Vinod Pandey, Head – IT, GHCL Ltd (Chemicals), discusses the sport and how it helps him in his work life.
By Pooja Paryani
Vinod Pandey might have spent 16 successful years in the IT industry, but if his teenage heart had had its way, he’d be stationed in an army camp right now. “It was always my dream to be in the army or navy,” says Vinod. “I was very fascinated by the armed forces and the police. After completing my post-graduation in 1999, I wanted to get into the armed forces . It was my only goal. But sadly I couldn’t get in to either the army or navy. I was always into sports and sporting activities, and I looked for something that would bring me closer to my interests. That’s how I came across air rifle shooting. I experienced that it helped in improving my concentration and decision making skills, and had many other benefits. This encouraged me to take up the sport, gain the benefits and implement the lessons learnt in my work life as well.”
“In 2002 I purchased my first air rifle. When I started, I used to shoot from 10 to 15 yards but now after so many years of practice I am able to shoot from 40-50 yards. I shoot on the range and even at home; I have a special place set up at home for practice. It’s easy for me; I can practice anywhere, I just need the target board in front of me. I try to practice once in 10 days, as that’s what my schedule allows. But whenever I have a holiday or an extended weekend, I make sure I practice more. Unfortunately, I can’t join a club as they are very punctual and have fixed hours, which I can’t always keep to because of my busy work life.
“ I want to participate in competitions, but am unable to take part as I’m not part of any club. If you wish to participate in competitions and big tournaments, you need to belong to a club. So for now I just practice. Hopefully I will be able to join a club in the coming years as and when the work load gets a little lighter then.”
Passing on the love
“My daughter is nine years old and I’ve been teaching her this sport for the last four years. She does really well when compared to other kids her age. Her performance is better than my expectation! When she’s 14 or 15, I will enrol her in a shooting club so that she gets a good coach and better training. Also, the facilities and accessories at clubs are of much better quality.”
“When I first entered a shooting range in 2009, I realise it was very different from shooting at home. I was on the ground for one and half hour, and for the first time almost all my shots were near the target. I was shooting from a distance of 25 yards and I was amused to see such a good performance, that too at a very initial stage. Hitting 70 to 80 per cent of your shots near the target at the first stage is impossible, but I could do it! I will never forget this.
“I started teaching my daughter when she was five years old, with a toy guy. After the first day I wasn’t sure if she would enjoy it or not. She’d done well on the first day, but I wasn’t sure. I was shocked to see her playing again on the very next day! It made me really happy to see her playing again after just one day of lessons.”
Patience: “This is one of the biggest lessons I’ve learnt from shooting. When you’re in the initial stages you’re not going to hit the target or get anywhere near the target. So you have to continue practicing and honing your skills. You have to be patient while practicing. If you lose your temper you won’t be able to continue or learn. This is a skill that’s very useful at work as well.”
Strategy: “When you’re shooting, you have to strategise and plan your game. You can’t just point and shoot. You have to learn about the difference distances and frequencies make. The same goes for a project you’re working on. You have to analyse all aspects to decide on the plan for achieving your goal. Planning wisely is half the battle won.”
Learning to accept failure: “On the range, your chances of success are as likely as your chances for failure. You can’t hit the target every single time. So you study your failures and learn from them. In life, when we fail, we lose hope and feel low. Instead we should learn to accept failure wholeheartedly and come up better and stronger. It is important to apply this in life so as to be at peace and become successful.”
Determination: “While shooting you learn how to determine and hit the target perfectly in one shot. Similarly, at work, once the plan is on the table you have to be determined and see the execution through till the successful completion of the project.
Anticipation: “With practice and experience we are able to anticipate the outcome of an activity before execution. Shooting teaches you how to prepare and anticipate towards a desired outcome. You pull the trigger only once you’re sure it will reach the target. This has also helped me successfully accomplish my goals at work.”