Kabaddi pro Anup Kumar turns coach to train son

Updated: Apr 11, 2020, 08:40 IST | Subodh Mayure | Mumbai

Anup Kumar is guiding Kunal, a Class VI student, to strengthen his foundations in the sport at Palra village.

Anup Kumar with son Kunal
Anup Kumar with son Kunal

India's 2016 World Cup-winning kabaddi team captain Anup Kumar felt his son Kunal, 12, could become a very good wrestler. However, Kunal decided to pursue kabaddi. Currently, Anup is guiding Kunal, a Class VI student, to strengthen his foundations in the sport at Palra village in Haryana's Gurgaon district.

"Kunal is a bit on the stout side but is very active which made me think he could be an excellent wrestler. He has the power, speed and energy. But he is adamant on being a kabaddi player. I will support and train him to ensure he reaches his goal. He has told me very clearly that kabaddi is the only sport he will pursue else he won't be pursuing any other sport which makes me happy," Anup told mid-day on Thursday.

"My son is very fond of kabaddi. He has gained interest in the game after watching the Pro Kabaddi League (PKL). He tells me that his passion for the sport grew by watching me. I inspired him in certain ways," said Anup, who led U Mumba to PKL glory in 2015. He coached Puneri Paltan last season.

Anup, 36, who was a member of the Indian team that won Asian Games gold medal in 2010 and 2014, is now working on building Kunal's stamina.

"I used to get him to train daily, but after the lockdown there are not many options for practice.

"Despite that, I train him daily with basic stamina and strengthening exercises. We have a plot next to our house which is covered with mud so my son trains there with me.

"My aim is to give him a strong foundation and not focus too much on skill sets as he is still a kid.

"I'm teaching him about the ground we play in, how to behave when you are on the ground, the rules that should be followed while playing etc," remarked Anup, who started playing kabaddi at the age of 15.

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