The Puneri Paltan emerging all-rounder Shubham Shinde describes his journey from a tiny village in Maharashtra to the glitz and glamour of the Pro Kabaddi Challenge.
During his formative years, Shinde’s father had a big influence on him taking up the sport of Kabaddi and ensuring he excelled at the sport.
“My father inspired me to play Kabaddi and he supported me a lot,” Shinde narrated proudly in an exclusive interview with Fisto Sports.
Shinde had a promising start to his professional career, when he played Junior Nationals in 2014-15, 2016-17 and 2017-18 representing Maharashtra.
Shinde’s breakthrough moment when was adjudged Best Player in Puneri Paltan’s Kabaddi tournament which they organized in Chiplun back in 2016. That ultimately got the attention of Pro Kabaddi.
With his consistent performance, he got a place in Air India and Arjun Award winner Puneri Paltan team coach, Mr. Ashok Shinde spotted the game in Shubham and suggested the team to sign him up for Season 6 under the New Young Player category.
“I underwent trials organized by Puneri Paltan where I excelled and Puneri Paltan signed me up under the New Young Player category.”
Kabaddi, as fast-paced as it is, is always a treat to watch. The raids and tackles executed with perfection of timing pump audiences with such adrenaline as can be claimed only by a few other sports.
Despite being aggressive on the field, Shubham is very quiet and equally cynical in his personal life. These qualities have become equally important to succeed in his kabaddi career.
Practice for Shinde also involves training the moves against his own teammates, which means that he surrenders the element of surprise to figure workarounds.
“In Kabaddi, fitness is very important. Every morning, we have our fitness sessions concentrating on strength conditioning. Every evening, we have mat practice.”
As an all-rounder, who specialises in blocking and dashing raiders off the mat, Shinde is also lean and fit, that allow him to move with seemingly minimum effort but that’s deceiving to the eyes.
When asked which is more difficult, defending or ride, he says none is difficult, “It depends on player to player how well they accustom to the skill set required for each of the roles.”
The all-rounder also believes that India’s Asian Games defeat to Iran is just another learning curve that the team must look for new strategies.
“It is a lesson for Indian Kabaddi and a sign that Indian Kabaddi needs to buckle up. We should learn from the mistakes and start preparing for the next Asian Games we must start preparing from now and concentrate on new strategies.”
The conversation forayed into Coach Ashan Kumar and upon being asked how is the experience working with him, he nonchalantly replies, “Coach sir is a very disciplined person and I think that’s what important for any player. He advises us to always focus on our game and improve it.”
When asked about the major opponents this year, Shinde was quick to reply, “All the teams are well-balanced, and it is too early to predict. One never knows when the tables might turn during the phase of 3 months.”
However, the all-rounder believes that victory for the team would be a total slam dunk if all the players continue to maintain their dedication and regularity.
Shinde is confident in his team, despite being wary of contenders like Patna Pirates, and believes they can bag the trophy this year. The optimistic player chooses to see the legacy as a source of inspiration rather than trepidation.
Though his efforts are calculated, the teenager has been adapting his style to the team’s strategy or the need of the hour. “I want to put forth my best performance and make a mark in Kabaddi fraternity.”
While the big names from Kabaddi leave him unperturbed, he does aspire to emulate the big names from the silver screen.
Favourite Movie – Baaghi
Favourite actress – Shraddha Kapoor
Favourite cheat meal – Bread Jam
Favourite song – Faded
Best friend in Puneri Paltan – Girish Ernak
Role model – Surjeet Singh
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