The real X-Men

Are Olympic Athletes Really Mutants?

Sports scientists and coaches have, over the years, realized that rather than the average body type, you want highly specialized bodies that fit into certain athletic niches, a form of artificial selection took place, a self-sorting for bodies that fit certain sports, and athletes’ bodies became more different from one another. Some athletes gain from physical “mutations” or in other words a specific body type that can helps in excelling in a particular sport. A few examples of this would be:

  • In swimming, the ideal body type is a long torso and short legs. It’s like the long hull of a canoe for speed over the water.
  • And the opposite is advantageous in running. You want long legs and a short torso.
  • While in Basketball, one in 10 men in the NBA today are at least 7 feet tall.
  • The average length of the forearm of a water polo player in relation to their total arm is much longer, allowing for a better for a forceful throwing whip
  • The average height of the elite female gymnast is 4’9” allowing for better power-to-weight ratio and for spinning in the air.


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Body Types in Sport

1. A body type advantage can be a differentiator at elite levels of competition. If we look at two athletes who started training at the same age, with the same coach in the same place and trained the same amount of hours in total; had the same levels of psychological resilience and same level of technical skill – the athlete that would outshine the other is the one who has a some anatomical or physiological (body type) advantage toward that sport.

2. Certain body types are advantageous for certain sports: We can start to look at body types of kids we are working with and see which athlete profile this might reflect. For example, if I come across a child with disproportionately large feet, large hands, extra long wingspan compared to height, large upper body with a tapering lower body – I would encourage this kid to take up swimming. This knowledge of body types is the basis of Talent ID programs across the globe.

3. Different Body Types are Advantageous for Different Sports: There is no single “athletic” body type that is good for every sport. The body type of a sprinter is very different from the body type of a marathon runner. In fact, there is a chance that an average Joe might outrun a sprinter in a long distance event. The body type required for a sport really depends on the sport.

“The right body type along with proper coaching, practice, nutrition and commitment towards the sports is the ultimate recipe for success in sports. Research in sport science has produced a large database of body analysis of elite athletes in each sport and we can use this information to direct kids toward certain sports.”, says Karishma Boolani (Sports Scientist – KOOH Sports Lab).

Read this fantastic article to get a good understanding of the role of body types in athletic success.

New Year Resolutions!

Its that time of the year again! Time to bid goodbye to the year that was and welcome a year that will be. Its time to draw from the past year’s learnings and put the same into the next year!

I know we all love making New Year Resolutions and then keep putting them off. Its the same every year!

Let us start this year with something different, make some room for fitness, health and wellness:

a. Pick up any sport, doesnt matter whether you are or were good at it. Pick a sport according to your liking, lifestyle and age! Walking can also be a sport..add brisk to it!

b. Find your area! Yes! Everything is fun when you like your surroundings! Find your space, maybe a partner in crime and play with them. Or just switch on your music and start! This is also a good time to do some introspection!

c. Play the sport! Stick to your commitment to staying active. It will be tough in the beginning but the moment you get into a habit (like sitting on your couch and watching TV is a habit) you will start doing it everyday!

d. Eat right. This doesnt mean start dieting or start panicking! Just start eating with your eyes open. Less complex the food the better it is for you.

e. Eat Clean. I am not saying you eat dirty food, I mean eat more of the best and healthiest options in each of the food groups—and eating less of the not-so-healthy ones. That means embracing foods like vegetables, fruits and whole grains, plus healthy proteins and fats. It also means cutting back on refined grains, added sugars, salt and unhealthy fats

f. Reduce your screen time. Start spending time outdoors. Breathe the natural air! I can go on and on about the tragic effects of staying indoors but you take the call. Just be outdoors!

                       Wish you all a Happy and Resolute New Year!

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Rewire Your Brain : Learn new skills for Life

Youth sports’ participation is a platform for the development of essential motor skill sets, crucial to a child’s healthy physical growth. Additionally, sports participation secures all the benefits associated with physical exercise, such as greater blood flow to the brain, improved brain development resulting in a healthier and more ashutterstock_113516374-300x300ctive brain, allowing children to absorb more during their education.

