Bengaluru, 19 May 2020: The Indian Men and Women's Core Probable Group housed in the Sports Authority of India Centre, Bengaluru suspended high-intensity hockey training in the third week of March following a nationwide lockdown. While pitch training was out of bounds, the teams took to indoor workout regime to maintain their fitness.
Though the Coaching Staff are also based out of the same facility, to ensure social distancing norms the teams turned to applications that would help disseminate everyday workout schedules to all team members and emphasised on every player using these applications to submit their work load. "Earlier, these apps were mostly used by Coaching Staff to plan the week's activities and share it with us. But during lockdown, with social distancing norms in place at SAI, using Google docs for wellness data submission and Google forms for training load submissions became mandatory to update what we had done during the day and this would further be discussed through video call with Chief Coach or our Scientific Advisor," explained Savita, Vice Captain of the Indian Women's Hockey Team.
Applications like Zoom call or Google Meet has now become the 'in-thing' replacing 'team huddles' or 'team meetings'. Putting things into perspective, Harmanpreet Singh, Vice Skipper of the Indian Men's Team said, "Though our support staff is based in the same campus, we use Zoom calls for individual meetings where we discuss our nutrition intake and also discuss match analysis. We are now used to apps like Google Meet platform which we use for team meetings as all of us can't get into a huddle in the meeting room anymore."
Harmanpreet further added that the teams have ensured they learnt something new during the lockdown. "I feel we made use of this time by learning something new. Most of us in the team are gadget freaks no doubt and enjoy using social media platforms to stay in touch with our family, friends and also fans. But using these applications on an everyday basis was something we never did," said the drag-flick sensation Harmanpreet.
While the Indian teams began using the TPA (Team Performance Analysis) software in 2017, players ensured they made maximum use of this during the lockdown when they were all tasked with the activity to analyse key matches played over the last two years. "Chief Coach Sjoerd Marijne introduced us to TPA in 2017 and he made it mandatory that we all have it on our ipads so we can analyse our match. I think we made maximum use of this software during the lockdown and each one of us were asked to study the opponents we personally thought are the toughest. This was one of the most important activity we undertook during the lockdown," added Savita.
While the teams await further guidelines and SOP from the Ministry of Youth Affairs & Sports and SAI in order to resume hockey training, the players are well-prepared to return to the pitch. "I think regularly analysing our performance, both individually and as a team, has given us more clarity on the areas we need to improve and we have discussed at length about the same with Coaching Staff. With regular bodyweight training and indoor workouts, I believe we have been able to maintain good fitness level and we are ready to return to full training," expressed Harmanpreet.
More Newsview All
Really happy to resume some sort of outdoor stick-work, says Indian Men's Team Midfielder Sumit
The lockdown period saw Indian Hockey Teams remain at the Sports Authority of India Campus in Bengaluru for close to three months, but without much contact with their sport as the teams followed the guidelines put out by the authorities. However, Indian Men's Hockey team's Midfielder Sumit is delighted to finally be practicing the sport again at his local ground in his hometown of Sonipat. The youngster says the time off from National Camp has been refreshing for him, and he is now again looking forward to rejoining his teammates soon.
"I always looked up to Sardar Singh, his discipline was infectious," says India Colts midfielder Vishal Antil
In 2017, when Vishal Antil, a talented attacking midfielder, came into the Junior National Coaching Camp in SAI, Bengaluru, he would closely observe his Senior compatriot Sardar Singh who trained at the same campus. The former India Captain's discipline, his focus on the game and professionalism made Antil look up to him. "You didn't really have to interact with him to learn but just watch him go about his everyday routine. He was so disciplined and focused, he never let outside factors affect him mentally and he always took care of his body. The lights in his room would be switched off at 9.30 PM everyday, these are qualities of a great player," recalled Antil of his idol.