New Delhi, India, January 4, 2021: With only 200 days to go to the Tokyo Olympics, the captains of India’s men’s and women’s hockey teams believe this will be the most crucial time of their lives. They caution that the players should not let external factors affect their goal of achieving success, reports Hockey India.
Men’s team captain and midfielder Manpreet Singh said: "The biggest learning from last year was to not let external factors affect our goal. There could be many uncertainties but we need to only worry about what's within our control and that is to work towards being our best. There could be several challenges leading up to the Olympic Games this year and we need to be mentally prepared for it.
"The next 200 days is going to be the most important period of our lives. Each one of us has to give 100 per cent in training and in competition if we want to see ourselves make the Indian team for Tokyo."
Women’s team captain and forward Rani added: "In the previous national camp, which lasted over four months, we have really worked hard to reach the level we were previously at. In the next few months our focus will be on improving further in all aspects of the game.
“Our competitions this year will show us where we stand and what needs to be improved. From here on, each one of us has to work on being the best."
She added that the players should not take their place in the team for granted and that they should continue to showcase their best performance in training and matches to make the cut.
“We have a very good set of youngsters coming up and I am sure they will be pushing us to earn a spot. I look forward to good competition within the team as it brings out the best in us. Another thing we need to focus on is our mental fitness and also take care of our bodies in the lead up to the Games to avoid any injuries,” said Rani.
A 25-strong women’s squad left for a tour of Argentina on Sunday.
The Indian team is scheduled to play two matches against Argentina’s Junior Women on January 17 and 19, two matches against Argentina B on January 22 and 24 and four matches against Argentina on January 26, January 28, January 30 and January 31.