Tokyo-bound skeet shooter Angad Vir Singh Bajwa is trying to cover all bases as he prepares for his Olympic debut.
Bajwa and 10m air pistol shooter Manu Bhaker had proposed to hire the services of a sports psychologist for better preparation ahead of the Tokyo Olympics. The proposal was sanctioned only last week at the Mission Olympic Cell meeting as part of the government's Target Olympic Podium Scheme (TOPS).
"There are nerves in the games and various other aspects when you're performing," Bajwa told the Olympic Channel. "Shooting is a very precision-oriented game and you have to shoot between heartbeats."
The Chandigarh-shooter, who is training under Tore Brovold, also mentioned that one needs to be mentally prepared for a high-profile event like the Olympics. He also mentioned that an athlete has several things like stress to deal with and needs guidance in such a situation.
"It all comes down to mental strength and how do you perform under pressure," he added.
"Especially in high-pressure situation like the Olympics. You have to be prepared mentally for that also. So there are a lot of things that we do. Having a psychologist is very important, you have stress and other things, and you need their guidance."
Mental health of the athletes has been a key aspect and it has further come to the fore during the coronavirus pandemic. Bajwa is one of the two Indian skeet shooters to have qualified for Tokyo Olympics.
The cost of hiring the psychologist, for the the two shooters, starting from January 2021, is estimated at around INR 29 lakh.
TOPS had also sanctioned INR 68.39 lakh for Bajwa's international training, ammunition and out of pocket allowance. He had qualified for the Tokyo Olympics with a stunning performance at the Asian Championship in Doha 2019. The 25-year-old had defeated his Indian compatriot and veteran Mairaj Khan in the shoot-off to clinch a gold medal.