Strong to the core

Author: Deepa Natarajan

“Don’t count the days. Make the days count.”

– Muhammad Ali

Strength and conditioning coach Mahesh Kumar S has surely followed this motto all his life as he is a force to reckon with in the fitness industry today. Starting his journey in the field of sports with weightlifting, Mahesh never thought that he would be a fitness coach someday. “During my weightlifting days, I suffered a small injury in my knee. So, on the advice of my coach, I shifted my focus to archery,” recalls the youngster. Things clicked instantly and Mahesh soon started to play at the national level during his college days. 

LATE START

However, reality bites and Mahesh had to choose work over play. “I was already in college when I started my tryst with archery. It was a late start and moreover, archery was an expensive sport that wasn’t given much attention back then. I was also the eldest son in my family and had to go for a job with a fixed income for a more stable future,” he says. So as soon as he finished his degree in journalism, he started working for a television channel.

But life has a strange way of working itself out and getting into sports was just meant to be for Mahesh. “I had to interview a hockey player and that completely changed my life. This player had won a medal at the Asian Games and as soon as I laid my eyes on that medal, I don’t know what happened to me. The next day, I quit my job,” he says.  

Mahesh then joined a gym for personal training. “My trainer Abhinav, who has worked with many cricketers, pushed me to train further and taught me a lot. Once I started my journey, I never looked back.” Today, he is the proud fitness coach of over 3000 people, including 700 professional athletes in varied sports who have gone on to compete at national and international levels. 

ALL IN A DAY

So what’s the life of a fitness coach like? Well, it sure does start early as Mahesh gets up at 5 am and heads to his workplace – Sree Kanteerava Stadium in Bengaluru. “My sessions start by 5.45-6 am and go on till 6.30 pm and even beyond. I train a batch every hour and it all depends on the camps that are being held.” Currently, he is coaching the Indian Women’s National Basketball Team for the upcoming Asian Championships. He is also working with eight kabaddi players from the Pro Kabaddi League and the Bank of Baroda kabaddi team in addition to a few budding State-level players. 

SPECIAL MEMORIES 

Highly grateful to Mr. Govindraj, President of Karnataka Olympic Association and Basketball Federation of India, for giving him opportunities, Mahesh has enjoyed working with the kabaddi team of Bank of Baroda. He has also found close friends in players like Sukesh Hegde and Anil Kumar. “They have reached such great heights and are still so humble. They never say no to any of my instructions and give me a lot of respect,” he says. The feelings are mutual as the players too can’t stop gushing about Mahesh. “We first met in 2018 and I was really impressed by his humility and dedication,” says Anil, an international level player who plays for the basketball team of Bank of Baroda. “Our team wasn’t up to the mark at that time. But within three months, Mahesh changed everything and we have won many tournaments since then.” 

Sukesh Hegde, the skilled kabaddi player who currently plays as a raider for Bengal Warriors in the Pro Kabaddi League, has been trained by Mahesh. Wikipedia
Mahesh is the strength and conditioning coach of Jayanta Talukdar, the archer who won the individual gold medal in the 2006 Archery World Cup. He also took part in the London Olympics 2012. Wikipedia

TIPS FOR BODY, MIND AND SOUL 

While the world sleeps, Mahesh is already at work. Ask him what keeps him going for over 12 hours in a day, he quips, “You should be hungry to go higher and higher in your career. I have always enjoyed my work and never get stressed although I see my family only once a week. During camps, I don’t get to see them for two or three months though they live in Bengaluru only. But when your work is your passion, these things don’t bother you. I am happiest when my students do well. It’s a booster for me.” As far as his diet is concerned, he says simple and light food works best. “I eat a balanced diet with a lot of vegetables. I keep my food varied and portions small.”

With his mother Parvathi Srinivas.

DREAMS AHEAD 

While he has trained three Olympians in two different sports so far, Mahesh would love to coach an Olympian in each sport someday. He also wants to change things at the grass-roots level in the country. “Unfortunately in India, you get sponsored only when you make it big. The system is buying athletes instead of producing them. When I started out, I didn’t get any sponsorship either,” he laments. 

According to him, the government is making an effort but the reach has to be more widespread. “There are as many as 3000 athletes in the various government hostels of the country but out of these, only 10 or 20 get good jobs in the public sector. Since most of them quit their education to pursue sports, they are left to fend for themselves and end up doing odd jobs,” he informs. He feels that the government can introduce different programs and diplomas for these players so that they can complete their education and work as coaches or physical education directors. “They can even be trained to run sports academies. A lot of times, we see equipment being bought from abroad. Why can’t former players be trained to operate factories supplying sports equipment,” he asks.  

