Shooter Malaika Goel of India. (AFP Photo)
For air pistol shooter Malaika Goel, who at 16 years 9 months became one of the country's youngest Commonwealth Games medallists, the secret to her success is the documentary 'The Secret'.
After watching the documentary for the first time during a mental-training session at the shooting range at village Narangwal in Ludhiana, Malaika downloaded it on her computer and used it as a means to keep herself motivated.
"For our UGC (University Grants Commission) research project on the shooters' mental and physiological aspect, we made a number of visits to the Narangwal shooting range. During one of the mental-training sessions, we showed them a motivational movie 'The Secret'.
"The 90-minute movie is based on a series of interviews showing one can achieve his target by believing in the outcome, continuously thinking about the goal and maintaining a positive attitude. After watching the movie, she asked me if I could mail it to her," said Professor Amanendra Mann, who along with her colleague, Shruti Shourie, is doing research on the shooters' mental and physiological aspect.
"We found Malaika extremely focused and one who could take any amount of pressure," said Mann.
Malaika was introduced to the sport by her neighbour Purnoor Kaur, a district-level medallist.
"The day I initiated her into shooting, I saw the commitment and focus in her eyes. And, she was supported in her endeavour by her parents. They built her a range inside the house. I would say she is very lucky," said Malaika's coach Gurjeet Singh, who is a Punjab sports department coach posted in Ludhiana.
"Malaika is very calm and composed. She has been trained in a way that pressure doesn't affect her. That's why she climbed from fourth position in the qualifying round to second in the finals. She knows that variations will occur in the scores, but the key is to not lose focus. That's paid her rich dividends today," added the coach.