The 27 year old Indian Hockey player Monika Malik said that the coaches are focusing to improve the team strength of speed, endurance and direction of each players through weekly sessions for preparation for the upcoming Tokyo Olympics 2021. Monika, the midfielder had featured in the 2016 edition of Olympics in Rio. The experienced player from Chandigarh has opened up on the preparations the team is currently undergoing to excel in the upcoming historic Olympic event.
“It is always a red session. Red sessions are mostly higher-intensity training sessions where we focus on match intensity with the idea of superseding match intensity with small-sided variations,” said Monika in the Hockey India release.
She further stated that the Saturday morning sessions are the most difficult ones to under go. Our endurance, speed and direction of play are heavily tested in this session, which shall allow us to compete effectively even in difficult environment for play.
“Each session is either focused on speed or endurance or direction focused. We have about two-three such sessions a week. Those are the days when our fitness levels are really tested. Our awareness about each session, how it helps, what it’s for etc is much better now than before. Earlier, we would just blindly focus what Coaches said.” The player from Chandigarh explained that the coaching staff is planning week-on-week training in such a way that the team peaks at the right time,” she said.
Monika on the tech-savviness of the Indian women’s team
Monika further explained how each player keeps a chart that’s uploaded on to Google docs where the Scientific Advisor Wayne Lombard monitors crucial aspects such as sleep, recovery etc. “Surely, we have become more tech-savvy,” says Monika.
“We maintain a chart that has details of what we do the entire day. We need to mention details of activity we pursue for recovery such as number of minutes spent for massage or ice bath or pool session etc. We also record the number of hours we sleep. I feel by doing these activities on our own, the coaching staff also inculcated a lot more awareness about how we must take care of our bodies and remain injury free,” she added.
The Indian team and the coaches are cautious that none of the players encounters any sort of injury as this is the most crucial period of preparation before the Olympics.
“We have had a few setbacks with some of our players testing positive, but they are all well and back to training now. We don’t want to think of the issues that are out of our control. “Our focus is to improve each day and be ready for the Games and the entire group is mentally prepared,” she added.
Previously on April 24, 2021 the Indian skipper Rani Rampal, Savita Punia, Sharmila Devi, Rajani, Navjot Kaur, Navneet Kaur and Sushila tested positive for the novel coronavirus along with two support staffs but they recovered soon and resumed to their training in the national camp at Bangalore by the start of this month. Monika recalled those setbacks and the difficulties faced by the team to regain their fitness level. But with the preparations they have undergone presently the team has complete focus over the game with high standards of fitness level to compete in the International level.
It is noteworthy to state that the Indian hockey team have showcased their potential throughout the history as they have secured Gold in the 1982 Asia games followed by the Asia cup winners in 2004, 2017 and also the Asian Champions trophy in 2016. These achievements are testament to the potential within Indian Women Hockey team and Indian fans would definitely expect them to clinch the gold in the upcoming Tokyo Olympics 2021.