It has been rightly said that it is never too late to follow your passion and work towards living your dream. Coach Sandeep is an example of such dedication. Juggling between his passion for music, boxing, and his corporate job, he has been making progress in all three. Plus, he still has goals that he is working towards. In a conversation with SocialBoat, he discusses his boxing journey of 10 years and gives valuable insights into the field.
How did it all begin?
Ever since childhood, Sandeep has always been into rough and tough games. In school, he started with Judo Karate for a while. One day when a friend showed Sandeep the bronze medal that he had won in boxing, Sandeep’s interest started developing in the field.
With his friend, he went to the Munirka Boxing Academy (MBA) and that is where his boxing training began.
From there he played for Delhi in many amateur and open tournaments and rose through the ranks. He was at the peak of his performance during the first year of his college. Sandeep participated in many state and national level tournaments and won medals. His performance was so good that he received offers for government jobs based on his boxing. He refused those at the time, and he confesses, he regrets that a little.
Experimenting with a Different Passion
At the time, along with boxing, there was another passion that was developing in Sandeep’s life- music. During his college years at Delhi College of Arts and Commerce (DCAC), both his love of boxing and music developed, and after college, Sandeep started working as a freelancing DJ.
Sandeep stopped boxing completely, started working at a corporate job, put on some weight, and immersed himself in his music. However, life had other plans for him.
“There is this thing in a sportsperson that makes them return to the sport, no matter what. They can never abandon sports completely.”
The Return to Boxing
As mentioned above, Sandeep had won many medals during his college years, an achievement that had left a mark on the memory of his friends and juniors. Sometime in 2013, some of Sandeep’s juniors from college reached out to him and asked for his help with boxing training.
“I also thought to myself that I shouldn't leave my passion.”
There began Sandeep’s journey as a boxing coach, which is almost a decade old now. Sandeep is currently managing his job and the boxing training simultaneously.
Sources of Inspiration
Sandeep’s journey with boxing has been long and at different points in life, there have been different things that have kept him going. When Sandeep was participating in different boxing camps during his college years, he would look up to his seniors and contemporaries who were performing exceptionally well in the field. Vijender Singh (singhvijender ) and Akhil Kumar (akhilkumarboxer ), for example, became the most popular names at the camp after they won the medals for India. His roommate and friend Sumit Sangwan (sumit_sangwan009 ) was also his inspiration.
Currently, with the way boxing has developed over the years, Sandeep's role model is Russian MMA boxer Khabib Nurmagomedov (khabib_nurmagomedov ).
On Managing Two Passions and a Job
Sandeep had taken up DJing as a freelance activity which he did only on weekends, but with his boxing and personal training classes on the weekends, he has now dropped DJing altogether.
“But my passion for music will always remain.”
He continues to make my own EDM-type music, whenever he gets the time.
He manages his job and is training simultaneously by taking early morning and evening training classes, in addition to the ones on the weekend.
“I do not rest at all except on government holidays.”
Training a Sportsperson
“We have to deal with the transformation very gradually and carefully.”
For a new person, Sandeep first tries to understand their capacity and the stage at which they are. Then simultaneously and accordingly, the mind and body are trained.
“We open up their fear, develop their stamina, and then give them hard-core boxing training teaching them how to deal with opponents.”
Playing different mind games with them is always helpful in psychological growth against fear.
The World of Boxing Has Grown
Talking about how things have changed since when he started out in the field, Sandeep says that techniques have become advanced, and with that coaches have also become more advanced. Nowadays there are sponsorships for boxers and coaches based on performance that wasn't there earlier.
Moreover, social media has played a very important part in giving recognition to boxing as a sport and boxers as sportspersons.
Sandeep’s biggest goal and dream remain to debut in professional boxing and represent his country and his state.
“I want to feel being in the ring again where after a match one hand is raised and one is down.”
This is Sandeep's story. For more such stories, visit SocialBoat.