The team performs autopsies on previous games in the middle of the shutdown, says PR Sreejesh.
BENGALURU: Veteran Indian Goalkeeper PR Sreejesh has been disappointed with the postponement of the Tokyo Olympics due to the coronavirus pandemic that has wreaked havoc around the world.
India last won a gold in Hockey in 1980 at the Moscow Olympics. Since then, they have participated in eight Olympic editions but have failed to reach the podium. And after qualifying for the Tokyo Games, the team was very excited and hoped to end the medal drought.
However, his dream remains unfulfilled for now, as the International Olympic Committee (IOC) postponed the Games until the summer of 2021.
It's disappointing that the Olympics has been postponed. We have been focussing only on the Olympics in the last one year. We qualified for the Olympics and started very well at the FIH Hockey Pro League, but then the COVID-19 The crisis began and everything changed, Sreejesh said.
It is disappointing that the Olympic Games have been postponed, but when you consider the health and safety of the players, the best thing to do is to postpone the Games rather than cancel them, he added.
Sreejesh also said that despite the postponement, the team makes sure they remain focused on their goal of achieving a podium finish at the Olympics.
Everyone is mentally preparing for the Olympics. We need to focus, work very hard from day one, and we need to focus for 365-400 days to accomplish something. The schedule for the next tournament is not yet confirmed.
We need to stay in shape right now and not worry about what will happen in a year. So now we have to focus on general fitness exercises and stay in the present. We cannot change what is not under our control, he said.
The Indian goalkeeper further said that when they learned that tournaments were being postponed or canceled, the coaches and coaching staff reduced the burden on the training plan.
In the midst of the shutdown, the team is currently at the hub of the Indian Sports Authority (SAI) in Bengaluru, where they make sure they stay in shape.
Players are performing general physical exercise and body weight exercises in our rooms. We are trying to do all the exercises in a group of two and avoid contact with people as much as we can, he said.
Sreejesh also said that the team is currently conducting autopsies of their previous games to find deficiencies and work on it.
We are conducting an autopsy for our previous matches. There is a software called My PTA, in which we can analyze our previous matches. We watch the videos in our rooms and give our opinion. We answer questions online that the trainers. That is what we are doing to keep in touch with hockey, said the veteran hockey player.
With a minimum of physical activity allowed, players miss out on weekends to be distracted by the tough training program they would otherwise do under normal circumstances.
Everyone knows the situation now, instead of worrying about the situation, everyone is trying to understand the situation. The players are really mature and follow all the instructions of the Prime Minister, the coaching staff and the SAI authorities. That is the positive sign displayed by the players.
They are all distant from each other. We keep a distance in the canteen and only two people sit at a table. We are doing everything in a very hygienic way so that none of us gets infected, he added.
The 31-year-old man also urged compatriots to take responsibility on an individual level and to make sure they comply with the guidelines issued by the government at that time of crisis.
My message to people is that this situation is not about anyone else, but about us. Sometimes we say that it is not my responsibility, it is someone else's responsibility. This time it is my responsibility to stay away from the coronavirus and help others stay away from the infection, he said.
Personal hygiene is the best option to prevent this virus and it is more important to stay indoors.