Indian football team undergoes army training

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Bengaluru, June 7: Preparing for the 2018 World Cup Preliminary Joint Qualification match against Oman, Indian footballers underwent army training here as a new concept in team building exercise.

The training exercise happened at the Army Service Corps Centre (ASC) here where the Indian players were put through obstacle courses consisting of 21 different barriers and also team building recreational games.

Sunil Chhetri going through Team Building exercises organised by the Indian Army at the ASC Camus, Bengaluru on Saturday.

With just a few days left for India's crucial opener in 2018 World Cup Preliminary Joint Qualification match against Oman on June 11, head coach Stephen Constantine, the brain behind the new idea, said it was good to take time off from a training session to "build the team".

"In order to build a team of any kind and in any sphere of life, be it in business or corporate world or sports teams, you need people who can work under pressure," Constantine said.

"You need to see people at their breaking point. By putting the players under extreme pressure, you find out and separate the men from the boys. Obviously the military are experts in putting people in high pressure and difficult situations because they can't afford the soldier to make a mistake at a critical point," he explained.

"From our perspective, it helped in team building with players getting to trust each other in difficult situations and fighting against the odds. And both psychologically and physically, we benefited immensely. Whenever the players have a difficult time together, they are mentally stronger."

Sandesh Jhingan said that "quitting in such situations is uncalled for". "Go for it. Not going for it is a problem. At the outset I felt the barriers were a bit difficult. But I went for it; in fact, we all went for it," he said.

"The initiative was a reminder for all how mentally strong you need to be. There is no place for any negativity. At one moment while crossing on the rope, I knew that if I fell down, anything could have happened. But I backed myself."

PTI

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