Coach of India men’s senior hockey team Graham Reid believes the postponement of the Tokyo Olympics has come as a boon as it gives youngsters time to prepare themselves better for the Summer Games. Also Read - India Defender Gurinder Singh Working Hard to Achieve Olympic Dream
With India men hockey squad already at the South Authority of India (SAI) in Bengaluru, their preparations for the Tokyo Olympics continue unhampered despite the COVID-19 pandemic, and Reid reckons that although the team is isolated, the schedule of their training remains unchanged, something which other countries haven’t been able to do so due to various reasons. Also Read - During Lockdown, Coaches Marijne And Reid Look at Positives
“For the youngsters it allows us an extra 12 months to work with them. And for everybody in the team it gives them a chance to work on their ‘Get Better Plans’ that we formulated earlier this year,” Reid was quoted as saying by Times of India. “It also gives us an opportunity to increase players’ knowledge on the playing style. During this time, we will be able to give them deeper knowledge on the scenarios that may come up in the Olympic cauldron.” Also Read - We Are Able to Continue Training Unlike Other Countries: India Men's Hockey Coach Graham Reid
The Indian team is trying different styles of hockey, maintaining international tempo while playing internal contests. While India’s FIH Pro Hockey League away ties have been cancelled amid the outbreak, players are focused on training and awaiting instructions from Hockey India.
The rescheduling and the fact that no big tournament is lined up ahead, it allows the players to take time off and use the break, reckons Reid, while maintaining that players have been assigned certain tasks under their training programs, which, nonetheless, goes ahead as planned.
“Since the beginning of the imposed lockdown, we’ve been using this period to de-load the players. We are still focussing on maintaining strength and fitness as much as possible. Each player has an individual training programme, including flexibility and strength. We are also trying to come up with innovative ways to train while maintaining social distancing,” he pointed out.
“Confidence in your own game doesn’t come from some magic pill or silver bullet. It comes from hard work, perseverance and everyone’s personal commitment to getting better every day. To me it has always been about the process. If you can get that right, you have a much better chance of putting together good performances.”