AS THE INDIAN SENIOR WOMEN'S Team camp in the Capital for the forthcoming back to back International Friendlies against Vietnam on November 3 and 6, 2019 respectively, Bala Devi hailed the recent changes in the National team set-up which she feels has "helped the players in innumerable ways."
"Since making my debut in 2005, I have been playing in the National Team for more than a decade now. But there has been a string of recent changes, and all for good,” she maintained.
"We have seen some considerable changes in the dietary regime, training sessions, and most importantly video analysis off late. Laying out a proper diet plan, carbohydrate balance, protein intake, are aspects which are being taken being care of nowadays, and all of that helps players recover faster," Bala explained.
"When someone assesses your performance from the side lines and explains it later, it helps you detect the mistakes. Understandably, the next time, you'll certainly want to avoid them,” she maintained.
“But, if you are getting an opportunity to see your own mistakes later along with the coach's inputs, it proves to be more helpful because it's more direct. A video puts everything in black and white. It helps a player clear the doubts more effectively."
She also highlighted the change in the fitness regime in the camp, and that has brought in more value addition.
"Compared to earlier days, we spend more time in the gym nowadays. We stress on core exercises. These processes significantly reduce the chances of injuries, and accelerate the recovery process which is of paramount importance from a player's vantage point," she continued.
However, Bala added that all of that would have fallen flat on its face had not the Senior Women’s team got that much needed exposure which landed them “the opportunity to gauge where we stand, and put all into effect.”
"Since January 2019, we have played around 20 International matches. We played in the COTIF Cup, away matches against Hong Kong, Indonesia, Uzbekistan, and now we are slated to travel to Vietnam. In addition, there was the Hero Gold Cup, the SAFF Championship, the Olympic qualifiers,” she smiled. “Tell me, when have the women played so much?”
“All of that is our preparation for forthcoming AFC Asian Cup qualifiers. We know how tough the campaign will be so we have to keep on working rigorously."
She also highlighted the significant impact of the domestic competitions in the women’s calendar.
"Domestic competitions build the players. It significantly contributes to introducing more youngsters for the National Team. The current average age of the National Team now is much lower compared to what was five years ago,"
“The Hero IWL has helped create a pool of players all over. IWL clubs select all the talented players, and everyone gets an opportunity to play. The youngsters get to challenge the seasoned campaigners, and gains in experience.”