Sunil Lobo: 5 steps to get back to playing your favourite sport

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Who does not have fond memories of playing hard and trying to win? Yet, as time goes on and age and life catch-up, you stop going to the sports field. Sunil Lobo, the Zonal Vice President (Operations) at Hindustan Coca-Cola Beverages has a similar story. This quintessential Bandra boy loved and played hockey, basketball and table tennis. He was considered an all-rounder in the three games - a Jack of all sports. The medals and awards he won is proof of his skills on the field. He was a part of his school and college team. Quite often, he was the one who led the team to victory!

In the image, Sunil is being hoisted up after their hockey victory against another college.

And though time caught up with Sunil, and he found himself visiting the sports field fewer and fewer times, he never let go of his passion for sports. On National Sports Day, he shared some interesting tips on how he got back to playing his favourite sports after a 10 year break!

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1. Work with a Coach

“If you're starting to play a new sport at a later life stage, always engage with a specialist,” states Sunil Lobo. When he returned to the tennis court last year, he got an injury which meant he had to spend 8 months off the court recovering. Not being able to return to the sports field was quite frustrating. Sunil explains how he got the injury, “Lack of any formal training in badminton resulted in the injury as I didn't know how to exert myself playing a sport after such a long gap”.

A coach really helps because you are able to learn the right techniques and prevent injuries.

2. Choose the Right Sport

What’s the sport that you are most passionate about? Which sport do you have the most fun playing? Sunil highlights a key point, “Let's be honest, our body, at different life stages will not allow us to play ten different sports.”

Because of this, it makes sense to stick to one sport. Sticking to one sport ensures that you hone your reflexes to give your best performance on the field.

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3. Stay Dedicated

Playing a sport after a long break is challenging. The reason? Starting is easy, but persistence is an art. Finding the time and the will to continue playing the sport is not as easy as one would think. To stay dedicated and consistent, the best thing is to make a habit out of playing the sport. Aim to play at least three days a week for an hour.

4. Take your Partner Along

Your favourite game can become ma lot more fun when you take your life partner along. “Some of my best badminton games were played when my wife was around!” Sunil mentions. Playing with your partner can be a big motivating factor. On your low days, your partner will encourage you to continue playing when you do not want to.

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5. Take time to Rest and Recuperate

“Make sure you never overdo it!” Sunil Lobo warns. Allowing the body to rest means that you can return to the field with great vigour. Find time to rest and recuperate!

It’s no surprise that Sunil‘s favourite place to play games is Bandra. He grew up learning the sports he still loves in Bandra. When asked about the biggest lesson that he has taken away from the world of Sports, it was to always ‘Stay focused’. This is a learning that he applies to life, work, and sports.

Keeping sports in your life through the years despite all the physical and mental odds is a tough challenge - but nothing in life that is worth having comes easy. So keep at it!

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