Time The Support Staff To Indian Athletes Are Given Due Recognition

“Fitness along with proper nutrition is important for a healthy life”, says this young team Physician Of the Indian Elite Women Boxing Team.

Dr. Amol A. Patil

A MBBS and PGDSM in Sports Medicine, Dr. Amol A. Patil works for The Sports Authority of India and has supported the Indian boxing team of top sports stars of the likes of Mary Kom, Sarita Devi, Pinki Rani, Vikas Krishnan, Manoj Kumar among others.

Patil has also worked with leading sportspersons in the disciplines of weightlifting, gymnastics, cycling, athletics, etc.

Pune365 spoke to this young doctor who has played a major role in keeping several of our sports personalities in great shape for their competitions..

Sports Authority of India is the only premier sports organization under Ministry of Youth & Sports that looks after the sports in national and international area.

“Being fit increases energy, maintains physical functionality and may prevent or minimize complications from chronic diseases,” he further clarifies.

I always believe that a lot can be done for performance enhancement on a scientific basis when it comes to our Indian athletes.

After my graduation from Grant Medical College- Mumbai, I was at the crossroads of choosing my career. I wanted a branch that had a combination of medicine and orthopaedics, and Sports Medicine seemed perfect.

When you start working with an elite national team you are often burdened with a great responsibility of maintaining fitness for the entire team and often find no time even for your own physical fitness.

I love swimming and often do when I find the time. The other routine I enjoy when I have some free time is an evening walk in the precincts of the Indira Gandhi Stadium”

According to Patil, walking is the best form of exercise for all ages as it involves coordination of all joints, in alignment of gravity with optimal cardiovascular stimulation and improved breathing ability.

Elderly people having osteoporotic bones are also benefitted by walking, as their balance and co-ordination is improved.

Sharing his secret recipe of rehabilitation of injuries of boxers during a tournament, he says, “Special attention is given on their food and fluid intake, as boxing is a weight category game and one has to maintain the ideal weight as per his/her weight class.

Sleep is another factor that plays great role in next day bout. Active recovery by various means like hot/cold bath, sports massage, cryo-compression, etc may be administered if required.”

 

Speaking on the expansion of the sports industry and the need for good physiotherapists, he says, “Even now we are short of good physiotherapist for our national teams.

We need physios for our elite, youth and junior men and women teams of all the games supported by Sports Authority of India.

“Currently, we do have qualified physiotherapists who have specialized in sports medicine and sports physiotherapy from Indian as well as foreign universities.

These physios are attached with national coaching camps of various disciplines such as boxing, shooting, weightlifting, athletics, archery, gymnastics, cycling, hockey, football, etc.”

He also stresses on the fact that although Indian government is recognising male and female athletes equally but the support staff including doctors are not given their share, be it monetarily or just attention.

It is easy to blame us at first when the athletes do not perform well. Unlike foreign athletes who win more medals in international arena, Indian athletes are given more cash awards, jobs, media coverage etc. To give you an example, a CWG gold medallist gets 30 lakhs as reward.

“In fact, some athletes do not perform even after getting these awards and honours and that is topic of concern as government provides everything right from lodging, boarding, to training, infrastructure to foreign exposure.

And additionally, all the cash awards and scholarships through various schemes, yet athletes are not happy, as they want more and more and in the entire process they forget to work hard.

When quizzed if the professionals are provided with enough medical attention, he opines, “The healthcare in sports industry is not organized. Moreover, we need to inculcate evidence-based practice.

But as I see it, in the present scenario our sports healthcare is greatly influenced by the whims of the top athletes who expect an ‘on demand’ approach from the care givers. To add to this, the administration is not competent enough to back and stand up for their scientific team.

“What I think India needs is to undertake educational programmes for athletes so that they are well versed with the latest scientific approach towards injury management and rehabilitation. Apart from education India needs to build world class infrastructure facilities at various state level sports academies and institutions for the upliftment of sports medicine and sciences.

Various workshops and seminars must be undertaken at state level for continuous scientific development of the professionals engaged in sports healthcare.”

Reiterating the need for quality advise, he says that self-medication and Dr Google should to be avoided strictly. “Athletes should not be consuming any substances with proper consultation or knowledge, as it may risk them from getting into Doping Violations under WADA.

The thumb rule states that an athlete is responsible for his/her actions.
He/She cannot hide under the pretext that he/she do not know that such substance/medicine/supplement/method are a violation of the WADA Code.”

Tips to escape injuries:

  • Practice under the supervision of technical experts helps prevent many common injuries.
  • Prevention must include proper conditioning of the body prior to engaging in sporting activity with adequate warm-up and cool down.
  • Proper protective equipment to be used while practicing a particular fitness regime.
  • One must often read and educate himself/herself about the activity to be undertaken and common preventive exercises for the same to be done prior to this activity.

Careers In Sport Medicine:

Sports Medicine and Sports Sciences go hand in hand.
A medical graduate (MBBS) with specialization in Sports Medicine, Orthopaedic Surgeons with fellowship in Sports Arthroscopy, Physiologist specialized in Exercise Physiology, Physiotherapist working as Rehabilitation Expert and Strength Conditioner.
Psychologist act as Mental Trainers.
Biochemistry and Nutritionist can work as Sports Dietician.
Anthropometry, Biomechanics, etc have their respective roles in talent identification and performance enhancement.
MSc PhDs in Clinical Nutrition and Clinical Psychology with experience in Sports..

Loveleen Kaur

Loveleen Kaur

She loves travelling, dogs, sarcasm, humour and anything that spells F O O D, in that order. A writer on a journey to make positive stories a morning ritual and give society what it needs the most - optimism !!

Reach her at loveleen@pune365.com or tweet @KaurKaur18
Loveleen Kaur

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