Boot camps are being increasingly employed by sports teams to strengthen the bond between the team members and for each individual to get a better understanding of their own capabilities. This is particularly applicable to the national teams of a county like India where the team is made up of individuals from different cultures, languages and social backgrounds. A boot camp is an ideal tool to get the players to relax, bond and get a deeper understanding of each other.
When Sudip Majumder and Sujith Somasunder offered us a chance to conduct a one day boot camp for the Indian U-19 team, we were happy to oblige. We selected a bunch of activities that would help the youngsters bond with each other while learning the importance of communication, co-ordination and overcoming one’s fears.
We got into full swing in terms of arranging for the camp sites and ensuring that it meets the boot camp requirement and waited for the D-Day. On Jan 9th, we had a bus full of youngsters from the Under-19 team alighting at our campsite along with their coach.
Day 1 of the boot camp started with rappelling down a 90 feet rock. The idea behind the activity is to get folks to overcome the fear of conquering heights and give them the confidence to conquer their fears. The swiftness with which the boys went about was amazing to watch.
After a short break, we had them move into a bit more of a fun activity of the zip line which consisted of the team traversing across a 200 meter rope and reaching their destinations.
By then, it was quite sunny and the team was tired and it was decided to have lunch. Following the lunch, we had quite a bit of fun learning development activities that Sudip and Sujith had planned. The program included some interesting activities like co-ordination games with Helium sticks, verbal volleyball and tent pitching. It was wonderful to see the team work together on these activities and bond with each other.
Team playing Verbal volleyball
The group was divided into 4 teams for the next activity which involved timing in completing the tasks.
Winning team of Tent pitching activity.
After the fun part, there was a small trek to the sunset point over the Ramdevarabetta. This is where the historic Sholay film was shot and the evening trek ensured that the guys were just about tired enough to sit down and enjoy a bon fire.
The next day started with the team participating in the hunter/hare game followed by the most difficult part of the trip – ‘Chimney Climbing’. The team really enjoyed shimming up the crevice, with the coach being the one who seemed to have the most fun.
After the chimney climb there was series of events that Sujith and Sudip took up which was held in the hall of the camp site.
After sumptuous lunch, the event ended with few good words from every one and the curtain came down. As we said good byes and sat down for some chai and pakodas, we thanked our stars and the effort of all the folks involved in catering to the under-19 boot camp. It was indeed pleasure to host them and hoping with bated breath for them to bring home another world cup.