Indian hockey team training in an 'Olympic-like' environment
The Indian men's hockey team is simulating the Olympic atmosphere at its training base in Bengaluru to prepare for the Tokyo Games in the best possible manner, experienced forward Ramandeep Singh revealed on Wednesday. Ramandeep said they are assessing their bodies and testing their skills by replicating their side's Olympic schedule in training as they are targeting a winning start to seize early momentum.
India's first match is against New Zealand
The Indian men's hockey team is scheduled to begin its campaign on July 24 against New Zealand. Reigning Olympic Champions Argentina, Australia, New Zealand, Spain, and hosts Japan are the other teams in Pool A. "A lot will depend on how we fair in the first match. A good result against New Zealand will set the right momentum for the whole tournament," Ramandeep said.
Here is how the atmosphere is being simulated
"We are currently replicating the Olympic Schedule, three teams with different combinations from within the Olympic core group have been formed and the coaching staff has created an atmosphere that is similar to the Olympics," Ramandeep said. "We wear the Indian kit, we do team activation (pre-match drills) and we line up for the national anthem before the start of the match," explained Ramandeep.
We are testing our bodies with back-to-back games: Ramandeep
There is a lot of excitement within the group as the team selection trials are underway. "Replicating the Olympic schedule is a good way to test our bodies with two back-to-back games and then a day's rest," Ramandeep mentioned. "We are paying attention to recovery. This exercise of playing internal matches is really bringing out the match-mentality to the fore," he said.
My injury pushed me back but I've recovered: Ramandeep
Speaking about his own performance, Ramandeep said his knee injury in 2018 caused a setback to an otherwise good run. "It took me about six-seven months to recover from the knee injury during Champions Trophy in 2018. But mid-2019 onward I have been doing well and I believe I have returned to my old form," stated Ramandeep.