Track & field legend Carl Lewis (52) feels a lack of confidence is one of the main reasons Indian athletes fail to perform at the international stage.
Olympic champion Carl Lewis gets ready to give his footprint at an event in Bandra yesterday. Pic/Pradeep Dhivar
"Indian athletes have the talent but lack confidence. Technically they can do all the routines as efficiently as an Olympic-level athlete of any other country, but when it comes to performing they lack self-confidence.
"If you want to win an Olympic medal for your country, it is very important that you first believe in yourself... that you have it in you to win," Lewis told reporters during an interaction with the Nike run club members yesterday.
The star sprinter believes Indian kids should indulge in physical activities at an early age if the nation wants to do well in track & field events.
"In America they (kids) have physical education compulsory for every age group, right from kindergarten till high school. I feel even here the authorities should make physical education mandatory in schools," he said.
Lewis slammed modern methods where weight training is given more importance. "When you do power training, you tend to gain weight. Modern day athletes feel that by lifting weights they are getting stronger.
They forget that they are gaining weight in form of muscles that can reduce their speed when you run. I feel that the trend is over-emphasised," he said.
Importance of basics
The superstar athlete said sticking to basics is crucial for success. "Today, when I ask an athlete which is your main event, they reply that they do the 100m, 200m, 400m and relay. There is no clear demarcation on one solo event that they are good at.
"For me, the event I was good at was long jump, and I used to participate in others sprint events too. The reason I did well was because I stuck to my basics," he concluded.
The number of medals Carl Lewis won at Olympics and World Championships. Nine golds were won in Olympics while eight golds came at World Championships