Bengaluru, 12 September 2020: Indian Men's Hockey Team striker SV Sunil on Saturday expressed that the growth of the national teams, both men and women, over the past 10 years is the result of overall efforts from Hockey India and team management which has ensured a scientific approach is imbibed in the national program. He drew comparison to when he began his journey in international hockey in 2007 at the Asia Cup.
"It was very different when I came into the Senior India Team in 2007. A lot has changed in terms of how the National Team is managed now in comparison to 10-12 years ago. There is a lot more professionalism and accountability. Hockey India has ensured we have quality support system which is on par or better than other top nations and the planning of events and competition ensures we gain the right exposure before top tournaments. This systematic approach has definitely contributed to the team's improvement over the years," expressed Sunil who has been the cynosure of India's forward line for over a decade.
The experienced forward emphasized that a two-way communication system in coaching has helped the team climb up the ranks in world hockey. He said, "Earlier, we would do what the Coach would say without questioning or without reasoning. But this has changed drastically over the years and there is a two-way communication approach where players are equally involved in planning training sessions. Senior players are also consulted by Hockey India, to ensure we are on the right track. I think these aspects have not only made the players as well as Support Staff more responsible and accountable but it has also largely helped in India's climb up the World Rank to No.4."
The Coorg-lad was particularly happy with the way things were handled during the lockdown and subsequently during the ongoing National Coaching Camp where the players have been closely monitored and a secure bio-bubble is created in SAI, Bengaluru. "We were particularly happy with the kind of care taken by Hockey India and SAI to ensure we have a safe environment in SAI. It is like a bio-bubble here with zero contact from outside and the Federation keeps a close check on every player's well-being through constant communication with team's Chief Coach," stated Sunil.
The striker is confident both Hockey India and SAI will ensure the best preparation opportunities for the teams in the lead up to the Olympic Games next year. "While we are aware there may not be any competition at all this year barring select internal-matches, we are confident good tours will be planned early next year that will give us the right exposure before the Asian Champions Trophy and the FIH Hockey Pro League. We will need a good build up to the Olympic Games and we have been told a proposal has already been made by Hockey India and the Coaching Staff to SAI for our tours and we look forward to doing our bit also." Sunil said.
More Newsview All
Hockey India guides member units on resumption of sporting activities via interactive session with national team coaches and players
ith sporting activities set to resume across the country in accordance with the Ministry of Home Affairs' recent guidelines, Hockey India was the first to layout and share a detailed SOPs and guidelines for the same with all member units as early as in April 2020 with the intent to be well prepared and ready for systematic rollout. Since the issuance of MHA orders, Hockey India staff have been in continuous touch with the 31 State Member Units to guide them through the process of resumption of their State & District level training programmes as a proactive measure to help ease the process for them. To further enhance the confidence of the State Units administration staff to resume sporting activities once their respective states issues guidelines to re-open sporting programs, Hockey India has conducted an interactive session with Chief Coaches of the national teams and experienced national players; PR Sreejesh and Savita
"Important to stay motivated when there are no competitions," says Indian Men's Hockey Team Defender Birendra Lakra
The Indian Men's Hockey Team defender Birendra Lakra has faced several odds in his long career in International hockey. One of the greatest tests he was put through was in 2016 when he suffered a career-threatening knee injury that forced him to miss the Rio Olympic Games. This testing period is something he recalls every now and then to keep himself motivated. "When I was injured in 2016, there were a lot of uncertainties as to whether I will be able to play again. But what helped was the fantastic support system I had and thanks to Hockey India who ensured I got the best treatment and rehab I was able to return to competitive hockey in 8-10 months. With activities resuming only in the past three weeks and no competition at the moment due to the pandemic, I often recall my injury phase to stay motivated and tell myself this phase will pass soon," he said.