Manu Bhaker, who along with Saurabh Chaudhary is widely regarded as one of India's best medal shots at Tokyo 2020, has opened up about her approach to preparing for the Olympic Games.
The ace markswoman, who turned 18 this month, secured an Olympic quota for India with a fourth-place finish in the women's 10m Air Pistol event at the 2019 Munich ISSF World Cup.
However, she was a favourite to clinch a berth at the previous shooting World Cup round held in Delhi, in front of her home fans.
Struggling to carry her 25m Pistol form post-qualifying and being off her rhythm in the 10m Air Pistol, she was left with a 14th place result, which reduced her to tears.
Keeping emotions in check
In light of that incident, Manu Bhaker has been working on controlling her emotions as she heads into the 2020 Olympics.
Addressing the local media on Wednesday, Manu explained how, apart from the core training of her craft, she is also working on her mental game.
“I am focussing on my technique because that is what takes us ahead. Other than that, I’m working to keep myself physically and mentally fit, especially mental fitness," she was quoted saying by the Press Trust of India.
Meditation and music keeps Manu Bhaker on track
In a sport such as shooting, where calmness is paramount, Bhaker has turned to meditation.
“I am calming myself mentally because (the) Olympics is huge. I need to stay calm before facing the range, the people, etcetera… I am basically working on my mental stability.
“When you focus your mind and do meditation to calm your mind, it helps control the thought process," she said.
Toward that end, normal activities for a girl her age also helps Manu Bhaker maintain her mental harmony.
"I keep every thought away from myself. I distance myself from it and keep listening to music, meditating, dancing, writing diaries or reading novels to divert (my) mind and focus more,” she said.
Manu Bhaker will be competing at her maiden Olympics once the Games get underway in July.