Bengaluru: The Indian hockey team's recent tour to Argentina in March and Europe Tour in February where they played against Germany and Great Britain has provided the team a fresh perspective in their training feels young midfielder Vivek Sagar Prasad.
The Indian team registered a 2-2 (3-2 SO) and 3-0 wins against the Olympic Champions Argentina in the FIH Hockey Pro League matches and also secured 4-3, 4-4, 0-1, and 4-2 results in practice matches against the home team in their recent tour.
Earlier in the year, playing their first tour after one year, the team registered 6-1, 1-1 results against Germany followed by 1-1 and 3-2 results against Great Britain.
"These tours against world class teams have given us a fresh perspective in our preparations for the Olympic Games. Basis data received from these tours about our performance as a team and as individual players, we have all been given specific tasks by chief coach Graham Reid to work on and improve. I feel we are moving in the right direction ahead of the Olympic Games," Vivek said in a Hockey India release.
Vivek emphasised that the team's discipline and commitment towards training all of last year, despite not playing competitive matches, is what has brought the difference in their recent successful outings.
"Last year, the way we worked as a unit has helped. We focused on fitness, focused on setting up good connection between midfield and forward line, as well as work on keeping the momentum high in the last quarter — all these things helped improve our performance," said Vivek.
"We created different scenarios in training and didn't let the fact that we weren't getting any competition due to the pandemic affect our morale or rhythm," he added. Having undergone mandatory quarantine after their return from Argentina, the core group will focus on their goals for the Olympic Games.
"We see what is happening around us and feel extremely fortunate to even be able to train under these circumstances and stay focused on our goal to do well in Tokyo," said Vivek. "We are really grateful to Hockey India and SAI for ensuring our training goes on uninterrupted and that we are safe within the bio-bubble created for us here," he signed off.