Managing the mental pressures of elite sport: learning from Olympic and World Champion Abhinav Bindra


Athlete wellbeing must become the centre of high performance. We can do that through education, through awareness…really inculcating those values at the grassroots level.

In this special Athlete Voice edition of the podcast, Olympic and World Champion rifle shooter Abhinav Bindra joins us to chat about managing the mental pressures of elite sport.

Recognised as one of the best marksmen of his generation, Abhinav became the first Indian to win an individual Olympic gold medal when he won the 10m air rifle at Beijing 2008. Abhinav has also won gold at the Commonwealth Games (four times!) and World Championships.

Today, Abhinav is an active member of The International Olympic Committee’s (IOC) Athlete Commission and is passionate about improving athlete mental health. He was an integral part of the team that produced the IOC consensus statement on mental health in elite athletes published in the BJSM in May 2019.

Athlete365 World Mental Health Day #MentallyFit

Since 2010, Abhinav has also dedicated his time to growing sport at the grassroots level in India. Through his foundation, he has built new, and improved existing sporting facilities in some of the poorest parts of the country. As discussed in the podcast, he has more recently created a series of world-class sports science centres in major Indian cities to identify and support developing athletes, and provides free access to the facilities for all.

In this 20-minute podcast, Abhinav discusses:

  • How he found the sport of rifle shooting
  • Celebrating the ‘process’ throughout his decorated 22-year career
  • The importance of prevention, prehab and physical awareness
  • His current work in India–prioritise athlete wellbeing and growing sport at the grassroots level

To find out more about Abhinav check out:

Twitter @Abhinav_Bindra


And do not miss out on the IOC World Conference Prevention of Injury & Illness in Sport (March 2020)

Further reading:

Reardon CL, Hainline B, Aron CM, et al Mental health in elite athletes: International Olympic Committee consensus statement (2019) BJSM 2019;53:667-699

Abhinav Bindra’s historic gold: a shot to remember

India’s pioneering marksman Abhinav Bindra is growing sport at grassroots level

IOC Athlete’s Commission

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