Having tested themselves against some of the best teams in the world in the initial few matches of the FIH Hockey Pro League, the Indian hockey team is back in Bengaluru for their national camp where they are preparing for the 2020 Olympics.
With the all-important Games inching closer with every passing moment, the team knows the importance of the days leading up to Tokyo 2020.
“Our focus is currently on the first match we will play on 25th July at the Tokyo Olympics against New Zealand,” Indian defender Harmanpreet Singh told Hockey India from their base camp.
We started this camp with a focus on certain areas that needed improvement, especially converting our attack from the 25-yard line to successful circle penetrations. Tackling is also another area that needs improvement.”
Dwelling a bit more on the training regime that Indian hockey chief coach Graham Reid has had the team undergo in Bengaluru, the ace drag-flicker said: “We have red sessions and green sessions. The red sessions are mostly high in intensity and we play matches among ourselves.
“The sessions are usually in the afternoon at 12pm, which is planned in order to get used to the hot and humid conditions in Tokyo. We focus on our skill improvement during the green sessions.”
The 24-year-old Amritsar player also shed light on the precautions that the team is taking against the novel coronavirus.
“We have all been asked to take certain basic precautions like washing our hands regularly and our temperature is checked regularly. We have been asked to avoid going out of the campus,” he said.
"We usually would step out on weekends for coffee or dinner but from this weekend onwards, we won't be going out anywhere. Also, no outsider is allowed inside the Sports Authority of India campus and SAI staffers are also checked if they have fever or cold, before they enter the gate.”
Depending on the coronavirus pandemic causing huge disruption to the sporting world, the Indian hockey team will be next seen in action in the FIH Hockey Pro League when they travel to Berlin to take on the four-time Olympic gold medallists Germany in April.
This is scheduled to be followed by a trip to London to face Great Britain in May.