How-to-win-a-tourney tips from IIM to Lajong - Shillong B-school offers expert advice to boost confidence level of I-League entrants

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  • Published 20.08.09

Shillong, Aug. 20: A B-school has set out to do what an Englishman did to the Proteas and a psychologist to a Danish soccer team — instil a killer instinct and — make the team win.

Shillong IIM has offered players of Lajong Sports Club, which recently made the cut in the nation’s premier football tournament — the I-League — “motivational” tips to help it clinch the title.

The I-League is at the top of the Indian football league system, which was launched by the All India Football Federation (AIFF) in 2007-08. It replaced the National Football League.

The 2007-08 season was the first season for the I-League. It was in the second season this year that Lajong became the first team to qualify for the top tier of the I-League by beating Pune FC 2-0 in a Division II league match at the Tau Devi Lal Stadium in Gurgaon in April.

At a news conference today, IIM director Ashoke Datta said the institute has made the offer to the sports club, the first from the Northeast to make it to the I-League.

“We have experts who can increase the confidence level of the players to take on the competition,” he added.

Lajong Club general secretary Larsing Ming Sawian said they were “very keen” to get the best out of the team and hence the IIM offer was very “exciting”.

“In IIM, we have a pool of intellectuals and very talented academicians who can provide tips on how to improve the performance of the football team,” Datta said.

Citing a case, Datta said when Denmark won the Soccer World Cup in 1992, the team had highlighted the motivation and role played by a psychologist employed by the team. More recently, Englishman Jeremy Snape helped South Africa find the mental strength to topple the Australians. Owner of a sports’ style management company, Snape’s expertise helped the South Africans improve their clinical gameplan. After Lajong qualified for the I -League, efforts were on by the management to hire Nigerians and a few national players as well as national coaches to train the team. But the idea put forward by Dutta may further strengthen the club.

Datta said the managers in IIM, including its psychologists, could provide inputs to the players on how to “perform with confidence”. “It is not only physical stamina which matters in football; winning chances also depend on other mental skills like concentration while playing.”

The specific skills the players can develop include a positive mindset, maintaining confidence even in an adverse situation and better concentration.

“We have experts to provide all these skills and we will try to ensure that Lajong wins by all means,” Datta said.

The head of IIM said when the Shillong club made it to the I-League, “the institute thought it is our responsibility to advise and give ideas on how to improve the performance of the club”. He also offered a few interactive sessions for the Lajong team at IIM Shillong.

According to Datta, ever since the formation of IIM, the institute had taken measures to help local talents in whatever way possible. “We are committed to developing the region and have identified sport as an area where there will be employment and entertainment together,” Datta added.

Larsing said the offer was a “huge bonus” for the club.

The coach of Lajong Club, Stanly Rozario, said he was hopeful that the players would win the I-League as they have the potential to excel in the big tournaments.