it was the only time India won the World Cup," said Singh under guided the Indian hockey team to win the World Cup in 1975.