India volleyball player Saqlain reveals reason for opting to play as setter

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New Delhi: Saqlain Tariq who will lead Delhi Toofans in the upcoming Prime Volleyball League revealed that his father is the reason he decided to become a setter. Saqlin who is the first player from Kashmir, to represent India in any group has a family background with volleyball imprinted all over it.

His father, Mohd Tariq Sahab, Saqlin’s first coach was a volleyball player during his time and he is the reason why his son decided to be a setter rather than playing any other position. “My family background is from volleyball, I started playing in sixth class, and after that, I came to Punjab to play the sport. My father is my first coach when I started playing volleyball he told me I have to be a setter because a setter is the key to the game. Maybe he saw some skills in me so that is why he told me to play that role. My father is a player too so I grew up seeing him and I want to be (like him) but a son can’t be his father,” Saqlain told ANI.

Saqlain will lead Delhi Toofans in the upcoming season of the Prime Volleyball League and the only thing on his mind is “to be a champion nothing less nothing more.” He talked about his role as a setter and the need to build strategies prior to the game as going in without a plan would leave his team in trouble.

“We can’t go with the flow of the game, the setter is the key to the game and if I go with the flow then the team goes blind and I have to create opportunities for my teammates to kill the ball and to beat the blocker so we have to prepare for that in the practice session,” Saqlain said.

“We have to read the team and prepare accordingly if we go without preparation then it will be a big blunder. This season teams are better and they have analysis (of players) and a background. So we would need to switch things in between the game and also go with the plan.”

Saqlain uses float serve which requires an incredible amount of precision, he revealed that even while serving the target is also decided which they get from their analysis. “I am a floater server, there is always a target. So we get the target from our analysis,” he stated.

He went on to talk about his journey and feels if he didn’t struggle he wouldn’t be able to reach the level that he currently plays at. “I was in 8th standard when I came to the hostel, I struggled a lot and if I didn’t face that then I wouldn’t be here,” Saqlain said.

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