Bharat Chhikara is one of India’s proudest heroes, bagging a Bronze Medal with his team at the 2010 Asian Games and a silver medal at the 2010 Commonwealth Games. Always aspiring to be number one and titled ‘Best Player of The Tournament’ at various domestic platforms, Bharat spills out his secrets to success.
Fulfilling His Father’s Dream with More Than 100% Dedication!
Bharat struggled matching up to his father’s expectations but this father-son duo turned every stone to fulfill the dream of Bharat flourishing as a successful Indian hockey player. Bharat’s father’s purpose was clear- he wanted his sons to contribute to their country’s pride and Bharat has beautifully fulfilled his dream!
Despite the lack of a hockey ground and appropriate equipment in the village, Bharat’s father still made Bharat practice till he perfected his skills. Bharat notes “I would get annoyed at my father when he believed random advice like hockey players should practice 10 hours a day and force that upon me. My father also put up pictures of Olympic teams in the house to remind me about my goal. Following his dream and my spirit to be ‘number one’ may target was to ace this goal.”
He further notes times, when he was at his camp in different cities and his father, would take a bus ride on Sundays to get him home-cooked food and make him practice on his break day. Bharat’s mindset to view his father’s pressures positively and fuel in maximum efforts are what marks his success.
How to Be Number One?
Bharat has an inbuilt fire within him to be number one. As a true sportsman, he hated losing and would get to the crux of working on his weaknesses. He recalls his early days when he had a knee injury during the selection of Air India Company’s Hockey Player hunt. He would make an Ayurvedic medicine to soothe his knee pain and get energized for the selection day. However, despite the efforts, his journey was difficult as he got rejected because of his knee injury and that’s when his father requested them to take him in.
His journey at Air India Company is a true example of devotion for work! Right from challenging himself by waking up at 4 am before training hours for extra practice to exerting himself with a run post-training to build stamina.
Bharat says “when one door closes, another opens’ ‘ recalling an incident when he was removed from the camp and by luck got a life-changing opportunity to be part of the Indian Oil Corporation team which was the turning point of his life. Bharat was filled with gratitude for his new job and improved on his weakness which was ‘speed’. His hard-work was so strong that after a few months, he was the fastest player in his team!
Soon, it started raining victory as Bharat was termed ‘Best Player of the Match’ at domestic tournaments and given a standing ovation.
Make Your Country Proud!
Bharat soon got selected to play for the Indian Team of Hockey and traveled the globe winning tournaments for his country. He is grateful to his friends Sandeep and Jasbeer for supporting him always and waving off the house rent during his struggling days. He also salutes his coach who got him his life’s biggest opportunity but also regrets the time when he played for a league which he wasn’t supposed to and was removed from the team.
Bharat’s message for aspiring players is “Worship your body because without it there is no game. My relentless practice has over-exerted my body which is something I cannot heal to date. Research of the game, right techniques, and hard-work is the key.”