The confidence Vijay Divecha exudes is infectious. Staying upbeat is a way of life for the coach without making a noise about the methods and system that has produced golfers of quality.
Anirban Lahiri and Udayan Mane are two such names to have flowered under his tutelage and as Divecha terms it as stepping up and expressing themselves on different Tours.
Their routes to the Tokyo Olympics may have been different — Anirban has been a part of the PGA Tour since 2016 and Udayan has been prolific on the Professional Golf Tour of India recently, but as they tee off at the Kasumagaseki Country Club on the outskirts of Tokyo, Anirban and Udayan will have some pointers in mind. Especially, since Divecha’s advice played a hand in Anirban featuring in his second Olympics after Rio 2016, and Udayan making his debut.
Said Divecha, “I always told them stay in the moment and play the tournaments you normally do well and that will get you there. Focusing just on the Olympics would create pressure and hinder performance.”
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We know where that is coming from. Though sport’s biggest platform, Olympic golf is yet to attain the status of a Major. Divecha is respectful but puts the situation into perspective.
Also Read: Udayan on a high after novel Olympic buildup
“Most of the boys grew up dreaming of winning The Masters and other Majors, but not the Olympics,” he said, and finds reflection in Udayan’s remark before his departure to Tokyo that he did not identify with the cliche that “I grew up dreaming of playing the Olympics” till golf made a comeback at Rio 2016.
That’s in the past now and destination Olympics has been reached. What needs to be guarded against is letting expectations and the occasion weigh on the shoulders.
Wednesday, July 28th, practice round pictures of @TheUdayanMane at #kasumigasekicountryclub @Tokyo2020 @Olympics #Olympics
Picture Courtesy: Rupesh Pardesi@TataSteelLtd pic.twitter.com/QnRc0AOiZq
— PGTI (@pgtofindia) July 28, 2021
“The Olympics should be just another tournament like the hundreds you have played before. The Olympics is a big grill, if you can cut the noise out around you and focus on playing good golf, the results will be favourable,” said Divecha.
After years on Tour, Anirban and Udayan are aware but the coach’s words are reaffirmation on the approach to adopt.
Wishing them luck in the endeavour.
Photo credit: Vijay Divecha
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