Abhinav Bindra, the Indian Olympic Gold medallist in shooting, speaking to the Student Media Cell in a face-to-face interview at IIM Bangalore before his talk at IIMB-Vista 2016. Ever the punctual person, Mr. Bindra was ready for the interview more than 15 minutes in advance and was waiting for us. Below are some of the excerpts from the interview:
(Interviewed by Srikkanth Sridhar & Anand Ganapathy)
Question: Why shooting? What was your motivation for getting into this sport?
Answer: As a kid, I was always very fat (laughing). So I wasn’t very good at the traditional Indian sports like cricket, football and hockey. My uncle introduced me to shooting and I found out that I was very good at it, simply because holding a rifle required a great deal of strength and the ability to hold still while taking aim. Fortunately, I could do so, owing to by body weight and this got me interested.
Question: What are the challenges you faced while training for the Olympics?
Answer: I always had the necessary support from my family for training purposes. The biggest challenge was the mental block of practicing for a world event and continuously trying again.
Question: How would you promote shooting as a sport in India?
Answer: There are a lot of structural issues with regards to sports such as shooting or archery. You’ve got to start at the grassroots level and work your way up to professional sports. The way forward, I believe, is with more academies and sport institutions, because something like shooting is not a sport likely to be taken up in schools and colleges owing to the investment needed in setting up the necessary infrastructure. Then of course, you need the push from sportspersons and the Government to help take this forward.
Question: What are they key management lessons you have from shooting?
Answer: I think the key learning is that you need to keep yourself motivated when you’re competing on the big stage. Be it sports or your own company, you’ll need to wake up every morning with the idea that you’re going to succeed, and never let that determination go.