New Delhi: The novel coronavirus has halted normal life worldwide and like all other sports hockey is gradually trying to limo back to normalcy in the post-COVID-19 world.
Returning to the field nearly after four months, Indian hockey teams star goalkeeper P.R. Sreejesh believes they might face initial problems in their quest to get back to rhythm and how the Indian team would shape up for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.
Excerpts of the interview with Sports Lounge:
Q. How has the lockdown affected preparations for the Olympics?
A. We just got back into the national camp now, first we will stay in quarantine and then will start our practice sessions. Our main target is to take out slowly so we will start with the basic things and slowly we will get more into the team activities.
So I think at the Olympics we do have a good time period to strengthen our basics gradually. We have just started practicing now.
Q. What should be the realistic target of the Indian hockey team at the Olympics?
A. Now the entire scenario has been changed in this pandemic. So now we have to seek out and start our career and our journey. I think now we have to start it again and it’s too early to say something about our realistic achievement in the Olympics.
I think we do have the potential to finish on the podium, we do have the talent to get a bigger achievement but it’s all about how we prepare in these 12 months.
Definitely we all are working hard to achieve in the Olympics games.
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— International Hockey Federation (@FIH_Hockey) August 29, 2020
Q. As you are back on the pitch after a long time, what are the problems you are facing while training?
A. There are a lot of things which will come up, we were in a system, we used to do home quarantine workout, we were indulge in sports and the physical activities which kept us in a level of fitness. So, that is helping us to come back into the training system, which we started three days back.
And the first problem which can come is injuries because it’s almost four months since we are away from hockey training. So injury can be one reason and secondly, suddenly when we are getting on the field we may have some kind of psychological effects because when we left the ground because of this corona we were in our peak and were doing really well because of this continuous training.
So in this period the performance will come down as we were away from hockey and this thing can affect us in a psychological way.
Q. How did you keep yourself fit in lockdown and continue the fitness drills?
A. There are a lot of restrictions to do training during the lockdown so we do have our programmes, we did workout like skipping or any physical activities. We have a lot of things to do, so these things help us to maintain body shape.
For me, personally, I started doing yoga, meditation, which helped me to concentrate and helped me to keep myself fit. I also read motivational books and I tried to follow those things. Those books helped me to update myself and changed my daily routine.
So these things helped me a lot to overcome the pandemic.