Q&A Session with Naval Pabbi

Updated: Jul 19, 2020

Naval Pabbi is one of the most dynamic players of India in the modern-day sport Inline Hockey. He is the goalkeeper of the Indian Junior Inline Hockey Team. He has participated in many National and International Championships and played a vital role in making the team win by standing in front of the goal as a wall for the opponents.

Naval Pabbi

Q) At what age you developed an interest in Skating and how did you choose Inline Hockey as a sport for yourself?

Ans- I was introduced to the sport (skating) by my uncle at the age of 4-5 when he gifted me a pair of my first skate. I left the game when I was in 9th standard because my parents wanted me to focus on my studies. But I couldn't keep out for much longer. At the age of 15, I decided to come back again. But this time to take things more seriously. Skating has a wide range of disciplines such as rink hockey, speed skating, and Inline hockey. I love inline hockey because it's similar to the world's fastest contact sport Ice hockey.

Q) From which state you started your career and when was the first time you got selected to represent the Indian Team?

Ans- I started my career as a forward in the Chandigarh state team, later on, I became the goalkeeper of team Chandigarh. I was selected to represent India in 2017 for the first time in the World Roller Games which was held at Nanjing, China.

Q) You chose to become a Goalkeeper as it is a task of great responsibility. How do you train yourself for it?

Ans- I always wanted to be a goalkeeper and my father was a wicketkeeper in cricket. My elder brother was a goalkeeper in rink hockey. You can say it's in our family's blood. I still remember asking my coaches to keep me as a keeper but they wanted me to become a forward. Later, they agreed, and then I became a goalkeeper. So I used to work out for one and a half hours in the gym. Later in the evening, I train for one hour with the team but as of now, I do the workout at home due to quarantine. Also, I'm making the most out of lockdown by training myself on skates using different methods practised by foreign coaches.

Q) A goalkeeper is like the wall of defence. How do you manage to keep yourself calm and focused especially during a penalty shot?

Ans- Well, to be true, in my debut nationals we lost in penalty shots. I am thankful to my Coaches and my seniors who helped me to tackle this situation. The main thing is to look at the puck and not at the opponent. If your eyes are on the Puck, you can make the saves easily.

Q) What all have you achieved till now in Inline Hockey and what more is left for you to achieve?

Ans- Well, I have secured a bronze medal in Asian Roller Championship in 2018 held in Namwon, South Korea. Apart from that, I have participated in 2 World Roller Games in 2017 and 2019. I am a 3-time national champion. I have won several medals in state championships and I am hoping and aiming to get better year after year.

Q) Many people are not aware of the sport Inline Hockey so, how do you manage to explain about it to the crowd?

Ans- If you are talking about India, it is really difficult to explain the sport I play. Because half of the country is in love with cricket. So we need to explain that inline hockey is played on skates and is just similar to Ice hockey. So this is how skaters explain our sport to the people we meet.

Q) For the success of a team sport every player has to play their part perfectly. How did you manage to stay in coordination with all the players as most of them are from different parts of the country?

Ans- I remember facing these problems in 2017. We have people from the south who don't speak Hindi at all. This gave our team a really bad time. But it's the beauty of the sport that made the players really good friends and trust me if you're are a good team outside the rink, then there is no doubt you will perform well inside the rink. In the beginning, there were many difference between us but when we started spending time together, we became a family and that helped us in every tournament. We were having absolute fun while eating together and during each and every warm-up session. All these are very little things, but they do matter a lot to create a bond in a team and remember there is no I in a TEAM.

Q) What do you think about the future of Inline hockey in India as you people are already making the country proud?

Ans- Our federations and players are working together to make Inline hockey popular in India. I'm pretty sure that the sport will achieve a great milestone. Slowly but eventually.

Q) Any message that you would like to give to the young players who want to become goalkeeper like you and represent India.

Ans-Patience is the main key to be a goalkeeper. Apart from physical work, a goalie needs good mental health to play the game. As a goalie, you have to communicate with the team throughout the match because you're the eyes of the team you and can see every player moving. A goalkeeper gives confidence to the team. Well, the success of a player lies behind constant support of many people and for that, I would take this opportunity to thank my family, teachers, coaches and my friends who helped me to be here and Special thanks to my players, my team and the loved ones.

Connect with him on:-

Instagram: https://instagram.com/naval_pabbi50?igshid=1300whf3ts6c2

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/naval.pabbi

#inlinehockey #inlinesports #inline #inlineskating #inlinehockeyindia #navalpabbi #skating #inlineskate #inlinespeedskating #aggressiveinline #puck #rink #rinkhockey

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