Monday, July 12, 2010

Football and fast twitch muscle

Today's column for Yahoo! India can be read here.

11 comments:

Anonymous said...

India lacks interest in sports , cricket cant be called as a sports do you rate carrom or boardgame as a sports no as the same requires no fitness , Indian middle class groom there children for 90% and above in board exams and induce them in time pass cricket . So how can any country of 1 billion think about anything beyond cricket a sort of TV soap . Indian media and AIFF masterminds along with apathy of sponsors spoiled the beautiful game of football.

laxman said...

girish, read your comments on india and your opinion on various games.

1) I remember you mentioning we have never been world beaters like WI. Now, it is test cricket that is considered the most true form of testing any teams best abilities and gets the best out of any person or team - We are ranked No.1 in that. We have all the records that could have possibly been made in the game. If you were of the opinion that it was just sheer fast bowling that was to prove one's toughness - you should have seen some of the best test matches which are an ample example of how tiring a game could be, even if you were batting.

2) Your contention of india never played good hockey after partition - now which would mean india should have not won any big tournaments in the last 60 years. To be compared with Pakistan is such a sheer waste of time- they are nothing more than a rogue nation - who have failed to excel in any department in these last 60 years.

We indians have these habit of always cribbing and finding faults - to talk abt Japan in wrestling or take up some other country playing some other sport. You should do an introspection of the positive things - we are right there on the top in cricket, chess, badminton, golf, yes do agree we have lost our glory in hockey. But, how many countries can proudly boast of being representing in so many sports in that level.

As far as football is concerned, I do not see it is because of the fitness that we lack to qualify. Cricket in our country is more than a sport it is a passion - we grow up seeing and playing it and the fact it is so rewarding makes people take up that sport. Constructive way would be to educate and groom budding people to take up soccer and make it as rewarding a career as cricket in this country. Along side we should also give the due facilities to hockey.

Anonymous said...

Functionality of a muscle is to give strenght to our body and thus protects from injuries. It also provides the power that one is needed when he kicks a football. Obviously having it is advantageous for palying the game. But it cannot be stated as reason for India's poor show in the game. I beleve that muscle-structure, largely genetics, have very minor role in deciding the football-playing capability of one. I have played football, though not for big clubs. From my experience, I can say that three things are required to win a game - a) capability of sprinting, b) accurate passing of the ball and c) understanding the tactial necessities of the game. While, we, the Indians are nowhere in world stage in terms of our ability to sprint. But Koreans and Japanese are also nowhere compared to their African counterparts in 100 meter or 400 meter sprinting. But footballers are not sprinters. Therefore, Japanese or Korean footballer have achieved to maintain a speed so that they can compete with other footballers at world stage. They have achievwed it through practice. The second point is accuratly passing the ball. This is also achievable through practice though surprisingly most of the Indian players cannot do this simple task. And the third point is tactical understanding of the game... for that we need genuinly good coaches. And beside these, where we are lagging is that we do not play sufficient international matches against strong footballing nations so that we can understand our gaps and cover for them. Our clubs play regularly among themselves and when one wins against another, it thinks that it is playing very well... But really they do not practice against good footballing teams of other parts of the world. Only regular international matches, analysis the drawbacks (physical, skill, and tactical) can move forward our nation. We really lack it.

detractor said...

The statement about India not doing doing well in Hockey is baseless, and crude.
In fact, India was on an Olmypic winning spree from 1928-1956. That's 28 years? Now, the '40 and '44 Olympics weren't held due to WW-II. That's three Olympic Golds before, and three after Independence. Add the 1964 and 1980 Gold, and simple mathematics will say what I'm omitting.

About the cricket part. Dude ! Have you heard of Dhoni? He was earlier a football player. He is PURE BRUTE STRENGTH. And he runs quite well between the wickets, yeah? And I think batsmen need to run a lot while taking runs? 'Football is primarily about short, sharp bursts of pace.' is what you say. What is running between the wickets then? And also sir, being able to generate pace on the ball is as much a matter of technique, as much physical ability. It has A LOT to do with transfer of body weight to the ball. So it depends a lot on the training one has received at the grass-root level.

