Rajiv is an experienced football coach who has coached Tamil Nadu Grassroots kids. He has also produced some brilliant talent that plays the I-League and for the National Team. This interview has him explaining what needs to be done to make future sportsmen.

What is the secret or the process of becoming a good sportsperson?

India is a large country with an abundance of talent. However it dies at the processing stage. Every human being goes through various phases in his/her life. If we remain in control of ourselves and stay committed to learning and developing when it matters, we can become good sports personnel in the future.

What do you think is our biggest drawback in the international stage?

We are people who follow a set culture and a set path. Instead of striving to make the future better, we keep blaming the past. Work towards a goal. Set a goal to be athletes, footballers, cricketers, etc. and work towards the goal in a disciplined fashion.

What are the cultural barriers we are facing today in the world of sport?

Very few people here look at sports the same way as engineers or doctors as a profession. What we need to ask people is do we have the best engineers or doctors? The answer is that our people choose engineering or MBBS with a view to going abroad and settling there with a better lifestyle. Even if we go pursue sports with that attitude we may have better sportsmen and women in our country.

What do Indian sports personnel have to work on?

I see good talent coming up now. We have some exceptional talent in our bags. However we must work on our fitness. Our key to development is we lasting a tough 120 minutes first and then working on skills that will help us win the game.

What is your advice to young sports personnel?

1) Eat well and practice regularly.
2) Keep away from Junk food.
3) Keep away from Smoking and Drinking.
4) Sleep well and maintain a disciplined approach.
5) Keep faith in God.