Manager Sujith reflects on success of High Performance Camp
Academy Manager Sujith KV sat down with our media team to reflect on the success of the seventy-day camp
FC Mangalore’s Academy Manager Sujith KV is one of those hands-on sports professionals who take great pride in running a tight operation and is an absolute workoholic. One of his biggest challenges arrived earlier this year when the club decided to conduct the seventy day FC Mangalore High Performance Training Camp and the onus of running the project landed firmly on Sujith’s shoulders.
Our media team sat down with the maestro to reflect on the success of the event and the day to day operational challenges of running a bio-bubble during a deadly pandemic.
Q: What were your thoughts going into this event and were you fully confident of being able to pull it off?
Sujith: We spent months brainstorming the camp right down to the smallest details. On a macro level, given the pandemic situation, we knew that the lives of all these children were in our hands and hence the responsibility was huge. We spent as much time on off-field activities as we did on on-field, ensuring that the players were completely engaged at all times and they never felt that even a single minute was wasted. Our time-table, schedules, meal menus, accommodation and travel arrangements were studied again and again, months in advance hence when D-day arrived, we were ready to go!
Q: Was the camp designed to include so many activities in the planning phase? What lead to those decisions?
Sujith: Right off the bat we wanted to create a truly unique experience for the players. Hence we incorporated the best in technical and tactical coaching, strength and conditioning, core and resistance training which was supplemented with a good recovery program so that injuries could be kept at a minimum. Off the field ,we have match screenings, movie nights, specialist workshops, one-on-one sessions with our coaches so the players always felt comfortable in their stay in Mangalore.
Q: What was the main goal of the camp in retrospect? Were you looking to scout players for the club?
Sujith: As a manager, I leave the technical aspects to our coaches. For me personally, the main goal was to ensure individual safety for each player and also keep a healthy communication channel with each and every one of them and their parents. Mental health and well being is something which is very important in today’s sports and I wanted to make sure that I had constant updates on their feedback and also took swift action if anything needed to be changed.
Q: Lastly, how did you ensure safety during the times of the pandemic within the campus?
Sujith: We maintained a very strict bio-bubble during the entire process. Accommodation for the entire group was made in our our facilities adjacent to the football field. Daily temperature checks were conducted apart from maintaining social distancing norms and the number of individuals directly interacting with the players and staff was limited to a select few in an effort to minimise their exposure. Our biggest achievement, in retrospect, was that nobody tested positive all through the camp period.