I'll not waste much time tying to pick you out point-wise. So I'll rather tell you what is wrong in what you've written.
Have you been to Punjab and Haryana? Seen the Jaats? Seen the tribals of North-east and Jharkhand? I suggest you do that the next time you think of bringing up the topic of fitness, among Indians. Those people are strength, agility and intelligence personified. So this argument is baseless, again, like your previous ones.

Have YOU played football at any level, sir? If you have, I really don't know how you can talk about the godly game in such a naive fashion. If you haven't, I'm again wasting my time trying to tell you all this.
Africa is POOR sir. VERY poor. The parts you are talking about, especially. That, is the reason why they can't perform to their potential in football, because it requires a lot of sophisticated training. Training is required in in athletics too, but basic equipment is virtually none.

And you seem to be heading nowhere with the example of sumo wrestling, frankly.
You mention Tiger Woods somewhere. With all due respect to him, how can you even talk of golf at par with football? I'm at an apparent loss of understanding.

And as far as the title of your article goes, what can I say about it. It reflects the most common, and the easiest sentiment of debasing things, rather than analysing them. I think you could have used a better word than 'sucks', DUDE. India doesn't 'suck' in football. It is failing to perform to perform to it's potential.

And the reasons are most certainly not the ones you mention. Your article is an amateurish attempt at writing about a topic, you seem to know nothing more about, except the 'farness of CR from humility and self-deprecation'. As a matter of 'pure coincidence', Cristiano Ronaldo happens to be the most expensive player ever.

Anonymous said...

We are not a sporting people, we can't stomach defeat and neither can we accept that we ever played badly in a game.

Indians can't play a team sport because collaborating to win is simply not in our system.
Notice how when winning a cricket test match is key, if an innings is declared when a player is on 95 ... and all the tamasha and conspiracy theories that go with it.
We don't have the focus or mental strength to win at individual sports, and we'd much rather take a shot at goal from 20 yards even if another player is at the goalmouth in an onside position. It's personal glory that we are chasing, not team glory.
Unless that changes we will never transform into a winning team in any sport, forget football.

PS. When Yuvraj Singh hit 6 sixes, he was only playing for the national team ... not a private club ... yet he was rewarded with property allotments, money, et all ... what did the rest of the team get?
Soldiers on the frontier do not get even half as much as what he got, yet they bravely fight the elements and the enemy.
Widows struggle to get adequate compensation and pension for their husbands in the armed force who were slain.

Anonymous said...

A note to laxman,

you say, how many countries can boast of being represented in so many sports ... I'll name you one tiny country.

New Zealand.

Cricket
Rugby
Football
Hockey
Sailing (Americas Cup)

and the list goes on

detractor said...

^^You quote out of topic. Where do soldiers come in from? And they are doing they're duty. They want no 'rewards'. I say, because I live with them. And the issue you're talking about is quite relevant man, but not here.
And the fault lies in the whole damn system. We are the syatem. You get my point? :)
WE need to change it. I, you, all of us.
And the author doesn' even seem concerned about what we're saying here man. Do you see a single reply from him?

Ram said...

emotions and logic do not live together. Author in a well researched article reiterates genetics relavant in strength of muscles in different sports and our
failings. This is not to suggest both - lack of pride in your pedigree or hopelessnss. Evolution stands test of time provided we identify the failings correctly and relove to eliminate them. Wish you a unshaking resolve !

Jai_C said...

Amit Varma was being torn apart (multiple WTFs) on some blogs I read back then, for a piece he did a couple of years ago on much the same thing, upto and including angry snorts for using terms like "fast-twitch muscle".

A fairly innocuous (I thought) comment from me drew fire at me too.

hope you get better treatment.

thanks,
Jai

Girish Shahane said...

The crux of my argument is the difference between East and West Africa, which eliminates issues like preference for cricket over football, or rich versus poor.
Unfortunately, nobody who has commented adversely about my article bothered to engage with this central comparison.

Anonymous said...

fine then forget about every sport and let's focus on Cricket, why can't India produce any raw pace bowlers if they love Cricket, while Pakistan has the fastest pacers on the planet, way faster than Caribbeans and Australians and both of those countries play Cricket like crazy too, Shoaib crossed the 100 mph barrier and is in the Guinness Book, and you can't forget about Akram and Younis, plus Khan, and Sami was clocked at hitting 100 mph too, where are all the Indian pacers?