Mahesh at the 13th South Asian Games 2019 in Nepal. He trained the Indian Men’s National Basketball Team, who won gold at the tournament.

But hope sure does float as he sees a change in the attitude of parents. “Earlier, parents wanted children to focus on academics but now, the mindset is changing. More and more parents are encouraging their children to pursue sports. After the recent win of Neeraj Chopra at the Olympics, all the more people are inclining towards sports. Coaches like me have to come forward and join hands with the authorities for a bright future,” he sums up.  

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  1. An amazing coach, best part of Mahesh is that his dedication as a coach is the same for a non athlete’s as well
    Will always cherish working out with him

  2. Thank you so much, you’re seriously an amazing trainer. Thank you for making me feel proud even of my smallest achievements. Your positive attitude has really kept me going. I have enjoyed the training so much and am very grateful for your support.
    Thank you for the time, dedication and heart you give to coaching for everyone. We very much appreciate you Sir.
    @coachMahesh

  3. So glad to read this 🙂 Your sincere efforts in training your athletes have helped them reach greater heights

  4. Mahesh is an amazing coach. He’s has a lot of dedication and a positive spirit. His best ability is to push everyone to do their best whether a person is a novice or an experienced person. He’s very passionate for his work and that truly shows in every training with him.
    Wishing him all the very best in life which we know is going to be very successful because of all the hard work he puts into every training.

  5. Sir your journey is inspiration
    We are so grateful training under u …thnx sir for every thing
    U are such a brilliant coach and good heart person 😊😊♥️

  6. Thank you, coach for your tireless effort to inspire and motivate me. Coach mahesh is amazing 🙂

  7. Thank you for being a great mentor. You have made me the best version of myself….❤After joining you ,our kabaddi team has become the strongest one.

    1. Very good human as person n as a coach ….I’m glad to be part of ur sessions !!Good luck For ur journey 🙂

  8. He is a amazing coaching talent with cool minded .he helped me a lot to get the better version of me.not just me there lot of national and international player who praise him for his work

  9. Great fitness coach, excellent training , glad to train under him 🙏

  10. Motivational coach💪, one of the best fitness coach i hav ever met. He is not just a coach he is brand 𝕄𝕊ℂ

  11. One of the best coach I ever saw and very thankful for coaching me and mahesh sir is always friendly and always helps in every workout and takes special interest for everyone

  12. Wonderful coach and thanks for taking special interest and teaching us and being so special in teaching

  13. One of the best coach and inspiration for many others and thabks for motivating us so much and training us

  14. Greatness can be achieved only when the coach is the best!! Truly amazing!!! 👏🏼👏🏼👏🏼

  15. I’m at a loss for words as to how much you’ve impacted my life, my career and my relationships. You are so worthy of your weight in gold. You’ve given me confidence, clarity and tools. I tell everyone I come across, THIS is what a coach should do. I so look forward to and enjoy our conversations that I’m having a hard time saying goodbye

  16. I’ve lost so much…weight, since I started working with you as my personal trainer. I’m amazed by the results, and very grateful for your help.

  17. just want to say how grateful I am for your work as my personal trainer. It’s not just that I lost weight, it’s that I gained so much more confidence. Thank you for helping me along the way.

  18. just want to say how grateful I am for your work as my personal trainer. It’s not just that I lost weight, it’s that I gained so much more confidence. Thank you for helping me along the way.

  19. It’s been awesome working with you as a personal trainer. You’ve kept me focused on my goals and enabled me to achieve them. Thank you so much.

  20. Really felt to so much about you coach, I have self trained under him, his dedication and commitment is very good very skill full and hardworking, good hearted person… Good luck for your goals coach 👍🏽

  21. From the bottom of my heart, thank you for fostering and unleashing my potential. You’ve shown incredible patience dealing with me as well as all of the other students throughout this season. Thank you for the time, dedication, and heart you give to coaching them. We very much appreciate you.

  22. One of the best coach I ever saw and great fitness trainer thanks for supporting so much sir

  23. Mahesh is not a name it’s a brand in my sport’s journey I had never seen a such a humble and smartest coach in my sports journey and I had been blessed to get a coach like u love u coach

  24. Very good human as person n as coach !!Glad to be part of ur sessions such a motivating Coach good luck for ur journey !!

  25. An amazing coach and a person who is very much dedicated to his profession and always thinks beyond the box ..I wish him all the very best for his future and hope to see him in greater heights …!!

  26. Inspiring…! Coach , you have always been best mentor ever sir. Thanks 👍

  27. @mahesh Sir great dedication service above self.
    Beautiful article Deepa
    Awesome to read your articles again