One extremely important aspect with regard to sports participation that has not been given due consideration is the wide range of life skills and abilities developed, skills that are essential to succeed at school, work, relationships and life.

Numerous scientific studies, in addition to years of subjective observation indicate that youth who engage in sport develop skills associated with teamwork, persistence, self- regulation, respect, hard work, self-control and responsibility. The developing human body and mind adapt to the demands placed upon it, and sports are a brilliant way to create physiological and psychological demands for youth in an enjoyable healthy and valuable manner. Continual sports engagement, along with correct guidance from quality coaches allows young individuals to develop skills for success.

Karishma Boolani (Sports Science Expert) says, “Every action or skill that an athlete performs while playing sports, involves the activation of neural pathways. Every action carried out, provides sensory feedback to the brain to process and adapt to. Constant practice eventually leads to a rewiring of the neuronal networks in the brain. The ability of the brain to rewire itself in response to an activity (such as sports) is known as Neuroplasticity’ and is currently a hot topic among neuroscientists world over. Several scientific studies have been published demonstrating evidence of neuroplasticity in an athletes’ brain, i.e. – the brain physically changes and grows with sports training and expertise. Neuroplasticity is responsible for physical or motor adaptions in sports specific skills, but also more general skill and ability based adaptationsActivity boosts Brain Power.”

There are real measurable changes in the brain; changes in brain structure that respond to the demands created via sports participation. Changes that may be far more relevant to success in life than just the motor adaptations and sport specific skills.

What is really fascinating is that these general skill and ability based adaptations and lessons learned through playing sports are not thereafter restricted to sports. Once these skills become a part of the internal structure of the brain, an individual will be able to apply these skills in a range of different contexts outside of sport.

Thus, youth sports participation is not only a crucial factor for healthy growth and development of the body, the acquisition of motor skills, optimal academic performance but also provides an opportunity for to imbibe vital skills necessary to succeed in life.

Taekwondo: A sport with many benefits

Why should we focus on Taekwondo?

Did you know that Taekwondo, a martial art that originated in Korea, is one of the world’s most popular martial art? Taekwondo provides enormous benefits – for both young kids and adults. Some of the many benefits are highlighted below for general understanding.


Improves Physical Strength and Balance

Taekwondo helps in improving a kid’s strength and balance. Since Taekwondo depends on kicking, practitioners learn to balance their weight on one leg to leave the other one free to strike. This also helps strengthen the muscles of the torso. Taekwondo develops your child’s athletic abilities and self-awareness, and improves the child’s capabilities in self-defense.

Focus & Concentration

Learning the intricacies of taekwondo requires concentration and attention, and competing requires focus. Taekwondo also teaches breathing and meditation techniques to assist in learning focus!

Respect & Politeness

Taekwondo students must learn to follow directions from an instructor and in principle are  expected to demonstrate respect towards the instructor. Students are also expected to show respect to their opponents before and after a sparring match. Don’t expect taekwondo to turn a hard-to-discipline child into an angel, though. But you might witness an overall improvement in general politeness.

Apart from being a great sport, Taekwondo also helps kids channelise their energies in a highly constructive manner and devote them to achieve positive outcomes.

Participating in any Sport as such has positive impact on our lives and I would like us to urge all of you and your kids to participate in a sport of their choice.

Let us be Healthy. Let us be Fit.

On the occassion of the 2nd National Cadet(KYORUGI) Taekwondo Championships held in Rohtak, Haryana from June 26-28, 2015 a unique Public Private Partnership was announced between Taekwondo Federation of India(TFI) & KOOH Sports.
Through this alliance, KOOH Sports and TFI will come together to create widespread awareness about the sport of Taekwondo and promote its benefits for all age groups. Special focus will be on training the female population on self defense techniques.

Passion knows no bounds

Cricket in India is like a religion. No matter in which part of India you are you will never fail to find kids playing cricket on the ground, in their societies or in gullies and on the streets. Every other kid, be it the one playing on the crowded streets or one playing at the famous Azad Maidan, harbors dreams of donning the national jersey and representing the country. One such kid is Swarnim Verma.

