Become a Pro Kabaddi Player: Kabaddi was confined to villages up until 2014, before Charu Sharma and Anand Mahindra led Mashal Sports, after years of hard work on the project, presented the Pro Kabaddi League. Pro Kabaddi helped the sport rise from the ashes, straight into the hearts of the audiences, nation over. Pro Kabaddi went on to break the TRP charts as it went on to become the second most-watched sports league after the Indian Premier League (IPL).
Pro Kabaddi has now hosted six seasons with the seventh season running and has tasted success year-on-year, involving women players and kids in the game as well to take it far and long.
Kabaddi, which was a sport restricted to the rural areas, found its voice and broadband with sheer success, finding a place in the urban towns as well. Kabaddi has now become aspirational with a lot of youngsters being drawn to the game and wanting to pursue their career in the sport.
Kabaddi is an intriguing and fast-paced game which doesn’t just require skill, but strength, power, pace, stamina, and agility, which requires years of hard work and perseverance.
How to become a good Kabaddi Player?
For a kabaddi enthusiast wanting to turn professional, he/she would need to work really hard and undergo structured training at an academy, learning from the best of coaches, not just about the nitty-gritties of the game, but also about the other aspects that go into making a player, including strength training, conditioning, diet, strategy, decision making, etc.
Kabaddi is a game that requires extreme fitness and for someone to prosper and do well in the sport, he/she requires great level of both mental and physical fitness.
Strength, stamina and endurance are an essential component of a kabaddi player’s life and one must undergo the daily regime to achieve a good level of it as it helps in superior performance.
As they say, “you are what you eat.,” and hence, diet is one of the most essential parts of an athlete’s life. Diet helps give the best output for the work put in and builds great body structure to work with. A diet, though dependent on the work-out, should consists of the right amounts of protein, carbohydrates, minerals and vitamins. Drinking a lot of water to keep oneself hydrated is also key.
Practice makes a man perfect. Practice ensures one can master the art and not just be a jack of all trades. A person who has 100 moves is less dangerous than a man who has practiced 1 move 100 times. So, it is about practice, that helps one evolve their game and be prepared for different situations that the game may offer. A kabaddi player would need to have multiple iterations of raids and tackles, and practice the key moves such as the running hand touch, dubki, frog jump, etc. A defender would need to perfect the art of an ankle hold, thigh hold, back hold, dash, etc.
While all other components are crucial, working on the strategy is as important. Understanding the nitty-gritties of the game, and how the opponent might stack-up against you is pivotal. One needs to understand to formulate strategies, read the opponents’ game and adjust according to the match situation.
Discipline is the base of one’s growth. Kabaddi, as a sport, embarks ethics and honesty, which is often seen in the game as well. For someone to be a successful kabaddi player, he needs to abide by discipline and inculcate it in his daily life, training, and play.
While all the above components are very important, Competition is at the heart of all of it as it is an essential part of a player’s development. Competition helps you understand where you stand among your peers and what aspects you need to work on. Training is one thing, but implementing things in a match is all that matters in the end. One should start with local competition, but gradually face stiffer competition at the city/state/zonal/national level.
How to become a Pro Kabaddi Player?
After a player has graduated to a level, the next obvious step is the Pro Kabaddi League. A lot of teams in the league have held trials across cities to identify goo young talent for their side, which they can groom and make the most of.
In addition, even the league started its talent scouting and development initiative, called Future Kabaddi Heroes’ Programme, to nurture future kabaddi stars. The program holds scouting camps across the country, to identify the best talent and get them to the Pro Kabaddi camp, from where the players are put in the Player Auction.
The program was rolled out in three phases. The first phase was conducted across 11 cities, commencing in February in Mumbai. The other locations were Patna, Chandigarh, Chennai, Hyderabad, Delhi, Lucknow, Nagpur, Guwahati, Bengaluru, and Jaipur, covering all the areas from where the teams play and around.
League Commissioner of PKL, Anupam Goswami, said, “With the FKH program, our aim is to identify promising talent and build successive generations of higher quality kabaddi players.”
Former Indian captain Anup Kumar was also all praises of the initiative. He said, “This is a unique initiative that serves as a strong base for young kabaddi players to move towards their dream of playing the sport at a professional level.”
A rigorous shortlisting happens in the initial phase, from where players are selected for the second phase. They are further filtered down and only players with exceptional talent and ability make it to the third phase for training, from where they are subsequently drafted in the player auction.
The same was carried out for Pro Kabaddi Season 7 with the scouted players selected under ‘New Young Players’ category after careful evaluation and scouting by the teams and league.
A similar program is set to be rolled out next year as well, tentatively in February 2020 to provide chances to more upcoming and talented players who can make a mark in Pro Kabaddi.