Image Credits: Fistosports
Sagar Das is an excellent young prospect who specializes in the long jump, from PDPU (Pandit Deendayal Petroleum University), Gujarat. Sagar Das was first introduced to athletics by his father. It was love at first jump, and he began the sport competitively for health benefits and ever since he got that taste of competition, Sagar hasn’t looked back. His role model is his father, who was a very good athlete of his time, who is very supportive and encouraging of everything Sagar does. He is inspired by the success of the legendary Milkha Singh, who became the first Indian male to reach the final of an Olympic athletics event. The transition for Sagar into track and field has forced him to face challenges rooted in confidence, finding that inner strength and believing in himself. His personal best in the long jump is 6.36m. His competitive edge carries over into his academic life as well. The 18-year-old lad is a strong example of what it means to not have to compromise your academic career in pursuit of athletic dreams. Excerpts Can you elaborate a little about your past and what made you get into Athletics? My parents were very supportive of me participating in sports. My father was a very good athlete of his time and he taught me and coached me when I was young. I continued playing sports because I enjoyed the competition of athletic endeavours. As an adult I chose sports for their health benefits and camaraderie of my playing partners. As for inspiration, I have always push myself hard to achieve my goals. I don’t know but I can count myself as my own inspiration but I have always looked upon the flying Sikh too. How would you describe your running style, and which runner/sprinter would you compare it to? Jennings (as in former Olympic trials champion Gabe Jennings) Who are some friends/teammates that have inspired and motivated you? Senior teammates, batchmates and family members always supported me and kept me motivated. What’s your favorite hobby away from Athletics? Is there something you do to take your mind off the running? While being on the track I always focus on myself – how to grow much better? What fouls am I doing? – and best ways to improve those faults. But while speaking things that take me off from athletics are some soft music with a book in hand. Some elite athletes find themselves getting a little antsy after taking even a couple days off between seasons. Is it hard for you to take time off between seasons? Definitely yes, because of practice structure. While it is not a hard and fast rule, typically you’ll find that organised players are often among the more successful bunch, so if you have a program that simply runs an hour or so strict session against a scout team, and then flipping to do the same on the other side of ball, you probably aren’t getting the most out of it, and developing as individuals. When the pain and doubts hit, where do you find inspiration? Being a sport a person you every day suffer from some major or minor injuries, but fearing back from those injuries is not what a sports person is capable of. If it’s minor, they get cured in practice session while major needs time but I always come up and fight myself back. Secondly, looking for inspiration my dad (always), senior players, coach, music and well-wishers. Best or worst thing about being an athlete? Best things about being athlete: Time management, don’t be afraid to fail, commitments, hard work and positivity. Worst things: Off season work out, traveling, 6 a.m. practice, goodbye sleep. Is there any particular memories from your Athletics career so far that stand out as being special to you? As far as now there is no such special memories from my athletic career. What are your long-term running goals? Increase my short-race speed by one to three percent and then take full time to recover after those races. What would you prefer, a bronze medal at the Olympics or a gold medal at the Commonwealth games? Getting a bronze medal at the Olympics (just because greater number of countries take part) Next on your to-do list? Take a Christmas Market Cruise through Europe. How do you unwind yourself after an athletic meet? Take a moment to think about the root cause of your nerves. For many, it is the sense of a loss of control despite your preparation, you reach the point when you need to take that leap and hope for the best. The more I care and practice, the better I feel overall.