Swarnim VermaJust 9years old, this kid from Noida is a born sportsman. Since his childhood he has shown passion for sports, be it cricket, badminton, basketball, squash or football. Swarnim’s passion and love for sports has been inherited from his father Ajay Verma. Ajay, who works in the field of Advertising and Event Management, is an avid cricketer himself and doubles up as a bowler for his Company’s Cricket Team.

Swarnim loves to collect various types of Sports Balls. In fact, the first word that he spoke was “BALL.” He dreams to be a sportsperson and is of the belief that a day without sports is a day wasted.

His overall cricketing skills have improved tremendously since he joined the KOOH Sports Cricket Development Centre. Having been trained to play as an all-rounder for his team, KOOH Sports has helped Swarnim to understand the nuances and depth of various aspects of cricket as a game. He has been trained to analyse each ball and play it according to its merit as a batsman. As a bowler, it has been instilled into him to use various bowling techniques after understanding the playing style of the opposing team batsman. His fielding and catching techniques have also improved considerably.

Swarnim is well on his way of fulfilling his dream of becoming a sportsperson and with the support of the KOOH Sports Coaches; we have no doubt that the day is not far off when we see him proudly walking on the cricket field while wearing the colours of the Indian National team.

We wish him good luck for the future!

Respect can Change Lives

Passion meets destinationThis is the story of 24 year old Rahul Ojha. Hailing from a city called Bhadohi in UP, this son of a Gram Vibhag Adhikari was fond of athletics since a very young age. He was also very bright in his studies having completed his MA in Political Science and Sports and also Post Graduation Diploma in Computer Application. He also has a Certificate in Computing from the Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU).

Track and Field Events lilke Shot out, long jump, high jump etc.His college opened the doors to the world of University level sports where he actively participated in various events which included High Jump, Long Jump, Running and Shot Put. He represented his University and won high acclaim for his performances. Like several young men and women in pursuit of a Job he came to Mumbai and joined Star One Securities as a Security Guard.

Coincidentally his first assignment as a Security Guard was in the KOOH Sports building. During his first 2 months of employment he got to know about KOOH Sports and what the company was all about. He started speaking to the KOOH Sports Coaches who used to come to KOOH Sports office for training & programme induction purposes and the coaches told him to meet me, the CEO. He took their advice.

To honor and support such former athletes and sports persons of India who are either unemployed or have been employed at very low pay scales and assist them by providing training and employment in suitable areas, KOOH Sports has launched the Respect Programme.  As a part of the programme and being impressed with his background and achievements in sports, we hired him immediately as a Sports Coach at KOOH Sports.

He has been trained in the Sports Programmes offered by KOOH Sports and is now actively carrying out those programmes in the School assigned to him. Rahul is happy and satisfied that he is pursuing his passion for Sports.Give Respect. Get Respect.

History is ripe with examples of how many and much talented sports persons have got lost in oblivion due to lack of opportunities. With the Respect Programme we aim to find such great talent from across our nation.

It is our endeavour to understand their capabilities and talent and then offer them the right training with meaningful employment and help them  respectfully lead their lives.

Surprise comes in small packages!

Surprise comes in small packages!  These young girls have shown great pasison and dedication on the football field!!

Passion for Football

Young Kolkata girls show great talent and dedication coupled with passion on the football field!

Sub junior level football training for girls is still a rare thing in our country. Especially where football is considered as a game for boys. These little stars proving it wrong. Both girls are of the same age (6yrs). Tara (Arsenal Jersey), Anoushka (the one in goal).
Anoushka’s cousin is a regular at the KOOH Sports Summer Camp. Impressed with KOOH Sports, he informed Anoushka’s mother about the KOOH Sports Football Development Centre at South City International School, Kolkata. Anoushka’s mother took the initiative of informing the parents of other girls about KOOH Sports and enrolled the kids in the academy!! The girls had no prior experience of playing football before but had keen interest in it and were open to learning it. 
Anoushka, who plays as a striker has been impressive along with Tara, an attacking midfielder who has also caught the eye of our coaches. An ardent fan of Lionel Messi, Tara displays an array of skills and dribbling ability. Their displays have seen such a huge improvement that they outplay many boys of their age group!! Kudos to these girls and our best wishes for their continued passion and dedication!

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