Kerala Blasters goalkeeper Prabhsukhan Gill, who was part of the Indian team at 2017 U-17 FIFA World Cup, has put together various equipments and set up a "homemade gym" to stay fit during the coronavirus-forced lockdown. He said the "homemade gym" has helped him to stay in top condition at his residence in Sarabha, Punjab.
"As soon as it became clear that a lockdown is incoming (in March 2020), my brother (Gursimrat) and I had the idea of building a gym at home. We sourced and bought whatever equipment we could in that short time and created a gym in our own house," Prabhsukhan was quoted as saying by AIFF. "There is at least 200 kilos worth of equipment — such as rods, plates of various weights, dumbbells, medicine balls, along with resistance bands, cones etc."
The former Indian Arrows shot-stopper mentioned about overcoming the initial "frustration" and the "importance of remaining in the best shape possible" despite the uncertainty. "Initially, it was frustrating. It was normal to take things lightly during the lockdown, but my brother and I realized that if we keep sitting, nothing good will come out of it.
"Hence, we decided to get the equipment together and keep our muscles toned and body in shape as much as possible. We were determined to do the best we could in the circumstances," Prabhsukhan said. For the first two months, only the Gill brothers toiled at their homemade gym. However, once the restrictions were relaxed more players were able to join them from nearby — including Prabhsukhan's former Indian Arrows teammates — Vikram Partap Singh, Narender Gahlot, Deepak Tangri and Gurkirat Singh.
"We made sure that we followed all the prescribed protocol — such as sanitization and following the social distancing norms." He also touched upon his routine these days, as public spaces have now opened — which has led to a "camp-like" atmosphere at his village ground.
"We have a wonderful pitch in our village and have been using it once it was opened. Gradually, a few of us got together — including 4-5 professional players, and we started our physical training there. We go there twice a day, with a gym session in-between. "Interestingly, we share the ground with wrestlers, athletes and kabaddi players as well, which makes the atmosphere like one in a camp," the 19-year-old Prabhsukhan added.
The custodian, who last played for Bengaluru FC in the Hero ISL, has been part of the AIFF youth set-up since 2014 and stated that the early exposure helped him realise the importance of remaining fit and eating healthy. "I joined the Indian team at U-14 level, and was immediately educated that if you have to be at your best and want to prevent injuries, you have to take care of your fitness," Prabhsukhan said.
"As we matured and gained more and more exposure, including International tours, we grasped more and more, with invaluable help from our coaches and staff. "When we prepared for the U-17 World Cup we learned about specific gym exercises that did not hamper our natural growth. We would get individual programs as well, which played a huge role in our development."