With the Tokyo Olympics approaching next year after being postponed due to the ongoing global crisis, every player is dealing with their own hardships in keeping up with their training for the global event.
Uncertainty will be the biggest challenge: Hockey India Coach Graham Reid
Recently, Indian men’s hockey team coach, Graham Reid told that he believes that mental health is going to play the biggest factor in competing against the strongest teams of the world.
Reid in a statement said, “the Olympic Games is the toughest competition in the sporting world and therefore a player’s mentality has to match it. The biggest challenge as a player is to remain focussed on the job at hand. The first game brings with it a number of emotions. The player who can control those emotions and stick to the game plan will be ahead.” as quoted by ANI.
“The biggest challenge for us during these next 12 months will be uncertainty. There are a lot of things that are going to happen that we can’t control. We must only worry about things we can control. We can control how hard it work, how well we train and our fitness levels. Mental toughness wilo definitely be a factor during next period and the Indian players have an innate ability to deal with difficult circumstances. It is my intention to develop the players understanding of their mental strength and build their ability to access and trust it when required,” Graham added.
Women’s team coach Sjoerd Marijne, reflecting on Reid’s views stated, “We live in challenging times where we need to have a ‘step by step’ approach. For now, we wait to return to the national camp and begin training. Once we know when we can resume our preparations for the Olympic Games, we will be able to make further plans on how to get competition-ready.” as quoted by ANI.
For their first Tokyo game on June 24th, 2021, the women’s team will take on the formidable World No.1 Netherlands, and the men’s team will head to take on New Zealand. Reflecting on the mental challenges athletes will go through before the games, Marijne said, “When you think of it, it is quite annoying because we had channelled all our energies into being in Tokyo this time of the year competing at the highest level. But realising there is a pandemic still threatening lives of millions around the globe, we quickly put things into perspective again.
”I am someone who believes in creating positive opportunities and an extra year gives us the opportunity to grow further as a team. Our first focus will be to start training as soon as possible and then play international matches as soon as feasible.“ she concluded.