published in The New Indian Express on May 13, 2014
I can show you 100 better players than Roger Federer. But it might not be easy for them to beat him. Because he plays with his mind, says Dr George John.
Dr George John can talk at length not only about Federer, but also on many other top-seeded stars like Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic, Cristiano Ronaldo and even Diego Maradona. Years have gone by since this sports surgeon has been attending to their bruises and sprains. In a span of few years, this Orthopedic and sports surgeon, hailing from Punalur, became one of the most sought after surgeons by world renowned sports persons across the world.
A keen observer of sports, Dr George John is certainly not happy with the way sports are developing in the country. “Why are we missing out on several Sachins and Dhonis in tennis and badminton? Why is a boy who loves to play rugby or badminton taken so lightly?” he asks.
George John sadly points out that even now many sports organisations feel that it is unnecessary to hire a sports medicine expert as they already have physiotherapists.
Hence in an attempt to bring about a change in this scenario, George John is all set to share the experience he gained in the field of sports medicine. And as a first attempt on these lines he will soon start a full-fledged centre for Minimal Invasive Surgery in Kochi, which will be the first-of-its-kind in the country.
“It will become a reality in a matter of three years,” he adds. But to bring a whole new culture to the land, he is not ready to beseech the help of the government or any other sports organisations for that matter. “I have acquired a lot and it is now my turn to give it back to my motherland which I will do with my own resources,” he says.
George John says that even the psyche of the people towards sports is blatantly disillusioning. “In our country, it is just the performance of a sports person that really matters. But in Western countries they go for both the individuals and the performance. The sportsmen have real values to impart,” he says.
Besides, the kind of promotions sports stars get here is definitely in the wrong direction. “It is all about money and brand they talk about. Where are those potent values that a sportsperson can offer,” he asks.
Ask him how he managed those sports persons who were faced with career threatening injuries, he says,“We normally do not slap it on their faces that they could not go on any further. Instead we take our own time and break the news gently. That’s why before donning the garb of a doctor for them, it always helps if you could understand their emotions,” he points out.
Thus he went on to narrate an experience he had with Federer. “There was a time when Roger Federer lost his game to Novak Djokovic. He came to my room and I knew that he did not need my counselling but an outlet to vent out his emotions. I left the room. Sometime later when I came back, almost everything in my room was destroyed. He was just getting it out of his system. Understanding the players’ emotions at a particular moment as this and reacting accordingly is pivotal,” points out the surgeon who had associated with Federer for eight years.
Apart from sports, he is also into film industry. He is the executive producer of the film Kamasutra 3D.